Archive for the ‘Tower running history’ Category

la-verticale-1905-1.png

Tower running has a long and rich history dating back to 1905 when the first Eiffel Tower stair climb took place.

Many of the results for the races that have happened since then are scattered around the internet in hidden blogs, cached web pages and newspaper archives.

We are hoping to collate them all here in one place so fans of the sport, journalists and anyone else can easily access historic results for as many big stair races as possible.

It’s an ongoing project that will hopefully be collaborative with the global tower running community. If you spot errors, let us know. If you have race results you think should be featured, let us know.

Let’s document and secure the history of this sport for years to come.

Australia

Eureka Tower stair climb
Sydney Tower Run-Up

France

Eiffel Tower stair climb/La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel

Spain

Subida Vertical Gran Hotel Bali

Taiwan

Taipei 101 Run-Up

Singapore

Swissotel Vertical Marathon

United Kingdom

NSPCC Gherkin Challenge
Shelter Vertical Rush (@Tower 42)

USA

Empire State Building Run-Up (ESBRU)
Hustle up the Hancock/Hustle Chicago
Willis (Sears) Tower stair climb

Eiffel tower at night

730-step course
1905
Eugene Forestier (FRA) 3:12
1906 Eugene Neveu (FRA) 3:04  Mme. Baube (FRA) 7:44
1946 Jean Riousset (FRA) 2:54

1,665-step course
1995 Yves Lossouarn (FRA) 8:51 Irina Kazakova (RUS/FRA) 9:56
2015 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 7:50.93  Suzy Walsham (AUS) 9:44.74
2016 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 7:48.77*  Suzy Walsham (AUS) 9:48.90
2017 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 7:54.76  Suzy Walsham (AUS) 9:34.75*
2018 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 7:56.67  Suzy Walsham (AUS) 10:02.70
2019 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 7:53.97  Suzy Walsham (AUS) 10:16.57

* course record

Find out all the winners from other events around the world in our historical tower running results database.

tower-42-shelter-vertigo-challenge-2016

2009 Matthias Jahn (GER) 4:22  Caitriona Jennings (IRL) 6:04
2010 Steve Winder (GBR) 4:54  Anna Frost (NZL) 5:30
2011 Fabio Ruga (ITA) 4:24  Cristina Bonacina (ITA) 6:02
2012 Thomas Dold (GER) 3:58*  Suzy Walsham (AUS) 5:01*
2013 Ben Hall (GBR) 4:51 Suzy Walsham (AUS) 5:04
2014 Ben Hall (GBR) 4:55  Cristina Bonacina (ITA) 6:11
2015 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 4:12  Lenka Svabikova (CZE) 5:39
2016 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 4:29  Lenka Svabikova (CZE) 5:36
2017 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 3:59  Lenka Svabikova (CZE) 5:45 – results
2018 Emanuele Manzi (ITA) 4:37  Susie Drinkwater (GBR) 6:11 – results
2019 Soh Wai Ching (MYS) 4:17 Susie Drinkwater (GBR) 5:41 – results

* course record

2009-2016 results available through search here (direct links unavailable): https://www.tdleventservices.co.uk/event-results

Find out all the winners from other events around the world in our historical tower running results database.

Gherkin London NSPCC

2010 Fabio Ruga (ITA) 4:07*  Daniela Vassalli (ITA) 5:42
2011 Mark Sims (GBR) 4:43  Kerri Rogan (GBR) 6:37
2012 Rolf Majcen (AUT) 4:35  Claudine Chicheportiche (GBR) 6:58
2013 Matthias Jahn (GER) 4:18  women’s winner TBC
2014 David Harris (GBR) 5:14  Kelly Stevens (GBR) 6:14
2015 Rich Sirrs (GBR) 4:23  Erin Bargate (GBR) 6:52
2016 Alex James Ward (GBR) 4:31  Michelle Ko (GBR) 6:50
2017 Mark Sims (GBR) 4:43  Sonja Shakespeare (GBR) 6:03
2018 David Harris (GBR) 4:48  Sarah Frost (GBR) 5:33*
2019 Tommy Bryant (GBR) 5:18  Jasmine Van Niekerk (GBR) 6:05

* course record

Find out all the winners from other events around the world in our historical tower running results database.

Willis Tower

2002 Joseph Kenny (USA) 14:39 Cindy Harris (USA) 15:38
2003 Terry Purcell (AUS) 13:50 Cindy Harris (USA) 16:18
2004 Sproule Love (USA) 13:35  Cindy Harris (USA) 15:18
2005 Sproule Love (USA)/Terry Purcell (AUS) 13:26  Cindy Harris (USA) 16:14 – results (incomplete, women only)
2006 Jesse Berg (USA) 13:29  Cindy Harris (USA) 15:40 – results (incomplete)
2007 Eric Leninger (USA) 13:42  Cindy Harris (USA) 15:01 – results (incomplete)
2008 Terry Purcell (AUS) 13:55  Cindy Harris (USA) 15:45
2009 Matthias Jahn (GER) 13:09  Cindy Harris (USA) 15:08 – results
2010 Jesse Berg (USA) 13:46  Sandra Nunez (MEX) 17:08 – results
2011 Sproule Love (USA) 13:03 Cindy Harris (USA) 14:57 – results
2012 Jesse Berg (USA) 13:59  Kristin Frey (USA) 14:57 – results
2013 Justin Stewart (USA) 13:29  Alice McNamara (AUS) 15:02 – results
2014 Justin Stewart (USA) 13:37  Sherri Breese (USA) 17:06 – results
2015 Sproule Love (USA) 13:41   Cindy Harris (USA) 16:02 – results
2016 Frank Carreno (COL) 13:10 Cindy Harris (USA) 14:56* – results
(New sub-basement start means runners climb 105 floors)
2017
Frank Carreno (COL) 12:58* Cindy Harris (USA) 15:27 – results
2018 Frank Carreno (COL) 13:04 Cindy Harris (USA) 15:31 – results
2019 Alexis Trujillo (MEX) 13:26 Cindy Harris (USA) 15:54 – results

* course record

Find out all the winners from other events around the world in our historical tower running results database.

bali

2003 Paul Crake (AUS) 4:35  Yamilka González (CUB) 6:26
2005 Javier Jover (ESP) 4:42  Sandra Ruales (ESP) 6:24
2006 Juan Antonio Fernández (ESP) ?  Jesica Núñez (ESP) ?
2007 Juan Antonio Fernández (ESP) 4:53  Verónica Gil Brotons (ESP) 6:04 – results
2008 Tomas Dold (GER) 4:40  Wafiya Benali (MAR) 5:47 – results
2009 Just Sociats (ESP) 5:06  Wafiya Benali (MAR) 6:01 – results
2010 Ignacio Cardona (ESP) 4:41  Wafiya Benali (MAR) 5:44 – results
2011 Angel Llorens Zafra (ESP) 4:41  Judith Corachán (ESP) 6:48 – results
2012 Angel Llorens Zafra (ESP) 4:37  Judith Corachán (ESP) 6:00 – results
2013 Angel Llorens Zafra (ESP) 4:38  Judith Corachán (ESP) – 6:21 – results
2014 Angel Llorens Zafra (ESP) 4:33  Rosi Llorens Zafra (ESP) – 6:34 – results
2015 Tomas Celko (SVK) 4:39  Lenka Svabikova (CZE) 5:47 – results
2016 Chistian Riedl (GER) 4:20*  Iwona Wicha (POL) – 5:55 – results
2017 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 4:26  Lenka Svabikova (CZE) 5:56 – results
2018 Christian Riedl (GER) 4:23 – men’s results
Wafiya Benali (MAR) 5:43 – women’s results
2019 Gorge Heimann (GER) 4:37  – men’s results
Suzy Walsham (AUS) 5:31*women’s results

* course records

Find out all the winners from other events around the world in our historical tower running results database.

1906 eiffel tower race

Tower running returned to the Eiffel Tower in 1906, as athletes from around France gathered to see if they could break the course record set the year before.

At the time, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world, and on 26th November 1905 it had hosted what is believed to be the first recorded tower race in history. On that day, cyclist Eugene Forestier was the fastest up the 729 steps that led to the second platform of the tower. His winning time was 3:12.80.

A year on from that inaugural event and some of the best athletes from the French running and cycling scene arrived in Paris with one goal in mind; break Forestier’s record. Find out about the Eiffel Tower stair race of 1905, or read on for the story of the second edition.

Championnat de la tour Eiffel 1906

The second Eiffel Tower stair race took place on Sunday 18th November 1906. As it had been the year before, the event was organised by a publication called Les Sports.

Once again, the race involved running up 729 steps to the second platform (of three) of the tower. The reason they didn’t run to the top is the organisers felt the stairs on the upper levels were too narrow, and that it could have proved dangerous once the stairwell became crowded.

1906 crowds

Crowds of spectators gather underneath the Eiffel Tower to watch the athletes run

Far less people signed up for the second edition than had attended the debut race. In 1905, 300 people had signed up, with 283 making it to the start line. This time around, 200 people signed up but only 140 (some reports say 150) eventually lined up to race.

Although there were fewer people in attendance, the quality of athletes was stronger. Back to defend his title was Eugene Forestier, the cyclist who had won the race in 1905 in a time of 3:12.80.

Joining him were a host of ‘champions’, although newspaper reports fail to specify exactly what they had won. But, further research has revealed at least some of the accomplishments of a few of those in attendance.

Among those listed as ‘champions of France’ were Eugene Neveu (a top long-distance runner, up to marathon distance) – L. Orphée (a cyclist), L. Mosnier and E. Fantou.

According to a report in La Liberté, the ‘Belgian champion’ Verstraete was also there. We were unable to find records relating to that name, but a François Verstraeten was a top level cyclist at the time, who had won the Paris to Ostend race in 1906 and went on to become the Belgian Road Champion in 1907 and 1908. It may be him they were referring to.

Louis Bouchard, billed as ‘champion of Paris’ was there, too. A year earlier, he had been the French record holder for the 10,000m with a time of 33:14, but that record had since been eclipsed by his great rival, Gaston Ragueneau.

Bouchard has finished second behind Ragueneau at the French Cross Country Championship in 1905 and 1906.

louis bouchard

Louis Bouchard (l) and Gaston Ragueneau race for the finish line at the Challenge de La Nézière in 1905

Louis bouchard 2

Louis Bouchard (41) in the lead (ahead of Ragueneau) at the Paris Cross Country Championship, 1905

Other runners and cyclists singled out for mention in the newspapers were Louis Prévôt, L. Mephisto, E. Figniez, Tonnin and Piel. Although some of these names pop up in race records from around the time, it’s been difficult to find firm details on any of these men.

L.Orphee 1905

Champion cyclist, L. Orphée

The racers were split into different waves depending on which federation or category they belonged to. Category winners would receive a gold-plated medal, while second place would take home ‘an artistic medal’.

In the women’s wave, Mme. Baube was the only competitor to finish (or possibly even start) and won by default. She climbed the 739 steps in 7:44 (or 7:26 according to one report).

Mme Baube 1906

Mme. Baube, winner of the women’s division at the 1906 Eiffel Tower stair climb

Finishing in around the same time as Mme. Baube was a Mr. Wachoru, who climbed all the steps in 7:37. The key difference being he did it while carrying a 50kg sack on his back.

1906 50kg bag climb

Wachoru

In the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques wave, L. Frederick clocked 3:25 to win bragging rights among his fellow federation members. He was followed by Agogué in 3:43 and Ceroni in 3:50.

All eyes were on the wave of runners from the Union Vélocipédique de France, as among them was the 1905 winner, Eugene Forestier.

Unfortunately for Forestier, he was unable to repeat his triumph and had to settle for second place in his wave. Thiebaut finished in 3:18.40 and Forestier in 3:19.40. In third place was Chenot in 4:01.

1906 Thiebaut

Thiebaut on his way to winning his wave

Next up were athletes from La Fédération cycliste et athlétique de France (FCAF). Fastest among them was Peuvrel, who clocked 3:56.20.

In the Indépendants category, a strong performance from J. Bielen saw him go into the overall lead, ahead of Thiebaut, with a time of 3:18.20. G. Lepage followed in 3:36.20, just ahead of Goulet in 3:37.60.

Apparently Bielen’s father was one of the people who painted the Eiffel Tower after the completion of its construction in 1889.

1906 J Bielen

J. Bielen finished in 3:18.20

1906 eiffel tower race

J. Bielen poses for a photo

With Forestier failing to clock the fastest time, he had to stand by and see if anyone in the Professionnels category might take the title ahead of Bielen.

Three members of the Club des Sports – L. Prévôt , L. Mephisto and E. Neveu – all finished ahead of Bielen and beat the previous course record.

1906 Eiffel tower race 2

Orphée, Neveu and Mephisto (l-r) on the stairs of the Eiffel Tower

1906 climbers

Club des Sports: Orphée, Mephisto and Neveu (front to back) pose for a photo (although it seems unusual that it’s not Prévôt alongside Neveu and Mephisto, the original caption says it’s Orphée)

Louis Prévôt finished in 3:12.40, beating the existing record by less than half a second. L. Mephisto then smashed that time when he reached the top in 3:04.40.

But overall victory went to the long-distance runner, Eugene Neveu. He won by the narrowest of margins with a time of 3:04 flat.

1906 Neveu winner

Eugene Neveu, winner of the Eiffel Tower stair climb 1906

‘Neveu’s time of 3:04 is simply wonderful, as it beats Forestier’s record by 8 seconds. We saw how much effort the victor had to produce to accomplish such a feat’, wrote one reporter.

Although 140-150 competitors lined up at the start, it was reported that only 93 completed the course. ‘A magnificent average’, according to one newspaper, ‘if one thinks of the effort that must be made to climb 730 steps in one go.’

If only they knew what the future held.

Championnat de la Tour Eiffel 1906 results (top six):

  • E. Neveu – 3:04
  • L. Mephisto – 3:04.40
  • L. Prévôt – 3:12.40
  • J. Bielen – 3:18.20
  • Thiebaut – 3:18.40
  • E. Forestier – 3:19.40

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