Posts Tagged ‘Ignacio Cardona’

For over a decade the NSPCC Gherkin Challenge has been one of the most popular stair races in the UK. We take a look back at the first edition of the event in 2010.

Back then, the event (then known as NSPCC Step Change) was part of the newly established Vertical World Circuit (VWC) and attracted a spread of top international athletes.

In the women’s division, New Zealand mountain runner Anna Frost was there alongside Italy’s Daniela Vassalli and Cristina Bonacina.

The trio had been among a stellar field of tower runners that had battled it out in a double run in Milan two weeks before, in the first event of the VWC 2010.

Vassalli (winner of the inaugural Vertical World Circuit in 2009) had won that event in Milan, with Frost taking second.

In this new event in London, two runners were being set off at the same time every 30 seconds. Vassalli and Frost were paired together, so it was set to be a genuine side-by-side battle up the unique-looking tower’s 1,037 steps for top points

In the men’s event, Italians Marco De Gasperi and Fabio Ruga were the pre-race favourites and they too were paired together.

Ruga had already picked up points on the VWC, having finished second behind Thomas Dold in Milan a fortnight before. De Gasperi had yet to race in the series. It was guaranteed to be a close battle.

Other well-known tower runners in attendance included Spain’s Ignacio Cardona and Dario Fracassi from Italy.

Watch the video below (click here if embed not showing) to see Daniela Vassalli warming up (0:18), an interview with Anna Frost (0:30), De Gasperi and Ruga setting off (1:38), Vassalli and Frost starting (1:51), Fabio Ruga finishing (2:50), Vassalli finishing (2:58), Cristina Bonacina finishing (3:21) and Ignacio Cardona on the floor at the finish (4:06).

Fabio Ruga won that day, setting the fantastic course record of 4:07 that still stands. De Gasperi finished just four seconds behind his compatriot in 4:11. Ignacio Cardona was third in 4:18.

In the women’s race it was Daniela Vassalli who took top spot with a 5:42 finish. Anna Frost (who would go on to win Vertical Rush in London just over two weeks later) was just six seconds back in 5:48, while Rachael Orr (GBR) finished third in 6:13.

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