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Would you fancy your chances of beating a top tower runner if you could run up an escalator while they took the stairs?

A few years back, brave commuters at the Stadtmitte S-Bahn station in downtown Stuttgart got the chance to go up seven-time winner of the Empire State Building Run-Up, Thomas Dold.

The tower running superstar took the stairs, while members of the public, kitted out in full on safety gear, ran up the escalator beside him to see if they could beat him to the top.

Watch the video below to see how they all got on. This would make a great stunt in a London station ahead of one of the big charity climbs!

Tower running world champions Suzy Walsham and Piotr Lobodzinski won at the Almas Tower Vertical Run in Dubai on Saturday.

The race up the 1,600 steps of the Almas Tower, the seventh tallest building in Dubai, was the first in 2019 for both tower runners.

COPYRIGHT JORGE FERRARI

Almas Tower, Dubai (courtesy Jorge Ferrari)

In the absence of any other leading international tower runners, the pair cruised to practically uncontested victories.

Lobodzinski was fastest overall on the day with a winning time of 7:50. It was the fourth year in a row the Polish star has won the event, and his winning performance bagged him a handsome prize of around £2,000.

Lobodzinski Dubai Almas Tower 2019

Lobodzinski celebrates outside the Almas Tower, Dubai

In what was her 100th stair climb victory, in 12 years of tower running, Suzy Walsham finished an impressive second overall as she reached the top in 9:21, a split second faster than the second-fastest man, Belgium’s Christophe Huybrighs.

It was a huge course record for the Australian, too. The previous best time of 9:50 having been set in 2018 by Italy’s Valentina Belotti.

It’s a great start to the season for the pair. The next race they will be at again together will be La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel in Paris on 13th March, where each will be looking to win the event for the fifth straight time.

Almas Tower Vertical Run 2019 full results

For years Australian tower runners have been among the very best in the world, winning multiple titles and setting untouchable records.

The performance of Aussie athletes at the Empire State Building Run-Up is particularly impressive. From Geoff Case and Belinda Soszyn in the 1990s to Paul Crake and Suzy Walsham throughout the 2000s.

To celebrate the national day (26th January) of the home of these incredible tower runners we’ve put together a video of all the winning Australian athletes at the ESBRU from Craig Logan in 1988 to Suzy Walsham in 2018.

The global face of tower running was clear for all to see this week with races in destinations as far apart as Estonia, Japan and the USA.

There were some familiar names among the podium finishers, including four time ESBRU winner Cindy (Moll) Harris.

Read on to find out all the results.

Olumpia Topeltsprint

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Estonia has a strong tower running scene and has produced some quality talent that’s competed well internationally in recent years.

This was evident at the race last Monday at the 26-floor Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia in the capital Tallinn, which was the second round of the ongoing Estonian Cup series.

It attracted a strong bunch of runners, and only the smallest of margins separated the very fastest among them.

The race involved two runs up the building with the holder of the fastest aggregate time being declared the winner.

In the men’s division, the well known Estonian Rauno Tiits completed his first run in 1:48. Then his rival Lauri Ulm clocked the same time. In the second run, both men once again ran exactly the same time – this time 1:49.

It came down to the hundreths of a second, with Ulm taking the win by just four tenths of second (3:37.1) ahead of pre-race favourite Tiits (3:37.5).

‘It was a very interesting and intense competition’, said Lauri Ulm. ‘Before the race, I didn’t think I could offer Rauno a competition. But the first run we ran exactly the same time, so I knew there was a bit of hope.’

Lars Migge, representing Towerrunning Germany, was third in 4:06.3.

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Men’s podium: (l-r) Rauno Tiits (EST), Lauri Ulm (EST) and Lars Migge (GER)

In the women’s division Merlyn Valma took victory in a total time of 4:47.7. Second place went to her club mate Piret Põldsaar who clocked 4:54.0 Piret Põldsaar and Marika Turb was third with 5:10.4.

Olümpia Topeltsprint 2019 results

 

Magdeburger Hochhauslauf 2019
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A true sprint event at the 232-step Campus Tower in the German city of Madgeburg took place on Wednesday 16th.

The event, which began with a 60m run into the stairwell, attracted over 300 participants and wins an award for the least user-friendly layout of results we’ve ever seen on a results website. All separated into age categories with no breakdown of overall winners in the male and female divisions. Oh, and they’re all drop down boxes too, and you can only open one at a time!

Fastest man and woman: Sebastian Arndt and Reni Yordanova

Magdeburger Hochhauslauf results 2019

 

Bop to the Top 2019

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Cindy Harris took a decisive win at the Bop to the Top event at the OneAmerica Tower in Indianapolis on Saturday. The veteran American, who first won the event in 1995 has now amassed 25 victories at the building’s single climb event.

The 780-step climb took the four-time winner of the Empire State Building Run-Up just 4:37, which was well ahead of the second placed female, 15-year old Madeline Keller (5:20), and enough to give Harris third overall.

The fastest man was Howard Harrell who finished in 4:23.

In the Triple Step (three climbs up the tower), Harris’ time of 15:11 was the fastest on the day among all those who took part. It was the seventh time she’d finished the three climb event as the fastest woman.

It was great to see another tower running veteran Joe Kenny putting in an impressive display to take third in the Triple Step event. Joe Kenny has won the Bop to the Top and other races numerous times and has been competing since the 1980s. Those of you who have been reading our series on the history of the Empire State Building Run-Up may remember his close battle with Craig Logan at the 1988 ESBRU race.

Bop to the Top 2019 results (single climb)

Bop to the Top 2019 results (Triple Step)

 

Next21 Tower Run

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The Next21 building in Niigata, Japan played host to a race on Sunday 20th.

Runners were tasked with scaling 19 floors of the building five times in order to determine the winners.

We were unable to find results at the time of writing, but will update when possible.

The tower running season was back in full swing this past weekend with prominent races in the USA, Italy and Germany.

The famous Dallas Vertical Mile weekend event was the star of the show, with many of the top American climbers in action in both the sprint event and longer climb options. But it was also all go at the Torre Pontina in Latina and the Wohnhochhaus der Baugenossenschaft Ideal in Berlin.

Read on to find out all the results.

The Schenectady Express rolls into Dallas

The Dallas Vert Mile weekend got started on Saturday with a ‘sprint’ event up 807 steps of the Reunion Tower. Then on Sunday competitors took on a vertical mile, consisting of 12 climbs up the tower.

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Reunion Tower, Dallas

2018 winner Terry Purcell wasn’t in town this year, but last year’s second-place finisher Alex ‘The Schenectady Express’ Workman was back to have another crack at the sprint and vertical mile events.

Workman took the win in both events. He clocked a speedy 3:43 in the single climb and managed to complete the 12 climbs needed for the vertical mile in a record 55:13, which was an impressive improvement on his 57:23 finish last year.

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Alex Workman on his way to winning the sprint event at the Dallas Vert Mile

Jason Larson was second in both events, with a 4:01 sprint finish and a vertical mile in 57:20.

In the women’s division, there was an even closer race in the vertical mile. Stephanie Hucko eventually came out on top, finishing her 12 climbs in 1:06:20. Second place went to María Elisa Lopez Pimentel in 1:07:46.

With a 5:10 finish in the sprint event, María Elisa Lopez Pimentel was a clear winner. She finished comfortably ahead of second place Alejandra Sanchez (5:42) and third place Amy Brown (5:59).

Dallas Vert Mile 2019 results

 

Latina Vertical Sprint 2019
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Torre Pontina, Latina, Italy

Lenka Svabikova and Ivonne Martinucci went head-to-head once more at the 702-step Latina Vertical Sprint.

Martinucci, the 2015 champion, was looking to finally dethrone Svabikova, who she had finished second to from 2016-2018.

The veteran Italian finally turned the tables on the well-known Czech tower running star, winning in 4:39. Svabikova was well off her personal best time of 4:16, reaching the top in 4:50.

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Ivonne Martinucci wins Latina Vertical Sprint 2019

The men’s race was incredibly close, with less than two seconds separating the top three.

It was middle-distance track specialist Miroslav Burian from the Czech Republic who was fastest in 3:52.83. Second place was Italian mountain runner Fabrizio Triulzi in 3:53.80, while third spot went to Italian cyclist Pasquale Caramanica who finished in 3:54.39.

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Miroslav Burian – winner of Latina Vertical Sprint 2019

Latina Vertical Sprint 2019 results

 

Towerrun Berlin

Action at the 465-step sprint event at the Wohnhochhaus der Baugenossenschaft Ideal was split between two divisions – firefighters and general public.

First among the firefighters, and fastest overall on the day, was Marko Berenz with a winning time of 3:28.

The next fastest times came in a tight battle for top spot in the general category, with Ahmad Asadi’s 3:46 and Andreas Fruhmann’s 3:47.

Towerrun Berlin 2019 results

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The selection of the elite male and female runners for the 2019 La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel has been announced.

15 women and 25 men from around the world were picked by the organisers of the event, which is coming into its fifth year.

Since launching in 2015, the race, which takes place on Wednesday 13th March at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, has become the premier European tower running event.

Each of the four previous editions (2015-2018) have been won by Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) and Suzy Walsham (AUS), and they will both return to Paris in 2019 to try and secure a fifth straight win.

Joining Walsham will be:

  • Amandine Bertrand – France
  • Laure Chardin – France
  • Kamila Chamanicova – Slovakia
  • Vanja Cnops – Belgium
  • Cristina Bonacina – Italy
  • Sarah Frost – Great Britain
  • Muhua Jian – China
  • Anais Leroy – France
  • Maria Elisa Lopez Pimentel – Mexico
  • Alice McNamara – Australia
  • Laurie Phai – Cambodia
  • Sonja Shakespeare – Great Britain
  • Iwona Wicha – Poland
  • Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik – Poland

 

Challenging Lobodzinski will be:

  • Christophe Anselmo – France
  • Mark Bourne – Australia
  • Michel Bowie – France
  • Nicolas Cantagrel – France
  • Roberto Delorenzi – Switzerland
  • Fabio Ruga – Italy
  • Frank Nicolas Carreno – Colombia
  • Matthieu Gandolfi – France
  • Gediminas Grinius – Lithuania
  • Christof Grossegger – Austria
  • Gorge Heimann – Germany
  • Michal Kovac – Slovakia
  • Sproule Love – USA
  • Mateusz Marunowski – Poland
  • Matjaz Miklosa – Slovenia
  • Jakob Mayer – Austria
  • Mickael Pourcelot – France
  • Stephane Ricard – France
  • Christian Riedl – Germany
  • Soh Wai Ching – Malaysia
  • Stefan Stefina – Slovakia
  • Alexis Trujillo – Mexico
  • Laurent Vicente – France
  • Simon Wuethrich – Switzerland

 

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The Empire State Building Run Up is the longest continuously running stair climb event in the world, and in 2019 it returns for its 42nd edition.

High on the wish list for probably every stair climber out there, the ESBRU is frustratingly difficult to get into, with some climbers applying year-on-year and failing to get a spot.

It’s traditionally been held in February, but there’s been a change for 2019. Read on to find out when the race is and how to enter.

When is the Empire State Building Run Up (ESBRU) 2019?

The 42nd edition of the Empire State Building Run Up will take place on Tuesday 14th May 2019 in New York, which is a big shift from it’s typical run date of the first week in February.

Like the similarly iconic Eiffel Tower Stair Climb, the event is run at night, with competitors setting off from 8pm, to as late as 10pm in previous editions.

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How to enter the Empire State Building Run Up (ESBRU)?

Entry to the ESBRU is through a lottery system that will be open from Monday 14th January to Sunday 17th February 2019, with successful applicants being notified by email on 20th February. Entry fee, which is taken if you are selected in the lottery, is $125.

There are also charity slots available each year, but the minimum fundraising requirement for these is pretty steep, so you might have to get friends and family to dig deep if you go down that route.

The number of available places has dropped a fair amount recently, so it will be interesting to see how many spots are made available for the 2019 edition.

Empire State Building Run Up 2019 lottery registration

Bookmark the ESBRU 2019 registration page so you can get your entry in from Wednesday 23rd January 2019.

Registration is currently due to close on Sunday February 24th at 11:59 p.m. ET.

What is the Empire State Building Run Up?

The Empire State Building is the historical home of tower running in the USA. The event was created by Fred Lebow in 1978, who also organised the first New York City marathon back in 1970. Follow the link to read the first installment in our series on the history of the Empire State Building Run-Up.

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The race involves a climb up 1,576 steps (86 floors) to the viewing deck at the top of the building, usually ending outside when the weather permits.

Having been run by the New York Road Runners (NYRR) for years, the ESBRU is now organised by NYC Runs.

The winners list for the ESBRU reads as a who’s who of tower running greats. From Terry Purcell, Cindy Harris and Thomas Dold to Darren Wilson, Christian Riedl, Piotr Lobodzinski and the incredible course record holder Paul Crake, the ESBRU podium has been topped by most of the best athletes to ever climb the stairs to the top of a tower.

Nine-time winner Suzy Walsham is in a league of her own at the venue, although it’s Austria’s Andrea Mayr who holds the women’s course record of 11:23 at the venue, which she set back in 2006.

Walsham ESBRU 2018

Suzy Walsham made it a record nine ESBRU wins when she took victory in 2018

Empire State Building Run Up Records

Fastest times

Paul Crake (AUS) – 9:33  (2003)

Andrea Mayr (AUT) – 11:23 (2006)

Most wins

Suzy Walsham (AUS) – nine

Thomas Dold (GER) – seven