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Soh Wai-Ching Vertical Rush 2019

Soh Wai Ching took an impressive win on his Vertical Rush debut in London last Thursday.

The Malaysian athlete was first up the 932 steps of Tower 42 in a time of 4:17.

His impressive finish makes him the fourth fastest person to ever race the tower, with only Thomas Dold (3:58), Piotr Lobodzinski (3:59) and Fabio Ruga (4:11) having run faster in the 11 editions of the UK’s biggest stair race for the charity Shelter.

Tower 42 London

London’s Tower 42, home to Shelter’s Vertical Rush since 2009

Wai Ching was an unexpected entry, having journeyed in from Paris, where he had finished fourth the night before at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel.

The UK’s Mark Howard, also making his Vertical Rush debut, laid down the early marker in the 10am wave, where he finished in 4:48.

He was followed at 11am by fellow Briton, Mark Sims, who was coming into the race off the back of recent wins at the Christie Tower Run in Manchester and the LOROS Tower Run in Leicester.

Sims managed to beat the 5:00 that earned him second place at last year’s event, but his 4:58 finish was a little way off the faster Howard.

At 3pm, Wai Ching and Slovakian athlete Michal Kovac turned up. Kovac had also been in Paris the evening before, where he had finished in an impressive seventh position.

Wai Ching held off the challenge of his rival, crossing the line in 4:17, with Kovac just nine seconds behind him in 4:28.

At 6pm, Laurence Ball-King, who won the GOSH Walkie Talkie Tower Climb on his tower running debut at the start of the month, put in another impressive performance to finish in 4:49 and earn fourth overall.

Drinkwater defends her title

Susie Drinkwater

In the women’s division, the 2018 champion Susie Drinkwater returned to defend her title.

Drinkwater had been a surprise winner last year on her stair racing debut, but had picked up a decent amount of race experience in the intervening 12 months and was expected to do well.

She exceeded expectations, taking a massive 30 seconds off her time from last year to take first place in 5:41. That time makes her the fourth fastest woman to have run the tower since it opened up for racing in 2009. Only Suzy Walsham (5:01), Anna Frost (5:30) and Lenka Svabikova (5:36) have finished faster.

Sophie Gladwell was second in 6:20 and Krissy Hartigan was third in 6:27.

Full Vertical Rush 2019 results

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2019 vert winners

Piotr Lobodzinski and Suzy Walsham won La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel for the fifth time in a row last Wednesday (13th March).

Lobodzinski took victory in 7:53.97, the only sub 8-minute time on the night. In the women’s division, Australian Suzy Walsham was a clear winner in 10:16.57.

Harsh conditions in the French capital had an impact all around and finishing times were generally slower than in previous editions of the event, which was in its fifth year.

The expected close competition for Lobdodzinski from Christian Riedl didn’t materialise, as the German finished third in 8:46.98.

Riedl finish

Christian Riedl takes 3rd place at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel 2019

His time was just bettered by Austrian Jakob Mayer, who finished in 8:44.31.

Jakob Mayer finish

Second-placed finisher Jakob Mayer

Lobodzinski was the last to run. With the heavy winds in Paris affecting most runners adversely throughout the night, the Polish world champion’s time was not expected to be particularly fast, even though, as the only man to have won La Verticale since it began in 2015, he had never finished slower than 7:56. But despite his rivals nearly all running slower than usual, he maintained his perfect record of sub 8-minute finishes by reaching the top of the 1,665 steps of the Eiffel Tower in 7:53.97.

2019 Verticale mens podium

Christian Riedl, Piotr Lobodzinski, Jakob Mayer (l-r)

Unstoppable Walsham wins again

Suzy Walsham proved once again she is a practically invincible force on the stairs with an incredible fifth straight win at the Eiffel Tower.

With China’s Muhua Jian unable to make it to the start line, Walsham’s expected strongest competition was missing, but with the harsh weather and the Australian star’s preparation seriously hampered by injury, there was still the chance that Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik might push Walsham hard.

As it happened it was Walsham’s fellow Australian, Alice McNamara, who came closest. She finished second in 11:26.36.

McNamara finish

Alice McNamara reaches the top in the second fastest time

Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik took third for the second year in a row, with a finishing time of 11:28.74.

wisniewska-ulfik finish

Poland’s Wisniewska-Ulfik finished third for the second year in a row

 

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The fifth edition of La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel takes place tomorrow evening and all eyes will be on Paris for the biggest race in the European tower running calendar.

Piotr Lobodzinski and Suzy Walsham will each be going for a fifth straight win at the tallest building in France.

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Unfortunately footage of this year’s event won’t come close to what’s been available at previous editions, but you’ll still be able to catch some of the action.

Previous editions have been televised on Eurosport or shown on a full live stream online, but this year live footage will only be available from the departure area at the base of the tower. Viewers will get to see runners warming up and heading off into the tower, plus some pre-race interviews, too.

The rest of the action up the tower and at the finish, which will presumably be quite limited, will filter through via videos and images after a delay.

The live stream of the event will begin at 7pm UK time (8pm local time) and you can access it through the Facebook page below:

www.facebook.com/Verticaledelatoureiffel/

If you’re unable to watch the stream, but want to try and catch updates on other social media, it seems the official hashtag for the event is #Eiffeltowervertical and #VerticaleTourEiffel.

Sarah Frost set a new course record as she took the win at the LOROS Tower Run on Saturday.

The in-form runner clocked a new best time of 1:43.82 for the 351-step St George’s Tower in Leicester, taking just under six seconds off the record she set in 2018.

Sarah Frost Loros Tower Run 2019

Sarah Frost sets off on her winning run at the LOROS Tower Run 2019

The victory made it two wins from two UK races in 2019 for Frost. Last weekend she clocked an impressive sub 5-minute finish of 4:47 at the Walkie Talkie Tower Run in London to take a clear win ahead of Sonja Shakespeare who was second in 5:28.

Newcomer Susie Drinkwater managed to finish second in an impressive 1:56.97, on her debut at the Leicester tower.

Drinkwater will return to Vertical Rush at Tower 42 in London this coming Thursday 14th March to defend the title she won there on her tower running debut in 2018.

Sarah Frost will make her debut at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel on Wednesday 13th March. You can find out who she’s up against by reading our guide to the Elite women’s division at the race in Paris.

Sims takes overall victory

Mark Sims was back to winning ways in Leicester on Saturday, but it took him two runs to pull off the victory.

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St George’s Tower in Leicester

Winner of the event in 2016 and 2017, Sims was narrowly beaten last year by Elliot Slaughter. With Slaughter absent from the line up, the race was expected to be a two-man battle between Sims and the in-form David Harris.

In the pair’s first runs, it was Harris who came out on top with an excellent time of 1:33.26, a mere half-second faster than Sims’ 1:34.98.

The LOROS Tower Run routinely gives athletes an opportunity at a second run on the day, and Sims has become the master of it.

His second-run times in 2017 and 2018 were both faster than his first runs those years.

On Saturday, Sims once again managed to make the absolute most of his second shot. He clocked a new PB of 1:31.96, to take the win with the overall fastest time on the day.

Harris and Sims will battle again on Thursday at Vertical Rush in Tower 42. The evening before, Harris will have the small task of scaling the 1,665-step Eiffel Tower for the fifth edition of La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel.

Photos from the event are available here.

Mark Sims finally secured a win at The Christie Tower Run in Manchester this past Sunday.

Having finished second at the event in 2017 and 2018, the Liverpool-based Sims took victory at the city’s 798-step Beetham Tower with a winning time of 4:29.

Beetham Tower

Beetham Tower in Manchester

David Harris had laid down a solid marker of 4:33 when he ran in the event’s 1pm wave, setting a massive 25-second PB in the process.

Sims followed at 2pm, knowing the time he had to beat and duly did so with four seconds to spare. Matt Wellock rounded out the podium with his 5:02 finish.

The Christie Tower Run 2019 Mark Sims winner

In the women’s division, Spanish runner Marta Cosp set an event record with a winning time of 5:36. Cosp was followed by the previous event record holder Sonja Shakespeare in 5:55, while Elaine Battson was third in 6:03.

Marta Cosp Christie tower run

Marta Cosp with team mate Oliver Llewellyn-Smith

Highly experienced on the track, with a solid university and club athletic career behind her, Cosp produced a brilliant run to take 27 seconds off the time she set in 2018, which earned her third place that year.

Full results for The Christie Tower Run 2019.

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