Posts Tagged ‘Alexis Trujillo’

Carrera Vertical Torre Latino 2020

Colombia’s Frank Carreño won the Carrera Vertical Torre Latino in Mexico City for a fifth straight time on Sunday.

The course record holder held off a strong challenge from Mexico’s Alexis Trujillo to reach the top of the 720 steps in 3:22.

The venue, the oldest skyscraper in Mexico City, has become a stronghold for Carreño since he debuted there in 2016. He set the stunning course record of 3:17 at last year’s event.

Torre Latinoamericana

Torre Latino, Mexico City

There was a lot of anticipation heading into the race that Alexis Trujillo might finally be able to put an end to Carreño’s winning run at the tower. Trujillo was coming into the event off the back of a record breaking run at The Strat in Las Vegas, USA the previous weekend.

Trujillo’s impressive form so early in the season continued on Sunday, but even a personal best time of 3:25 wasn’t enough to unseat Carreño, and he was forced to settle for second place for the second year in a row.

The pair will meet again in Paris on 11th March when they compete at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel 2020.

Germany’s Görge Heimann took third spot in 3:40, continuing his excellent form from last season. He will also be competing at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel.

Alexis Trujillo Scale the Strat

Alexis Trujillo set a new course record at Scale the Strat in Las Vegas.

The 28-year old Mexican took 17 seconds off the existing landmark when he clocked 6:46 at the 1,393-step Strat.

It was the second straight win at the tower for Trujillo, who ran 27 seconds faster than his winning time in 2019.

Trujillo will be back in action on March 1 at the Carrera Vertical Torre Latino (720 steps) in Mexico City, where he will be looking to go one better than the second place he took at the event last year. On this form, who could bet against him?

Roth and Harris take US Stairclimbing Championship titles

Scale the Strat 2020

With Scale the Strat doubling as the US National Championship, all eyes were on the fastest American finishers.

Among the men, Tristan Roth took his first national title with a 7:46 finish. 2019 champion, Alex Workman, followed in 7:49, while Jason Larson was third fastest in 8:21.

In the women’s division, Cindy Harris secured her fifth straight victory at Scale the Strat, with a winning time of 8:35.

She was followed by debutant Anna Carlson (8:48) and Jessica Pickett (9:36).

Full Scale the Strat 2020 results

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Eiffel tower at night

La Verticale de La Tour Eiffel 2020 is set for March and all eyes will be on Paris for the biggest race in the European tower running calendar.

The sixth edition of the event, which takes place on the evening of Wednesday 11th March, has a strong line up of some of the best tower runners in the world. In the men’s division, world champion Piotr Lobodzinski is back to defend his title. Alongside the Polish superstar in Paris will be 24 others looking to do the impossible and unseat the five-time winner.

Read on to find out who’s who in the elite men’s division at the 2020 La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel.

The Eiffel Tower stair race has come a long way from the earliest editions in 1905 and 1906.

forestier the favourite 1905

Eugene Forestier – winner of the 1905 Eiffel Tower stair race

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 25 men have been selected to compete in the elite category at the 2020 edition.

As the only winner, Piotr Lobodzinski is always the pre-race favourite in Paris. But this year, due to scheduled renovations on the tower, the format of the event has changed dramatically. Does the new set up increase the chances of the Pole missing out on top spot for the first time ever?

The 2020 La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel race format

Instead of the traditional climb to the top of the 1,665-step tower, the new format looks like this:

  • 1st qualifying round – 131 competitors – 665 steps (to the second level)
  • 2nd qualifying round – 131 competitors – 665 steps
  • Final – 30 competitors (20 men, 10 women) – 665 steps

The final will be held in a pursuit format with the fastest athlete from the qualifying rounds setting off first. That pursuit format means positions on the grid will be all important, so expect to see the runners going all out in both qualifying rounds to secure the best spot.

For more details on the new format for 2020, including rest times between rounds, check out our full news story.

La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel winners and course record

2019 – Piotr Lobodzinski (7:53.97)

2018 – Piotr Lobodzinski (7:56.67)

2017 – Piotr Lobodzinski (7:54.76)

2016 – Piotr Lobodzinski (7:48.77 – course record)

2015 – Piotr Lobodzinski (7:50.93)

Eiffel-Disco_GettyImages-534953254

The step count of the altered format makes it quite hard to predict who will be among the top finishers come March. There aren’t many 650 to 700-step towers in the world where the top stair climbers have gone head-to-head.

But here’s our pick of 12 of the top racers to watch out for at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel.

Piotr Lobodzinski – Poland

Lobodzinski La Vertical Tour Eiffel 2019

The only man to have won La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel since it began back in 2015, Lobodzinski will be going for an incredible sixth win. He has run the Eiffel Tower course in under eight minutes every single time. To put that into perspective, only one other person has managed to do that even once – Christian Riedl in 2016. It’s a remarkable record, and proof that Lobodzinski completely rules this tower.

The Polish athlete won the Vertical World Circuit and Towerrunning Tour in 2019 and finished no lower than second in any race at all last year, winning the overwhelming majority of them. He ran the third fastest time ever at Taipei 101 at the start of May. 10 days later he became the second fastest person to ever run the Empire State Building when he won in 10:05.

He doesn’t tend to race in short buildings anymore, opting for super-tall international towers over smaller European venues. The shortest course he ran in 2019 was the 836-step Rondo 1 in Warsaw back in February, where he finished 14 seconds ahead of second-placed Görge Heimann.

But even though he hasn’t found chance to turn on the turbo boosters over short courses recently, we still know he is super fast.

Will Lobodzinski win a sixth-straight La Verticale title? The new format makes it so difficult to say, but bet against him at your peril.

@towerrunner

Mark Bourne – Australia

Mark Bourne Stairclimbing Australia

The only man to beat Lobodzinski in 2019, the Australian star managed it three times in a row at the end of last season.

Racing primarily at home and across Asia, Bourne rarely competes in the smaller towers some of his European rivals are familiar with, so it’s hard to know how he’ll fare in this short-course event.

He’ll make the final, of course, but does he have that raw pace to finish on top in the qualifiers and dominate the last run from the front?

We’re not sure he does. He’ll likely be in the mix for the top five, but the podium will prove elusive.

@markbournerun

Christian Riedl – Germany

Riedl finish

Despite winning the 2019 German Towerrunning Cup, Christian Riedl had a relatively quiet season last year. One of the best tower runners in the world throughout the 2010s, Riedl has been Lobodzinski’s closest rival for many years.

He was second to Lobodzinski at La Verticale in 2016-2018 and third in 2019. He also trailed the Pole when he won the world tower running championship in 2018.

We know Riedl is fast, as he’s proven by winning multiple short course events at European venues over the years. In 2019 he took wins at Hardy’s Hotelturmlauf (510 steps) and the ADAC Charity Treppenlauf (472 steps), as well as podium places at other short-course events.

It’s hard to imagine the German will be anywhere other than in the mix for the top three spots come race night if he’s at or near his best.

@christian.riedl.77

Jakob Mayer – Austria

Jakob Mayer la verticale de la tour eiffel 2020

After finishing second at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel last year (he was third in 2018), Jakob Mayer spent the rest of the 2019 season dominating the Red Bull 400 circuit in Europe. Two wins and two second-place finishes in the Red Bull 4TITUDE Challenge saw the Austrian crowned series champion at the finale in September.

The day before that finale, he set a new course record of 2:04.38 at the 441-step (plus uphill pre-run) Pyramidenkogel Turmlauf in Austria. He also won the Muensterturmlauf in Germany (560 stairs) in June.

Mayer has already got 2020 off to winning ways, with victories in the Lustenauer Cross Country Series.

Fast, super-strong and with a great engine, Mayer is once again going to be in contention for the top spot come March.

@jakob.mayer.athlete

Soh Wai Ching – Malaysia

Soh Wai Ching La Verticale 2020

The world number two had a fantastic 2019 season, picking up wins and podium spots around the world.

Ninth on his La Verticale debut in 2018, the Malaysian stepped it up last March and finished fourth, so he’s well aware of what to expect on the stairs of The Iron Lady.

We know he’s quick. Last year he became the fourth fastest person to ever run the 932 steps of Tower 42 in London when he won in 4:17. Among the three men faster than him at that London venue are fellow La Verticale 2020 rivals, Piotr Lobodzinski (3:59) and Fabio Ruga (4:11).

Expect Wai Ching to breeze to the final, and it will be a surprise not to see him somewhere back in the top five again.

@mastowerrunner

Fabio Ruga – Italy

Fabio Ruga mountain running Italia

The course record of 4:07 that Ruga set at The Gherkin in London back in 2010 still stands. We found out he was fast then, and a decade on he’s barely lost a step.

No stranger to success in the French capital, the Italian mountain runner won the VertiGO race at the 954-step Tour First last year by a clear margin, proving he still has speed.

He’s never finished outside of the top-10 at La Verticale, with the 6th place he took last year being his best result, and we don’t expect 2020 to be any different.

He will comfortably make the final, but we don’t expect to see him pushing for the top five.

@fabioruga

Tomas Celko – Slovakia

Tomas Celko 2020

The Slovakian is a well-known speedster on the tower running scene. In August 2019 he won the three-round UFO Vertical Sprint in Bratislava, holding off the next two entrants on our list, Alexis Trujillo and Michal Kovac.

It was a rare appearance from Celko, who had a fairly quiet tower running season. He was active on the Red Bull 400/ski jump running scene, winning in Zakopane for the second year in a row (a sixth title in total at the venue in Poland) and at the Vertikální Horečky in the Czech Republic.

After recovering from surgery at the end of last year, Celko has begun his recovery and returned to training. Will he be able to get back to full fitness and make it to Paris? If he can, expect him to be up among the fastest finishers heading into the final.

@tomascelko

Görge Heimann – Germany

Görge Heimann towerrunning

The oldest competitor on the list, at 51 years old, the ever-impressive Heimann continues to pull brilliant performances out of the hat on a regular basis.

He had a number of standout races in 2019, particularly in buildings with less than 1,000 steps. Among the highlights was a win at the 936-step Subida Vertical Gran Hotel Bali in Benidorm where he finished ahead of La Verticale rivals, Soh Wai Ching and Michal Kováč. He also took second at the highly competitive Rondo 1 race in Poland, finishing behind Piotr Lobodzinski. He was fastest at the Tallinn TV Tower (870 steps) in April and then finished ahead of Christian Riedl at the 705-step KoelnTurm Treppenlauf in Cologne in August.

Heimann’s best finish at La Verticale is 7th (2018) and you can expect him to do as well as that, if not better, on the evening of 11 March.

@goergeheimann

Michal Kováč – Slovakia

Michal Kovac towerrunner

Kováč was on the podium a bunch of times in 2019, proving himself a real force on the European tower running scene.

He was third at Rondo 1 in Warsaw in February and then second at London’s Vertical Rush in March. In August he took third at the three-round UFO Vertical Sprint in Bratislava and in October he was third at the 365-step sprint Beh Do Neba Zilina in Slovakia. He’s proven multiple times he has the speed to match his endurance.

He also made his La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel debut last year and finished in an impressive 7th.

Anticipate another top-10 finish this time around too.

@kovomiso

Alexis Trujillo – Mexico

Alexis Trujillo La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel

2019 was a big year for Trujillo as he finished as the world number three. Winning numerous races and finishing on the podium across multiple continents, he established himself as an international tower running star.

Among the most relevant results when assessing his chances at La Verticale is his second place at the three-round UFO Vertical Sprint in Bratislava in August. The Mexican had already shown he had the legs for the long races, but made it clear he is also lightning fast.

Back in Mexico he was second at the 636-step Carrera Vertical Torre Latino in March, then won the Carrera Vertical Uvm Campus Chapultepec (654 steps) in July and Carrera Towerrunning Tlaxcala (900 steps) in August.

Trujillo will expect to be in the fight for the top five, but the podium might be out of reach this time around.

@alexistrujillo_atl

Frank Carreno – Colombia

Frank Carreno towerrunning

Carreno has finished in 5th place at each La Verticale he’s contested (2017-2019). The Colombian is another known speedster on the tower running circuit and with the new short format favouring him, he’ll be looking to do even better than 5th place this year.

He has form over this sort of step count too. Last March he won the 636-step Carrera Vertical Torre Latino in 3:17, finishing 12 seconds ahead of Alexis Trujillo. Then, in September, he won the 500-step Carrera Vertical Hotsson Smart Acapulco.

If he gets to Paris in good shape, he should be right up there competing for the top places in the final.

@frankcarreno.towerrunning

Matjaž Mikloša – Slovenia

Matjaz Miklosa

Miklosa blew onto the UK tower running radar in 2015 when he set the fantastic 2:07 course record at the 530-step Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

Last December he won the Zagrepcanka 512 in Zagreb, Croatia. That race involves two runs up 490 steps with a 10-minute rest between rounds. The format change at La Verticale suits him down to the ground.

Miklosa also took third place in the final standings of the Red Bull 4TITUDE Challenge 2019.

He’s never broken into the top 10 at La Verticale, but this could well be the year he manages it.

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Scale the Strat winners

2009 Zach Schade (USA) 7:33  Courtney Swenson (USA) 9:53 – results  – news video of the event
2010 Javier Santiago (MEX) 7:26  Courtney Swenson (USA) 9:59
2011 Kevin Crossman (USA) 7:26  Erica Schramm (USA) 8:58 – resultsALA event videoXgym video (footage of all top finishers)
2012 Kevin Crossman (USA) 7:05  Kourtney Dexter (USA) 8:33 – results
2013 Sproule Love (USA) 7:16  Erika Aklufi (USA) 8:16* – results
2014 Gorge Heimann (GER) 7:19  Erika Aklufi (USA) 8:21 – resultsevent video
2015 Sproule Love (USA) 7:22  Stephanie Hucko (AUS/USA) 8:52 – results
2016 Sproule Love (USA) 7:22  Stephanie Hucko (AUS/USA) 8:48 – results
2017 Shaun Stephens-Whale (CAN) 7:03  Cindy Harris (USA) 8:30 – results
2018 Josh Duncan (USA) 8:10  Cindy Harris (USA) 8:42 – results
2019 Alexis Trujillo (MEX) 7:13  Cindy Harris (USA) 8:39 – results
2020 Alexis Trujillo (MEX) 6:46*  Cindy Harris (USA) 8:35 – results

* course record

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

Alexis Trujillo Strat 2019

One of the new stars on the tower running circuit, Alexis Trujillo’s stair climbing career is on the ascendancy.

With multiple wins under his belt this year, including at Scale the Strat in Las Vegas back in February, plus hard-earned podium places at some of the most competitive events on the circuit, Trujillo is currently sitting in third in the Towerrunning World Association rankings.

Fresh off the back of his victory at Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago last weekend, we caught up with the Mexican athlete to find out more about that race, his training this year and his plans for 2020.

SkyRise Chicago 2019

The 2,159-step Willis (Sears) Tower stair climb is one of the toughest in the USA, and it’s winner’s list reads like a Who’s Who of tower running legends.

On Sunday, Nov. 3, Trujillo added his name to that distinguished group.

Willis Tower

Willis (Sears) Tower is home to the SkyRise Chicago stair race

‘In general terms it was a very good race. This is a difficult building to run in, because the height of the steps varies and therefore maintaining a consistent pace isn’t possible,’ said Trujillo.

‘I did well. But in reality it didn’t go exactly as I planned, since I couldn’t fully maintain the pace with which I started. My idea was to finish sub 13-mins [only Frank Carreno (12:58, 2017) has finished the course in under 13 minutes]. At the beginning I felt I was maintaining that rhythm, but, as I said, to sustain a constant rhythm in this building is very difficult.’

‘In this race we were placed in order of how we finished in the event last year. So the order was first Frank [Carreno], then Görge [Heimann] and finally me. But Görge gave me his place so I started second. The runners set off 10 seconds apart and that made it more challenging.’

‘At around the 20th floor I reached Frank and I stayed behind him for about 10-15 floors until he let me pass. After that I felt motivated and increased the pace to be able to continue with my goal of finishing in less than 13 minutes. But I couldn’t stand the pace and on the 60th floor I had a sudden drop in energy. Then, on the 80th floor, I perceived Görge behind [the race finishes on the 103rd floor].’

‘But I know that we’re very close in the world rankings and that this was one of the decisive competitions to maintain third place in the world rankings, so I changed my mental chip. I don’t know where I got energy to get my second wind, but suddenly I made a change of pace in the last 20 floors.’

alexis trujillo

Trujillo celebrates his win at SkyRise Chicago 2019

‘I felt very strong at the beginning and at the end. I think the adrenaline did its thing to make it happen. The critical state was from the 40th to the 80th floor where I felt weak and slowed down considerably. I think that tower running is mostly a mental sport and one of the strategies to manage this drop in energy is to apply sports psychology.’

Behind the scenes

In winning at Willis last weekend, Trujillo managed to take 21 seconds off the time he clocked there in 2018. What’s been the difference this year that’s seen him take his performances to another level?

‘There have been a set of factors and changes that have helped me improve since July. I decided to be more specific in tower running training. I started adapting all I’d learnt with my athletic trainer, Alejandro Zamudio, to the stairs, and experimenting with training methods that I learned as a triathlon coach a few years ago.’

Towerrunning Mexico athletes

Alexis Trujillo with some of his fellow Towerrunning Mexico athletes

‘For example, I’m now doing two or three specific stair sessions, and only one track session, per week. With this I can say that I have decided to sacrifice my performance in horizontal races in order to improve my performance in vertical races.’

‘In addition, the Towerrunning Mexico Federation, alongside Universidad del Valle de México (UVM) has supported us with a multidisciplinary team of specialists in nutrition, psychology and physiotherapy. These three elements have helped me a lot in the last few months and have been instrumental in me obtaining good results.’

The end of the year and beyond

‘My main plan for the rest of this year is to compete at the TWA Tour Final [Nov. 24] in Shanghai, China, since in this competition the final positions of the 2019 world ranking will be defined. I’ll finally close out the season with the WTC race in Mexico City on December 15. Then, I’ll take a vacation to come back next year full of energy.

WTC Mexico City towerrunning 2019

The WTC in Mexico City where Trujillo will have his final race of 2019

‘Next year I will start with triathlon preparation, a sport in which I trained for eight years. I think this can give me a general basis for vertical races and as the competitive stage approaches, I will start to do specific sessions on stairs.

The 2020 events that I have considered are the following:

Stratosphere – Las Vegas
Eiffel Tower – Paris
KL Tower – Malasya
Towerrunning World Championship 2020 – Taipei 101
Empire State Building Run-Up – New York
Ping An Finance Center – Shenzhen
Hotel Bali – Benidorm
Ostankino Tower – Moscow
UFO Tower – Bratislava
Willis (Sears) Tower – Chicago (once again)
Eureka Tower – Australia
TWA Tour Final – Shanghai

However, that competitive schedule depends heavily on obtaining sponsorships to cover the travel costs implicated.’

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Whether you’re after training ideas from the best, or just looking to keep up with what’s happening in the global tower running community, these Instagram accounts will keep you motivated and in the know.

 

Suzy Walsham @suzywalsham

The Australian superstar posts regularly on the platform with pictures from her training sessions, race updates and more. Her account gives a great insight into the relentless amount of hard work the 10-time winner of the Empire State Building Run-Up puts in to stay on top.

Piotr Lobodzinski @towerrunner

If you’re going to follow any tower runner, it may as well be the best in the world, right? Unbeaten on the stairs so far in 2019, Lobodzinski isn’t the most consistent poster on Instagram. Still, it’s good to keep up with the global travels and triumphs of one of the best stair climbers of all time. It’s worth noting, though, that many of his captions are in his native Polish so you’ll have to translate those. Dzięki!

Soh Wai Ching @mastowerrunner

In terms of followers, Wai Ching is well out in front in the tower running world (over 5,600 at the time of writing). The current world number two is a prolific poster, providing a look into his training and travels as he continues toward his goal of becoming the top stair climber in the world.

Alexis Trujillo @alexistrujillo_atl

With his chiseled good looks and winning smile, the darling of Towerrunning Mexico is easy on the eye. He’s up to third in the world, as of the most recent TWA rankings, so his posts on training are well worth a read. His often lengthy captions are all en español, though, so you’ll need your Spanish dictionary (or Google translate) to hand.

Sarah Frost @sarahchaneyfrost

Frost is the standout star of UK tower running and her account is packed full of quality shots and videos from her intense training and racing schedule. She often breaks down her training sessions in the captions, which is super useful for anyone wondering how the hell to actually train for a stair race. Frost is also a keen rock climber, so as an added bonus you’ll occasionally get to see cool videos of her tackling some tough bouldering routes.

And one more…
Stair Life @stairlife

Not a tower runner, but a great tower running account that gives results for all the races around the USA. The images give the top five in the men’s and women’s division, while the captions give more detail on the ins and outs of each race. For fans of the sport looking to stay on top of the goings on in the States this is a definite must follow.

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