Posts Tagged ‘2019’

walsham VWC 2019

Suzy Walsham and Piotr Lobodzinski retained their Vertical World Circuit (VWC) titles yesterday at the grand finale in Osaka, Japan.

It was the eighth straight title for Australia’s Walsham, who first won the series back in 2012, and a sixth title for Piotr Lobodzinski.

The ten-event series has seen close races around the world throughout 2019. Starting in Seoul back in April, runners have since done battle in Milan, Ho Chi Minh City, Paris, New York, London, Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai before the final race on Sunday (Nov. 10) in Osaka.

The 1,610-step Abeno Harukas was the venue for the final event.

Heading into the race, Lobodzinski needed to place at least second to be certain of retaining his title. With a resurgent Mark Bourne (AUS) in the mix, and Ryoji Watanabe (JPN) seeking his first VWC title it was not an easy situation for the Polish world champion.

But in the end he did enough. Mark Bourne took the win with a new course record of 8:29 and Lobodzinski followed in 8:43. His second-place finish enough to earn him the overall Vertical World Circuit 2019 crown.

Harukas Skyrun men’s results:

  1. Mark Bourne (AUS) – 8:29
  2. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) – 8:43
  3. Ryoji Watanabe (JPN) – 9:02
  4. Kato Satoshi (JPN) – 9:19
  5. Liang Liang He (CHN) – 9:41

‘Of course, I wanted to win today, but my shape is not as good as in spring. Mark was better and I had no chance to win the race but the points I collected in the first part of the season were enough to secure my sixth title in a row so I’m very happy and glad to be on top for so long,’ Lobodzinski told reporters after the race.

Eight straight for Walsham

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And then there were 8! 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 When I was first crowned Vertical World Circuit champion at the end of the 2012 season, it was my first full successful year after pregnancy and I was excited to see where this newish sport would take me. While I try not to put limits on myself, I still never really expected to still be competing and doing well 8 years later! Despite my advancing years and the body not quite holding up like it used to, I still aim for improvement and I’m still as motivated and determined as ever in my training and racing. It’s not possible to have this kind of success year in, year out without an amazing team behind me. So a big thank you to: – @david_freer for your love, support, guidance, encouragement and for holding the fort at home when I am frequently away racing. – my family, friends and fellow athletes from all over the world who also encourage, support and motivate me. – the companies who help me be the best athlete I can be: @nike @drgarytho @alpnutrition_official @simplyactiveasia – the @verticalworldcircuit for organising the Circuit and supporting the athletes. A special shout out to @sportingrepublic and @dshinhk for managing/directing so many of the races. I’m already excited for 2020! #worldchampion #8times #verticalworldcircuit #vwc19 #nolimits #consistency #motivation #determination #beyourbest #neverstoptrying #nevergiveup #goals #dreams #fitnessmotivation #towerrunning #verticalrunning #justdoit #seeyouinthestairs #theonlywayisup

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In the final of the women’s event, Suzy Walsham only needed to finish in fifth place to be sure of winning an incredible eighth VWC title.

Giving her the title, then, was in part mere formality, as you probably have to go back to 2011 to find the last time the Australian star didn’t finish on the podium at a tower run.

But the race still had to be run and Walsham put in a blistering performance to take the win and finish in 10:18, just four seconds off the course record set by Japan’s Yuri Yoshizumi in 2017.

Harukas Skyrun women’s results:

  1. Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 10:18:
  2. Laura Manninen (FIN) – 11:07
  3. Yuko Tateishi (JPN) – 11:30
  4. Kumi Kinoshita (JPN) – 11:59
  5. Mie Takahashi (JPN) – 12:02

‘I’m thrilled to win here in Osaka at the 2019 Vertical World Circuit final and achieve my eighth straight world title,’ said Walsham. ‘I had a strong run, although I was a little disappointed to just miss the record, but it’s hard to be at your absolute peak for every race. It’s been a great year of racing and I’m already looking forward to VWC 2020!’

2019 Vertical World Circuit final standings:
Men

  1. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) – 567 points
  2. Mark Bourne (AUS) – 561 points
  3. Ryoji Watanabe (JPN) – 539.5 points
  4. Emanuele Manzi (ITA) – 454 points
  5. Omar Bekkali (BEL) – 420 points

Women

  1. Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 600 points
  2. Laura Manninen (FIN) – 533 points
  3. Yuko Tateishi (JPN) – 461.5 points
  4. Sarah Frost (GBR) – 449.5 points
  5. Cristina Bonacina (ITA) – 359 points

 

Towerrunning Mexico athletes

Alexis Trujillo took first place at the SkyRise Chicago event at Willis Tower on Sunday (Nov. 3) in a time of 13:26.

In doing so, the Mexican star broke the win streak of Colombia’s Frank Carreno who had remained unbeaten at the event since 2016.

Trujillo took an impressive 21-seconds off the time that earned him third place in 2018.

Germany’s Görge Heimann was the second fastest to reach the top of the 103-floor building, in 13:38, while course record holder Carreno (12:58, 2017) finished third in 14:19.

Since 2017 the race has started two floors below ground level, meaning racers step up 105 floors and around 2,150 steps to the finish line.

SkyRise Chicago winner 2019

Alexi Trujillos, SkyRise Chicago winner 2019, with Gorge Heimann (l) and Frank Carreno

It’s the second massive win in the USA for Trujillo this year, after he took victory at Scale the Strat in Las Vegas back in February.

It’s also welcome revenge over Carreno who has pipped Trujillo to first place at a couple of events in Mexico this year, including the Carrera Vertical Torre Latino back in March.

Since then, Trujillo has bagged some solid wins in his native country, with victories at Pabellon M Monterrey and Carrera Vertical UVM Campus Chapultepec in July, and Carrera Towerrunning Tlaxcala in August.

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La magia de la vista Skydeck – Willis Tower 2019🙌🏢😎 – Contento por tener otra oportunidad de correr en la escaleras de esta torre y presenciar la hermosa vista de Chicago.😍👁️🌁 – Esta torre de 105 pisos se construyó en 1973 y llegó a ser una de las más altas del mundo durante 20 años, así que correr aquí bastante imponente 😎🏃 – / / The magic of the Skydeck view – Willis Tower 2019🙌🏢😎 – Im very happy to have another chance yo run in the stairs of this tower and witness the beautiful view of Chicago. 😍 ️🌁 – This 105-story tower was built in 1973 and became one of the tallest in the world for 20 years, so running here is quite imposing 😎🏃 . . . . . #athlete #run #stairs #tower #running #sky #deck #view #chicago #sunday #funday #competition

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He has also secured excellent podium spots at European venues. He finished third at the Ostankino Tower run in Moscow, Russia on 24 August (image below) and was then second at the UFO Vertical Sprint in Bratislava, Slovakia, a week later.

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"Work hard until your idols become your rivals"🙌 – Today I had a very good perforrmance in the Ostankino Towerrunning Competition, one of the thoughest Competitions of the World circuit (or maybe the thoughest), a competition with only 334 m of height but with a high step height and inclination. 🤪🧗 – Im very glad to share the podium with the first (@towerrunner ), second (@mastowerrunner ) and fifth (@goergeheimann ) place of the Towerrunning World circuit.🏆🗺️ – Something that I appreciate too much is that the World Champion, Piotr, congratulate me for my achievement, that talks very well of him as an athlete and it means for me that we(my multidsciplinary team and me) are doing a big job. 💪🇲🇽 – – "Trabaja duro hasta que tus ídolos se conviertan en tus rivales"🙌 – Hoy tuve un muy buen desempeño en la competencia Ostankino Towerrunning, una de las competencias más duras del circuito mundial (o quizás la más dura), una competencia con sólo 334 m de altura, pero con una gran altura e inclinación.🤪🧗 – Estoy muy contento de compartir el podio con el primero, el segundo y quinto lugar del circuito Towerrunning World.🗺️🏆 – Algo que aprecio mucho es que el Campeón del Mundo, Piotr, me felicitó por mi logro, eso habla muy bien de él como atleta y significa para mí que nosotros (mi equipo multidisciplinario y yo) estamos haciendo un gran trabajo 💪🇲🇽 Muchas gracias a@vitalmex por hacer esto posible y al apoyo de mi equipo multidisciplinario @towerrunningmx @nutricionav @snaptorrelatino @uvmcampuschapultepec @elbardzn . . . . . #athlete #competition #towerrunning #running #fitness #fit

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The Willis (formerly Sears) Tower has long attracted some of the biggest names in American tower running, and this year was no different.

Alongside the international contingent of Trujillo, Heimann and Carreno were top Americans Alex Workman, Mark Ewell, Jason Larson, John Osborn and Mark Henderson.

Three-time winner Jesse Berg (2006, 2010, 2012) also made a welcome return to the Chicago tower, taking fourth place in 14:50. Alex Workman was fifth in 15:09.

SkyRise Chicago 2019 results

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Piotr Lobodzinski and Mark Bourne renew their rivalry this coming Sunday (20 October) in the eighth round of the Vertical World Circuit series in Shanghai, China.

The pair have faced off three times in the Vertical World Circuit this year, with Lobodzinski coming out on top on each occasion.

At the 2,917-step Lotte World Tower International Sky Run in Seoul, back at the start of April, Lobodzinski set a new course record of 15:37 – a huge 16 second improvement on his previous fastest time. Bourne himself ran a magnificent race to finish just two seconds behind in 15:39.

A week later the pair went head-to-head again in Milan, at the 1,027-step Allianz Tower.

At the finish, less than a second separated them. But once again it was Lobodzinski who came out on top, setting a new course record of 5:16 in the process.

Two weeks later the Australian had another chance to attempt to beat his Polish rival. The action returned to Asia for the inaugural Vinpearl Luxury Landmark 81 – Race to the Summit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 2,383 steps stood between the bottom and the top of the world’s 14th tallest tower.

Once again Lobodzinski took the win. His finishing time of 11:35 was a massive 50 seconds faster than Bourne’s.

VWC 2018 winner Lobodzinski

Piotr Lobodzinski won the Vertical World Circuit title in 2018

Now the action heads to Shanghai, where the pair have been swapping wins over the past few seasons.

Bourne vs Lobodzinski: Race to Shanghai IFC

2014
Winner: Mark Bourne (7:55)
Runner-up: Piotr Lobodzinski (8:10)

2015
Winner: Piotr Lobodzinski (7:54)
Runner-up: Mark Bourne (8:22)

2016
Winner: Mark Bourne (7:42 – course record)
Runner-up: Piotr Lobodzinski (7:47)

2017
Winner: Mark Bourne (7:44)
Runner-up: Piotr Lobodzinski (7:53)

2018
Winner: Piotr Lobodzinski (7:43)
Runner-up: Mark Bourne (7:59)

Heading into Sunday’s clash, Lobodzinski is confident he can maintain his unbeaten run in 2019.

‘After my win last year here, I know I can break the course record now,’ said the world number one. ‘We will see, but it should be a fast and interesting battle like always. I can’t wait!’

After recently competing at the OCR World Championships – where his Team OCRA finished 5th – Lobodzinski is refocusing on the stairs.

Although Mark Bourne has been out of the stairwells since the Taipei 101 Run-Up in May (where he also finished as runner-up to Lobodzinski), he has competed in mountain running events since then. What sort of form he’ll be in on Sunday remains to be seen.

Check back on Sunday/Monday, as we’ll have all the news from the race as results come in.

Haus des Meeres Treppenlauf

Veronika Windish took victory at the Haus des Meeres Treppenlauf to make it four wins in a row at the Vienna aquarium.

The Austrian multi-athlete remains unbeaten at the 271-step building, where she set the course record in 2016.

Windisch has been in incredible form the last few months. On 31 August she won the UFO Vertical Sprint in Bratislava, then followed this up with a narrow win over world number one, Suzy Walsham, at the Pyramidenkogel on 13 September.

Veronika Windisch treppenlauf

Windisch on her way to a fourth straight win at the Haus des Meeres, Vienna

In the men’s division in Vienna, course record holder and 2018 winner Christof Grossegger returned to defend his crown.

Full results were unavailable at the time of writing. This article will be updated.

space-needle

Tristan Roth powered to a new course record at the Base 2 Space event in Seattle yesterday, with a winning time of 4:17.

Roth took three seconds off the previous course record set by Sproule Love at the 2018 event, on his way to the top of the 832-step tower.

The new record time was 17 seconds faster than Roth’s previous best of 4:34, which won him the event in 2016.

It’s the fourth time the Seattle man has finished on the podium in the event’s five-year history.

Mark Henderson, 52, rolled back the years to secure second spot in 4:35, a massive 35-second improvement on his time from last year. Russell Webb also made a huge improvement on his previous best time to finish third in 4:49.

In the women’s division, Jessica Pickett finished in 6:00 to take her first win at the event. Debbie Officer (6:17) and Tricia O’Hara (6:24) took second and third place, respectively, for the second year in a row.

Intercontintent Tower Run winner 2019

Piotr Lobodzinski made it 11 wins from 11 starts in 2019 with victory at the InterContinental Tower Run in Warsaw, Poland.

Lobodzinski climbed the hotel’s 959 steps in 4:42 to maintain his unbeaten run, and make it three wins in a row at the venue in the Polish capital.

Mateusz Marunowski was second in 5:17, while Daniel Koszykowski took third in 5:32.

71786405_2356866957766141_5758845128621948928_o

Piotr Lobodzinski on his way to winning the InterContinental Tower Run, Warsaw

In the women’s division, Iwona Wicha took the win in 6:28, ahead of Agnieszka Kolano (6:50) and Ilona Gradus (7:03).

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Penang Top Komtar Towerrun 2019

Soh Wai Ching clocked 7:39 to take the win at the Penang Top International Tower Run on Sunday.

The world number two was the only athlete to go under eight minutes, taking victory ahead of Kenya’s Lel Kipchirchir who climbed the Komtar Tower’s 1,377 stairs in 8:17.

Mohd Saddam bin Mohd Pittli, winner of the R U Tough Enough? Southeast Asia competition in 2018, was third in 8:32.

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Great Day this morning at Penang Komtar Tower. Strong field on the first @mastowerrunning (Malaysia Towerrunning Association) sanctioned event. We have participants from 🇭🇰🇸🇬🇰🇪 and others who took part in the Tower Run. Overall the event was good but definitely more rooms to improve it. Glad to have a 3 days 2 nights short trip with family to Penang Island. Happy to have 4/8 committee from Malaysia Towerrunning Association to be here today taking part in the race. Well done to my training partner who did well in the race! Congratulations on everyone who completed the race, come back stronger in the next tower run! Keep going and see you all again! Next Sanctioned event will be at Yayasan TM Tower Run on 10th Nov 2019. #TheTopInternationalTowerRun #PenangKomtar #TowerRun #MalaysiaTowerrunningAssociation #MasTowerRunner

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The win caps a great few weeks for Wai Ching. Last month the Malaysian runner secured second place at the fiercely contested 200-point Ostankino Tower Run in Moscow.

In the women’s division on Sunday it was Michele Tan who came out on top. Tan finished in 10:58, a long way ahead of Stephanie Chong (12:15) in second place.

Valentina Belotti 2019

Valentina Belotti set a new course record on her way to victory at the Valle Camonica Vertical in Malegno, Italy on Saturday (31 August).

The in-form Italian was untouchable as she climbed the 2,975 steps (with 750m of vertical gain) in a new record of 25:51, taking a massive 1:20 off the previous best time.

The victory made it two wins from two races (plus two course records) in just seven days for the 2009 world mountain running champion.

It followed her stunning victory the weekend before (24th August) at the 1,704-step Ostankino Tower in Moscow. There she set a new course record of 10:54, easily beating a stacked field of international tower runners that included the world number one Suzy Walsham (second in 11:40) and American Cindy Harris (third in 12:46).

ostankino-tower-tour

The Ostankino Tower in Moscow

Belotti has become a dominant force on the emerging Italian outdoor stair climbing scene. Last year she won at the 535 in Condotta event in Moio de’ Calvi, in similarly dominant fashion. She is now taking this form back indoors more consistently now, securing wins and podium places around the world.

It’s somewhat of a renaissance for the mountain running star. A four-time winner at Taipei 101 (2011-2014) with multiple VWC stage wins to her name as well during that period, Belotti was the dominant force on the global tower running scene in the early to mid-2010s.

She focused her athletic endeavours elsewhere for a few years, popping up occasionally for races, but not committing fully to the stair running circuit.

However, in 2018, her second-place finish at the tower running world championship event at Taipei 101 heralded the return of one of the best stair climbers ever.

If Belotti can maintain this type of form throughout the winter and into the World Championship year of 2020, she may prove to be the greatest challenge to the dominance of reigning world champion Walsham.

China Wing HOtel

Suzy Walsham took victory at the China World Summit Wing Beijing for a seventh straight time on Saturday.

Walsham, the course record holder at the 2,041-step tower, reached the top in 11:59 to secure maximum points in the Beijing leg of the 2019 Vertical World Circuit.

The reigning world champion led from the claxon, eventually pulling away from Linming Chen (12:49) and Finland’s Laura Manninen (13:04) in the second half of the race.

‘I wasn’t feeling great in the warm up’, said Walsham. ‘But [I] focused and pushed hard and got the result I wanted. I focused on my own race and did not get distracted by the other runners. I was able to win by not going out too fast early on, and maintained a pretty good rhythm pulling away around the 30th floor, and it was head down to keep on going.’

The finishing time was 13 seconds off the course record she set back in 2013, but it was a very welcome return to top spot on the podium for the Australian.

The previous weekend (24th August), Walsham had to settle for second spot as former World Mountain Running Champion (2009) Valentina Belotti took victory at the Ostankino Tower in Moscow.

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Super happy to win my 7th straight title at the China World Summit Wing Beijing Vertical Run, and achieve my goals of maximising my #verticalworldcircuit points and running a sub 12min time. Wasn’t feeling great in the warm up but focused and pushed hard and got the result I wanted. Another awesome event by @sportingrepublic and a great competition. Let’s go for lucky #8 next year! 🥇🏃🏻‍♀️🔝😃 #vwc19 #cwswverticalrun2019 #国贸大酒店 #chinaworldsummitwing #sportingrepublic #winner #7wins #happy #tired #raceday #toughrace #focused #determination #motivated #neverstoptrying #nike #nikesg #alpnutrition #alpnutritionsport #chiroworkssg #chiroworksathlete #jarrahhoney #justdoit #theonlywayisup (📷 @verticalworldcircuit )

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The race was the seventh in the 11-race Vertical World Circuit. It was a third win for Walsham (Milan, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing) alongside the second place she secured in Seoul, but Laura Manninen remains on top of the overall rankings.

The next race will take place at Two Shanghai IFC on 20th October. Walsham is also course record holder at that 1,460-step tower, and she will be expected to repeat her 2018 win.

Heading into the latter part of 2019 the UK stair racing season is winding down, but there’s still one big event left to sign up to.

The NSPCC Gherkin Challenge has been running for over a decade and remains one of the biggest and best stair climb events in the UK.

Read on to find out all the key info on the NSPCC Gherkin Challenge 2019, including who might be in contention to set a new course record.

The NSPCC Gherkin Challenge

The Gherkin

What is it?

This challenging, charity stair climb event from the NSPCC returns for it’s 11th edition this year, giving runners the chance to climb 1,037 steps to the top of The Gherkin (aka 30 St Mary Axe). Entry is £20, with participants asked to commit to raise £250 sponsorship. Or, you can pay £149 upfront and forget about the fundraising.

Why should I do it?

Firstly, it’s an excellent cause and charity that deserves support. The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity and runs numerous projects to help safeguard youngsters and prevent abuse.

Secondly, the Gherkin Challenge is the second-biggest stair running event in the UK – after Vertical Rush – which makes for a great atmosphere on the day. The NSPCC have been running this successful event for over a decade now meaning they have a lot of experience about what works and how to put on a fun and exciting event.

Finally, this promises to be a competitive event where some of the best UK tower runners will be looking to break records. If you’re keen to test yourself against some of the top men and women in the country, this is one of the last chances you’ll get to do it in 2019.

Italy’s Fabio Ruga set the men’s course record of 4:07 back in 2010. Could Ruga’s time, or Rich Sirrs’ UK record of 4:23 set in 2015, be under threat?

Competition in the men’s stair races in the UK has really stepped up a level this year, with Mark Howard and Laurence Ball pushing the limits. Either man could well be capable of challenging those times.

The current women’s record of 5:33 is held by British stair running sensation, Sarah Frost. She is anticipated to demolish that time in October, so you could be there to witness history!

It’s definitely not one to be missed.

When is it?

Sunday 27th October 2019 at The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8EP

How do I sign up?

Gherkin Challenge 2019 registration

Check out our 2020 race calendar for a full list of upcoming stair climbing events in the UK.

Sarah Frost smashed her own course record at the Broadgate Tower Run Up last Saturday to win the London leg of the Vertical World Circuit.

The British athlete held off competition from a loaded field of international stair climbers to reach the top of the 877-step tower in 4:40.

‘I feel amazing right now,’ Frost said at the top of the building in the City of London. ‘My plan was to forget what everyone else was doing and focus on my own goal which was breaking the five-minute barrier.’

‘My training must have paid off because I smashed it. I’m so very happy to be at Broadgate, a really special race for me because I train here and it’s so great to have the VWC here as well, bringing in lots more elite athletes. I’m already looking forward to the next race.’

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Accurate depiction of me, trying to cope with the current heatwave, work and the London Underground 🚇🌇😩 Still can’t stop smiling after #tmrunup2019 at the weekend though. In the process of planning my next set of races! Training with @tm_towerrunners is about to get even more serious! You know, once I can pick myself up off the floor. 📷 by @bensnapsstuff, who can even manage to make finish line collapse on the floor shots look good! #towerrunning #towerrunninguk #totalmotion #totalmotiontowerrunners #stairrunner #stairrunning #verticalrunning #towerrunner #lovestairs #takethestairs #run #runup #runners #runningmotivation #cardio #fitness #BroadgateTowerRunUp #TBTRU19 #london #skyscraper #londonrunners #VerticalWorldCircuit #VWC19

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Frost’s previous record of 5:04 was also bettered by four other women, with three of them dipping under five minutes.

Yuko Tateishi (JPN) was second in 4:52, while Anais Leroy (FRA) took third in 4:55.

Watanabe destroys men’s record

Japanese tower runner Ryoji Watanabe took an incredible 17 seconds off the previous men’s course record as he stormed to victory in 3:41.

Watanabe’s victory brings him up to fifth position in the current VWC rankings, and follows on from his win last month at One World Trade Center in New York.

‘As London is quite far from my country, Japan, I’m very happy to win the Broadgate Tower Run Up,’ Watanabe said at the finish. ‘I’m also very excited to have won two races of the 2019 Vertical World Circuit. Because the course was shorter than other VWC races, it was difficult for me to adjust during the race, but I was able to prepare the strategy for London after my New York win and perform well. I’ll be doing my best to win the next VWC race in Beijing in August.’

British newcomer Laurence Ball continued his incredible start to tower running by taking second place in 4:00.06.

Ball won his debut tower race at the Walkie Talkie Building back in March, and followed it up with a fourth-place finish at Vertical Rush two weeks later.

This great video captures some of the action from the day.

Full Broadgate Tower Run Up results

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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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.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital Walkie Talkie Tower Climb returns on Saturday 2nd March 2019.

Following a successful first event at the building last year, the team are back again to pit runners against the challenge of 36 floors and 828 steps, in a left-turning staircase that is perfect for fast times and will make the ideal practice/warm-up race for anyone who’s signed up for Vertical Rush.

Sign up now, or read on to find out a bit more about the event.

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Competitors will be treated to amazing views from the top and a celebratory drink in the popular Sky Garden, Europe’s highest roof garden. Add to that a technical t-shirt for each runner and a glitzy medal, and you have a brilliant event for a great cause.

WALKIE TALKIE SKY

The race finishes in the beautiful Sky Garden, with a panoramic view around London

Last year’s event was won by David Harris in 4:53, while the fastest woman on the day was Sarah Frost in 5:17. A sub 5-minute time for the men and a sub 5:30 for the women will be the key benchmarks for those keen tower runners looking to clock really fast times on the day.

But of course the event is wide open to all, no matter what fitness level. Last year over 250 people took part and GOSH will be hoping to get even more runners than that up the stairs next month.

All the money raised from the event will help fund groundbreaking research, advanced equipment, children and family support services and the rebuilding and refurbishment of wards and medical facilities at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The hospital provides a massive lifeline to sick children and their families. 619 children and young people from across the UK arrive at Great Ormond Street every day. All the doctors, nurses and staff there push themselves every day to provide the best care possible, but they can’t do it alone. Which is where you come in.

All the details and the registration link for the event can be found on the GOSH Walkie Talkie Tower Climb event page. We hope to see lots of you there.

La Verticale de La Tour Eiffel 2019 is just five weeks away and the excitement is building for the biggest race in the European tower running calendar.

The fifth edition of the event, which takes place on the evening of Wednesday 13th March, has a strong line up of some of the best tower runners in the world. In the women’s division, four-time winner Suzy Walsham is back to defend her title. Alongside her in Paris will be 14 others looking to do the impossible and unseat the Australian.

Read on to find out who’s who in the elite women’s division at the 2019 La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel.

The Eiffel Tower stair race has come a long way from its early beginnings in 1905 and 1906.

MMe Baube

Mme. Baube, winner of the Eiffel Tower stair run in 1906

The latest version of the race began in 2015 and year-on-year it’s packed full of athletic talent from around the world. Just 15 women were selected to compete in the elite race at the 2019 edition. Read on to find out who they are.

La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel winners and course record

2018 – Suzy Walsham (10:02)

2017 – Suzy Walsham (9:34 – course record)

2016 – Suzy Walsham (9:48)

2015 – Suzy Walsham (9:44)

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Suzy Walsham – Australia

Suzy Walsham La Verticale 2018

The 2018 world champion has won every edition of this event since it began in 2015. At the start of the year she recorded her 100th tower running victory, in 12 years of competing on the stairs, and she is expected to make it 101 wins with this race. There are only a few stair runners in the world who can really compete with Walsham when she’s running well and none of them will be in Paris. It will be a big upset if she doesn’t make it five wins in a row.

@suzywalsham

Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik – Poland

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Wisniewska-Ulfik will be one of Walsham’s closest rivals on the night. The Polish star finished second at La Verticale in 2016 and third in 2018 and has a personal best of 10:32 at the tower. She was ranked fifth in the world at the end of last year, and finished fourth at the World Championships. With multiple wins and podium finishes at towers around the world, she is highly experienced. Beating Walsham will be too tall a task, but expect to see Wisniewska-Ulfik finish in second or third position.

Alice McNamara – Australia

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A two-time world rowing champion and winner of the 2011 Empire State Building Run-Up and 2016 Taipei 101 Run Up (among plenty of other wins), McNamara is a serious force on the stairs. She beat Walsham in that ESBRU victory eight years ago, but hasn’t had much success against her compatriot in recent times. She made her debut at La Verticale last year, finishing fourth in 11:09. She has the potential to finish on the podium, but it will probably be too tough a task given some of the other women in the race.

@_alice_mac

Muhua Jian – China

Muhua Jian

Along with Wisniewska-Ulfik, the Chinese youngster is likely to be Walsham’s biggest competition in Paris. Jian has improved a lot in 2018 alone and has begun to close the gap between her and the top women. In May she was fifth at the World Championships, but by October she was just 14 seconds behind Walsham at the Shanghai IFC. In December she was once again close to the Australian, finishing second to her at the TWA Tour Final at the Shanghai Tower, which earned her third overall in the final Tour standings. Bet the house on her getting somewhere on the podium, but first place might be just out of reach.

Anais Leroy – France

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A relative newcomer to the sport of tower running – although a long-time quality runner on the track and in cross country – Leroy has already made an impact. She was fifth in her La Verticale debut last year, with a time of 11:18. She finished off a very successful 2018 with a win at the Lilleurope Tower, so should be coming into the 2019 season with confidence high. A solid shout for another 5th-place finish, if not better.

@anais__leroy

Iwona Wicha – Poland

Iwona Wicha Rondo

The Polish star will be making her La Verticale debut in March. Wicha has loads of international race experience, with wins and podium finishes over the last few years. She finished 7th at the 2018 World Championships, ahead of many of her Paris rivals, so expect to see her well inside the top 10 and likely challenging Anais Leroy for fifth place. Wicha trains with tower running world champion and four-time La Verticale winner Piotr Lobodzinski, who happens to be her husband, so will be able to tap into his extensive knowledge of the course and how best to approach it.

@zyciezpasja

Amandine Bertrand – France

Amandine Bertrand

Another top French athlete who will be flying the flag for the home nation on March 13th. Wins and podium finishes throughout 2018, coupled with a decent showing at the World Championships in Taipei last May, should have Bertrand feeling confident about beating the 12:00 time she set at her La Verticale debut last year, which earned her 7th place.

@amandine.20.bertrand

Vanja Cnops – Belgium

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The Singapore-based Belgian was 8th at the World Championships last year, finishing ahead of some well-established runners, such as Brooke Logan and Christine Soskins, both of whom have competed well at previous La Verticales (Logan 5th in 2016, Soskins 7th in 2017). She has some good track times, too, with sub-17 5km and 35-minute 10km PBs. It bodes well for Cnops and she could well produce a sub 11:40 run in Paris, which should put her in contention for a top six finish at least.

@vanjacnops

Cristina Bonacina – Italy

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Winner of the Towerrunning World Cup in 2011, Bonacina is a highly experienced tower runner with a full spread of wins and podium finishes at venues around the world. She’s well familiar with the Eiffel Tower, too, having raced in the first three editions of La Verticale. If she can get close to her personal best of 11:45 (2015) she’ll be in with an outside shot of entering the top seven, but realistically a top-15 finish is more likely.

@cristina_bonacina

Sarah Frost – Great Britain

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The leading UK tower runner at the moment with a host of wins and course records in her home country under her belt, despite a relatively short time in the sport. Already an established force on shorter courses, Frost is making her debut at La Verticale. She’s not massively experienced at this sort of distance, in comparison with her leading rivals in Paris, although she is course record holder at London’s 1,250-step Leadenhall Building and has raced the 2,700-step Valtellina Tube. Expect to see her potentially challenging for 6th, 7th or 8th position, but getting inside the top five will be tough given the strong field of more experienced runners.

@sarahchaneyfrost

Maria Elisa Lopez Pimentel – Mexico

MelisaPML

Winner of the sprint, and second in the vertical mile, at the competitive Dallas Vert Mile event in January, Lopez Pimentel has had a great start to 2019 and is among the strongest women in the lineup for La Verticale. She made her debut at the event last year and finished sixth in 11:50. Impressive performances over the last 12 months, at home and abroad, brought her up to sixth in the final 2018 world rankings. She’ll be keen to push into the La Verticale top five this time around, but she’ll need a massive personal best performance to make it onto the podium.

@melisapml

Laurie Phai – Cambodia

Laurie Phai

A former professional table tennis player with the French national team, Phai transitioned to running in 2013 and has been competing at a decent level since, primarily in trail races. Her 2019 schedule is packed full of events, but La Verticale is the only tower run. She represents Cambodia, the country of her father, at the marathon distance and is hoping to break that country’s national record of 2.59 when she runs at the Berlin marathon in September. Hard to know what to expect from her, but would be surprised by anything much in advance of 10th position.

@lauriephai

Sonja Shakespeare – Great Britain

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Shakespeare debuted at La Verticale last year, finishing 12th in 12:38. She’s picked up a lot of tall tower race experience since then, competing in New York, Shanghai, Moscow, Hong Kong and more, so will be looking to push her time down into the low 12-minute range, which will hopefully be good enough to break into the top ten.

@sonjashakespeare

Laure Chardin – France

Laure Chardin

Chardin hasn’t been tower running for very long, but has had an impressive start to her career on the stairs, making it onto the podium at races around France. She finished in 11th position at La Verticale last year with a time of 12:37.

Kamila Chamanicova – Slovakia

Kamila Chomanicova

The Slovakian athlete finished in 20th position at her La Verticale debut last year with a time of 14:14, and she’ll be looking to finish in under 14 minutes this time around. Having picked up lots of experience at a number of international races in 2018, it should be possible.