Posts Tagged ‘cindy harris’

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

talinn hotel

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
campus tower

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

bop to the top

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

next21_2

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.

Incredibly, the winners of the 1998 Empire State Building are still competing in and winning events over 20 years later. Their victories in 1998 thrust them into the spotlight on the biggest stage in tower running.

If you missed the first installment of this series on the history of the Empire State Building Run-Up covering 1978-1980, you can read it here. Or jump back to 1981-19831984-19871988-19901991-1993 or 1994-1997 instead.

Otherwise read on for the next installment in the series and find out what happened at ESBRU in 1998.

An incredible comeback

As she promised, 1997 winner Belinda Soszyn did not return to New York to defend her title. The three-time winner and course record holder had checked out on top, and so the women’s race was wide open.

Fiona Bayly was back after missing the 1997 edition. Having finished second in 1995 and fourth in 1996, and with a personal best time of 13:10, she was fancied to take the win. But Bayly was suffering with tendonitis and bursitis in her right foot. What effect this would have on her performance would have to be seen.

Unlike in previous years, there were no renowned elite athletes in the field of 29 women. No previous ESBRU winners turned up and there was no Australian champion in attendance, either. There were some highly competitive local club runners in the mix, but none that had the sort of massively impressive times or titles that had been seen among the women in years past.

But there was an experienced tower runner on the start line and she was expected to be Bayly’s strongest competition. 29-year-old Cindy Moll, an accountant from Indianapolis, had already enjoyed success at stair climbs in her home city, including a win at the 1997 Bop to the Top at OneAmerica Tower. She was coming into the event off the back of a confidence-boosting win at a tough 7-mile race in Indiana, just 12 days earlier.

Moll had actually taken part in her first Bop to the Top tower race in 1985, while still a high-school student, but she wouldn’t return to the stairs for quite some time after that. ‘It took me eight years to do a second one. I started too fast and learned you have to pace yourself’.

At the start line of the Empire State Building Run-Up, Moll looked relaxed. Bayly, just a few steps to her left, was crouched in position like a 1,500m runner at the start of a race, ready to hit the stairwell first. Just before the starter’s claxon went off, Moll slightly lost her balance and as she adjusted her feet the horn sounded and she was immediately passed by those around her. She entered the stairwell in around fifth or sixth position. Not a disaster, but not the start she wanted. Bayly was first onto the stairs.

The race was a slow one – the slowest since 1987 in fact. But it was the closest race seen at the ESBRU up until this point, too.

Bayly set off hard, and was well and truly out of sight of everyone by the halfway mark. When Moll got to the 60th floor, she was told that Bayly was around 40 seconds ahead of her. But despite thinking the race for first place was probably over, she pushed on.

Up ahead, the hard early pace and the pain from her injured foot began to take its toll on Bayly, and she started to slow.

Incredibly, in 20 floors, Moll managed to claw back the 40-second deficit and by the 80th floor she had caught up to Bayly. Passing on the narrow stairs of the Empire State Building is always hard, especially against a climber that is determined to stop you getting through.

But Moll made her move on the 84th floor and finally took the lead.  At the finish line, just one second set the two apart, and it was Cindy Moll who crossed first in 14:17 for a brilliant comeback win on her ESBRU debut. Maria Fernadez from Mexico was third in 15:16.

‘My legs started to feel rubbery’, said the winner. ‘I kind of got that burst of energy in the last floor’.

Bayly was understandably gutted. ‘I’m so furious, I’m just really disappointed’, she told reporters. ‘My foot couldn’t hurt anymore’

Nine days later, Moll defended her title at the 37-floor Bop to the Top race, winning in 5:05. She was quickly establishing herself as the best stair climber in the USA. Her legendary tower running career, which is still ongoing, was now well under way.

 

Advance Australia Fair

Heading into the race on Thursday 19th February, Terry Purcell knew exactly what was expected of him. Five of the ten previous men’s races at the ESBRU had been won by Australians. In the other five events, an Australian had finished in second or third in each of them.

Purcell himself had been second in 1996, finishing just seven seconds behind the winner Kurt Konig. It had been five years since an Australian won, so now was the time for Purcell to step up and join the ranks of Aussie ESBRU champions.

Described by one journalist as having ‘quadriceps that look like sides of beef’, Purcell was coming in off the back of a win at the Sydney Tower Run in late 1997. His confidence was high.

According to some reports, the pre-race favourite was actually Bernd Hammer from Austria. No big surprise given he had finished fourth in 1996 and third in 1997.

As the athletes limbered up in the lobby, Hammer took a knee, clasped his hands together and prayed.

God surely doesn’t favour one tower runner over the other, but if he does, he may have had a soft spot for Jesus Zerpa, a tough runner who would be challenging for a podium place.

At the start line, 27-year-old Purcell adopted his familiar low stance with knees bent and body parallel to the ground. A master starter, Purcell flew off the line at the first hint of noise from the claxon. But as he went for his second step, his right foot slipped on the sleek lobby floor and he stumbled badly (see image below). He just managed to save himself from completely falling, but it had cost him ever so slightly and he was passed by at least one runner heading into the stairwell.

Hammer slipped at the start, too; his right foot also giving way massively as he tried to push off. His stumble cost him far more than Purcell, and around nine or ten men were ahead of him as they hit the stairs.

1998 ESBRU START

Terry Purcell (centre) works to recover after his stumble

Purcell quickly took the lead. Despite his poor start, it wasn’t long before Hammer made up the gap and settled in behind him. The pair climbed close together for the large part of the 86 floors.

At around the 75th floor, Purcell managed to pull away. He created a small lead for himself and held it tightly right to the finish, crossing the line in 10:49. Hammer finished in 10:57, and Jesus Zerpa was third in 11:23.

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Terry Purcell wins the 1998 Empire State Building Run-Up

As Purcell crossed the line, Michael Baume, the Consul-General of Australia to New York, stepped forward and draped the Australian flag around his shoulders, just as he’d done for Belinda Soszyn the year before. Baume had put Purcell up in his official residence for the days leading up to the race.

‘I couldn’t let the Australian tradition down’, said the victorious Geelong man. ‘I realised today when I was at the 55th floor, I looked at it and I thought, hey I’d be finishing in Melbourne now, and I’ve got another 31 floors to go. And the second Austrian guy, he was sitting right behind me then, I was thinking, ya know, just drop down a bit so I can have a bit of a relax. But I couldn’t. Not until about the last 10 floors could I get away from him.’

‘I’m used to about seven or eight minutes for a race’, Purcell added. ‘Those last three minutes really hurt’.

Already a stair climbing legend in his own country, this win put Purcell firmly on top on the global scene. A permanent move to the USA just a couple of years later saw him quickly establish himself as the best climber in the States. His record would go on to include five wins from five starts at Chicago’s AON Center (and a long-standing course record that was only broken in February 2017) and nine wins from nine starts at the John Hancock Center. He retired from the sport in 2011, but made a stunning return in March 2017, and at the time of writing is once again the top-ranked US tower runner.

1998 purcell and moll

Cindy Moll and Terry Purcell – 1998 ESBRU winners

 

1998 Empire State Building Run-Up results

It was a busy, busy time in the stair running world this past weekend with three events on Saturday 21 Feb and four events on Sunday 22 Feb happening around the world.

Over in Omaha, Nebraska, course record holder Ivan “The Phantom” Marsh took the win at the 9th Trek Up The Tower, clearing the 870 steps of the First National Tower in a speedy 4:41. He was pushed hard by Ryan “King Kong” Long in a time of 4:54, with the pair clocking the only sub-5 minute times of the day. The impressive Nikki “Whispering Buffalo” Perry was the fastest female, taking a top ten finish at the same. Fist pump to Nikki!!

Up in Minneapolis it was all go at the 8th Fight For Air Climb at the US Bank Plaza. To be honest, we can’t quite make sense of the preliminary results but you can have a look here if you like and try to figure it out. Well done to all who took part anyway.

In Hannover, Germany there were nine people taking on the gargantuan task of a vertical marathon!!! This involved climbing and descending a stairwell 194 times for a total of 41,904 steps (up only). The “winner” (they’re all winners, seriously) finished in 11hours and 38minutes. Here is a brief video from the event. We’re not so sure what is being said, but these guys look tough as nails and at 0:46 you will also see probably the shortest shorts ever made in the history of global textile production. Yes stair climbing is serious business, but who says we can’t look sexy while we do it? Am I right??

Sunday saw one of the biggest events in the United States stair running calendar, as racers gathered at the John Hancock Centre in Chicago for the 18th Hustle Up the Hancock. Powering up the 1632 stairs in first place was Eric “Veritas” Leninger, with a semi-mind bogglingly speedy time of 9:51. In hot pursuit was distance running coach Dan “The Vision” Walters in 10:12, with stair running legend Jesse “Ice” Berg filling the podium in 10:40. With Leninger pipping Walters at the Fight For Air Climb in Oakbrook a few weeks back too, their burgeoning rivalry will be something to follow over the coming year. Unfortunately Justin Stewart took ill before the race and had to pull out. This is a real shame as his inclusion would have added a very interesting element to the proceedings.

The women’s side of the race was dominated by some familiar names as “The Phenom” Cindy Harris added another win to her record, finishing in 11:44. Just three seconds behind in 11:47 was Liz “The Punisher” Ruvalcaba. Liz is the girlfriend of Eric Leninger; talk about a Power Couple. Love birds be getting things DONE!!

We can’t quite fathom that third place may actually be just 14 years old, but the results suggest that Brett “The Bullet” Chody is just that. Her sub-13 minute time of 12:25 is a bit of a revelation. If she stays in the sport, we can certainly expect to see her name topping race results in the future, for sure. Congratulations Brett, we are humbled!!

Of course the essence and appeal of stair running isn’t about times or results. It’s about guts, not quitting, camaraderie and pushing through. This is all on show in this video that shows a guy called Mark Block setting a PB, cheered on by his friend Karen Geninatti. This is pretty awesome!!

In Philadelphia, runners took to the 53 stories of the BNY Mellon Bank Center for the 28th Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Climb. The Tower Masters (and West Coast Labels team members) stayed true to their name as legend Stephen “The Beast from the East” Marsalese took the men’s top spot in a clean 7minutes flat, with fellow team member Sally “Phoenix” Kalksma taking the ladies win (and 7th overall) in 9:35.

Stephen Marsalese and Sally Kalksma toasting their victories

Stephen Marsalese and Sally Kalksma toasting their victories

In Denver, David Roeske took the win at the 10th Fight For Air Climb at the Republic Plaza, with Heather Inglis taking honours in the ladies section.

Stair climbers in Australia got to break in a new stairwell as they tackled the Q1 Tower in Queensland’s Gold Coast, at the inaugural Sea to Sky Stair Climb. Despite stormy weather that threatened to keep some climbers away, the event went off successfully and we are sure the race will be a very welcome addition to Australia’s list of annual climbs. As expected, the phenomenal Mark Bourne took the win fairly handily on the day in 6:45, with Kim Hamilton leading the women in with a time of 10:03. Adam Ryan from Stair Climbing Australia has put together this excellent video, which shows a variety of the elite runners at different times throughout the race. Seeing Mark Bourne still powering away somewhere on the 76th floor is worth checking out. Nice little soundtrack on this one too. Great work!

That wraps up this week’s results. Congratulations to everyone who got out there and took part. Keep climbing!!