Posts Tagged ‘Kacper Mrowiec’

It was third time lucky for Ondřej Tesař on Saturday as he finally finished on top of the podium at the Krnovsky Run Up.

Tesař had finished third at the event in 2018 and 2019, but came out victorious on Saturday following a day of close battles with Poland’s Kacper Mrowiec.

It was the fourth edition of the 218-step stair race at Cvilinske schody in Krnov, Czech Republic.

The unique and exciting race format began with a qualifier to find the fastest 16 men and women. This was followed by quarters, semis and a grand final to determine the overall winners.

Tesař got his campaign off to an impressive start, clocking 58:37 in the qualifier to finish second fastest. He was just behind one of his predicted rivals and fellow Czech, Pavel Holec.

Poland’s Kacper Mrowiec, who was making his debut at the event, took it a little easier in the qualifiers as he got a feel for the course. He clocked 1:07.12 to qualify as the seventh fastest male.

Quarter-final showdowns

The action picked up in the next round when Mrowiec and Tesař were paired off against each other in the second quarter-final.

Mrowiec finished narrowly ahead of his Czech rival, with both men advancing to the semis.

In the fourth quarter-final, Jan Keclík and Petr Lisník had to push hard to secure their spot in the semis, with both men clocking sub one-minute times.

Pavel Holec won his quarter-final by a comfortable three-second margin to advance as one of the final eight men.

Holec fastest in the semi-finals

Holec stepped things up again in the first semi-final, winning in 1:00.24. He was followed by Lisník who qualified for the final by the narrowest of margins, reaching the top of the stairs just over half a second faster than the hometown favourite Luděk Slonina.

In the second semi, Mrowiec was once again battling it out with Tesař.

As he had in the quarter-final, the Pole reached the top of the 218 steps shortly before Tesař, clocking 1:05.17 to the Czech’s 1:07.58.

Everything was set up for a fantastic final sprint between three of the pre-race favourites.

The finalists: Pavel Holec, Ondřej Tesař, Petr Lisník and Kacper Mrowiec (all images courtesy of Cvilinske Schody)
Tesař saves the best for last

Mrowiec (#141) blasted off in the final, taking a narrow lead early on.

Kacper Mrowiec (#141) gets out in front early on in the final race

But Tesař kept him within touching distance before pushing ahead towards the end.

The video below shows you just how close the end of the brilliant final race was.

Tesař took victory with a time of 58:74, followed by Mrowiec in 59:91 and Pavel Holec in 1:00.63. Petr Lisník was a little further back, finishing in 1:04.36.

Kacper Mrowiec got back to winning ways last weekend at the Świdnicki Bieg na Wieżę Ratuszową (Swidnica Run to the Town Hall Tower) in Poland.

It was the seventh edition of the race, which begins with a loop around Swidnica market square (approx. 400m), followed by a sprint up 222 stairs to the top of the town hall tower.

Mrowiec completed the event in 1:57, edging out the 2018 winner Bartłomiej Wojsław who finished in 1:59.

2017 and 2019 champion Mateusz Zalewski (2:05) was kept off the podium by Konrad Dzierżonowski (2:04).

The market square and tower in Swidnica, Poland

In the women’s division, Katarzyna Budziszewska smashed the course record by 10 seconds with her 2:18 finish.

Kacper Mrowiec and Christof Grossegger will be among the top tower runners racing at the Pryramidenkogel Tower on 11 September.

Back for its third edition, the race at the distinctive 441-stair tower will be the first in Austria since pandemic-related restrictions were eased.

With the winners from the previous events, Tomas Celko (2018) and Jakob Meyer (2019), not racing, the door is open for the Austrian Grossegger to finally take first place.

Grossegger finished second at the event in 2018 and 2019, and is one of only four men to have run the course in under 2:10.

It will be his first race since lockdown restrictions were eased and he has played down his chances of going as fast as his previous two efforts, telling Tower Running UK:

“I didn’t do that much special stair running training this year. After the cancellation of the Eiffel Tower run at the beginning of March, I just did sports for fun. Did a lot of mountain biking – really a lot! I’ve tried to switch back to running the last three weeks

“This year’s edition of Pyramidenkogel for me is just for fun! No special goal – just enjoy racing – and go full speed up.”

Christof Grossegger diving for the finish at the 4Stairs event in Austria in 2019

Among Grossegger’s rivals will be Kacper Mrowiec, who will be making his debut.

The Polish newcomer is heading into the event race ready, having had two sprint races on the stairs in the past three weeks – in Warsaw, Poland and last weekend in Levoca, Slovakia.

He finished fourth in both, so will be eager to get a podium finish under his belt.

Favouring the longer courses, the additional step count plus an uphill pre-run into the tower should suit Mrowiec.

“I’m feeling better than before Leicester in March [Mrowiec took second at LOROS Tower Run],” he told us. “Training looks better, so I’ve got a hope for a high place. This distance will be better for me than my last two tower runs.”

Another Austrian athlete to keep an eye out for is Markus Karlin who took a surprising third place at last year’s event, with a 2:11.08 finish.

Expect Karlin to be firmly back in the mix for an even higher finish this time around.

After 2019’s star-studded competition, the hope was for a similar level of competition this year. Unfortunately, many of the big names on the start list will no longer be racing.

Mrowiec’s compatriot Mateusz Marunowski (4th in 2019) is now not expected to attend, despite being named on the start list. Likewise, the UK’s Laurence Ball has pulled out of the race. Stefan Stefina from Slovakia (5th in 2019) is also unlikely to compete.

Check out this excellent video from last year’s event:

PAST building warsaw

The Polish tower running season gets back underway tomorrow (Saturday 22 August) with a highly-anticipated sprint clash at the PAST building in Warsaw involving some of the country’s best stair runners.

It’s the seventh edition of ‘The Conquest Run’, which is held as part of commemoration events to remember the heroes of the Polish resistance that took part in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

At just nine floors, the race is one of the shortest tower runs in the world. The course record is a mere 34 seconds.

The event begins with a qualifying round, after which the top 10 fastest men and women compete in a final round to determine the winner.

Two-time winner (2017-18) and course record holder Adrian Bednarski will be racing. He’s never finished lower than second place in the four times he’s competed at PAST, so will be among the key men to watch on Saturday.

Adrian Bednarski towerrunning

Adrian Bednarski celebrates his win at the Reichenbacher Treppenlauf in 2019

Bednarski is a sprint specialist with multiple short-course wins under his belt. These include three wins at the 180-step Senftenberger See Turmlauf, plus victory in 2019 at the 190-step Reichenbacher Treppenlauf, both in Germany.

Expect to see Bednarksi back on the podium again.

Among those looking to defeat Bednarski will be one of the emerging stars of Polish tower running, Kacper Mrowiec, who will be making his debut at the race.

Mrowiec took an impressive second at the 351-step LOROS Tower Run in Leicester back in March, so it will be interesting to see if he’s been able to maintain tower running form and fitness during the lockdown despite limited access to stairs.

‘It’s the shortest tower run race I will have ever run’, said Mrowiec. ‘I feel my preparation is really good, but because of the short distance, just 9 floors, it’s not sure that the winner will be a tower runner.’

‘The winner could be a sprinter from track like Daniel Żochowski, who last time ran 15:03 for 5km and will take part in this competition. In a longer race – e.g 20 or 30 floors – probably I and Mateusz Marunowski should fight for the win, but the short distance makes the situation less obvious.’

‘Last time I competed with Matuesz on Oliva Star in Gdańsk when he won by just 0.15s on 34 floors! Before it, at Rondo 1, he beat me with an advantage of only 0.72s. I hope that tomorrow will be my first victory against him.’

‘After this race I will start preparing for autumn starts – stairs and track. I hope so that Bieg Zdobycia Past-y wont be my only tower run race – I have plans to race at Pyramidekogel [in Austria] and in Cologne.’

Another debutant hoping to be in among the podium finishers is Mateusz Marunowski.

The firefighter from Jaworzno should be a familiar name to tower running fans. He has achieved multiple wins and podium placings over the last few years, including back-to-back wins at the competitive SkyRun Munster in Germany (2017-2018), as well as taking second behind Piotr Lobodzinski at the Intercontinental Tower Run in Warsaw last September.

Mateusz-Marunowski

Mateusz Marunowski

Marunowski’s pedigree over slightly longer courses is well established, but how he will fare in a flat out sprint is yet to be seen.

Another name you can expect to see in the mix on Saturday is Daniel Koszykowski.

Seventh in the Polish championships last year and third behind Lobodzinski and Marunowski at the Intercontinental Tower Run, Koszykowski is an emerging talent.

The super-short race distance levels things out massively, so expect Koszykowski to launch a more formidable challenge than he might over a longer race.

He gave an interview back in March to Telewizja Echo24 (in Polish), which you can watch below. A written interview in English is available here.

2019 champion Rafal Hazan is not expected to be in attendance (although may be a late entry).

It’s an exciting line up and guranteed to be the most competitive race since tower running started back up again earlier this month.

You can follow the results of Bieg Zdobycia PAST-y as they come in via this link.

Bieg Zdobycia PAST-y winners (men)

2014  Hubert Kulik 34:83

2015 Rafał Krzeszewski 36:47

2016  Rafał Krzeszewski 38:00

2017 Adrian Bednarski 37:78

2018 Adrian Bednarski 34:65 (course record)

2019 Rafał  Hazan 36:24

Malaysia’s Soh Wai Ching broke the LOROS Tower Run course record by three seconds at Saturday’s event in Leicester.

Soh powered to the finish in 1:24.8 to eclipse the previous best time of 1:27.9 set by Elliot Slaughter (GBR) in 2018.

It was the second course record for Soh in the space of a week, following his new best time at the Sibu Tower Run in Malaysia the weekend before.

Poland’s Kacper Mrowiec finished second in 1:29.7, becoming only the third man to have run the 351-step course at St George’s Tower in less than 90 seconds.

Laurence Ball (GBR) was third in 1:31.4.

Soh Wai Ching and Kacper Mrowiec

Soh Wai Ching and Kacper Mrowiec

Frost makes it three in a row on return from injury

Sarah Frost was the fastest woman at the LOROS Tower Run, winning in a time of 1:52.8 to secure her third win in a row at the venue.

It was the first race of the season for Frost following an ankle injury that had her sidelined at the start of the year.

Frost had been due to race at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel on Wednesday 11 March, but with the postponement of that event she kicked off her season in Leicester.

Although Frost’s time on Saturday was the slowest of her three wins, it was still significantly faster than her rivals.

Kimberley Etherington-Bates was second in 2:28.3 and Sonja Shakespeare took third in 2:38.9.

Full LOROS Tower Run 2020 results

LOROS Tower Run race day photos

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LOROS Tower Run 2020

It’s the shortest stair race in the UK, but the LOROS Tower Run is also one of the most exciting. Back on Saturday 14 March 2020 for its fifth edition, all eyes will be on Leicester as top international speedsters get ready to race flat out against some of the UK’s best.

The athletes will face 351 steps at St George’s Tower, and the leading men will have one eye on the course record of 1:27.9 set by Elliot Slaughter in 2018.

Slaughter won’t be in attendance on Saturday and neither will three-time winner (2016-17, 2019) Mark Sims.

That leaves the door wide open for a new champion to be crowned and three men in particular are among those expected to be in close contention for the top spot.

Loros Tower Run1

St George’s Tower, Leicester – venue for the LOROS Tower Run

Kacper Mrowiec – Poland

Mrowiec blew onto the tower running scene a little over a year ago and has already proven himself as a prospect to watch.

Back in early February 2019, the Polish athlete kicked things off at the 593-step Altus Cup race in Katowice, Poland. His 3:11 finish was fast enough to earn him third spot. Mrowiec clearly has good speed on the stairs.

But he really established himself a few weeks later at the highly competitive Rondo 1 race in Warsaw. The 836-step race always attracts top European stair runners.

Kacper Mrowiec towerrunner

Mrowiec took sixth overall, finishing ahead of far more experienced tower runners, including Ralf Hascher, Andreas Fruhmann, Rauno Tiits and Pavel Holec.

He followed this up later in the year with a second-place finish at the 723-step ‘sprint race’ at the Star Challenge in Gdasnk, Poland. Less than a second separated him and the winner, Mateusz Marunowski.

People began to sit up and take notice of the young Pole.

Jump forward to 2020 and Mrowiec already has a win under his belt. He took top spot at the 29-floor Ideal-Hochhaus in Berlin in January.

He’s not long back from a winter training camp in Spain, and since his return to Poland he’s been training on the stairs alongside world number one tower runner Piotr Lobodzinski.

Mrowiec was due to race at Vertical Rush on Thursday (12 March), but with the cancellation of that race he can focus his attention, and completely fresh legs, on the 351 steps of St George’s Tower.

Expect him to put in a very fast time; somewhere close to if not better than the course record, for sure. Will it be enough to win him the race? That’s to be seen.

Henrik Holstad – Norway

The name Henrik Holstad may be unfamiliar to the casual reader, but the Norwegian is a legitimate tower runner who secured a bunch of wins and podium finishes last year.

In Norway he won the 600-step Kollentrappa in May and then in September he finished second at the 303-step Barcode Challenge and second at the KollenOpp.

Henrik Holstad towerrunning

Henrik Holstad (793) on his way to winning the Kollentrappa 2019


The following month he took top spot at the Run Up Berlin, which takes place at the city’s 770-step Park Inn Hotel and has been venue to some great battles over the years between Germany’s top tower runners.

Holstad has demonstrated his complete stair running versatility, giving a good account of himself at various distances and formats. Whether traditional races with landing turns or races straight up the stairs alongside ski jumps, Holstad has proven himself capable of handling it all. But how will he get on in Leicester?

Tower running math isn’t always the most accurate predictor of finishing places, especially at a sprint event like this where the margins between places will be super slim. But having punched the numbers, we’ll be surprised if Holstad takes top spot. A podium place is a reasonable expectation, but first might be out of reach, and the next man on our list is one of the reasons why.

Laurence Ball – Great Britain

Laurence Ball tower running

Like Mrowiec, Laurence Ball is a relative newcomer to tower running, having made his stair race debut a little over 12 months ago.

He won that race and went on to put in some more cracking performances throughout the rest of the year. He was second at the stacked Broadgate Tower Run Up in July and then smashed the course record at the Leadenhall Building in November.

In the summer he showed off his speed at the UFO Vertical Sprint in Bratislava, Slovakia. In the three-run format, he managed to finish sixth in among far more experienced tower runners.

Laurence Ball Mark Howard Grate48 2019

Laurence Ball (left) after setting the course record at the Leadenhall Building in November, 2019

The LOROS Tower Run will be Ball’s first stair race of the 2020 season, so it will be interesting to see exactly where he’s at.

He’s been putting in a lot of track work and recently competed at the Vertical Up Kitzbühel, which involves running up a ski slope in spiked shoes. We know he’ll be in great shape, but how will he handle the flat out sprint?

We’ll be surprised not to see Ball in the top three.

Update (12 March 2020, 9.30pm)

Since we wrote this article, the world number two Soh Wai Ching has announced that he will be heading to Leicester to take part in the race, having previously ruled himself out. The Malaysian had come to Europe to race at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel and to defend his Vertical Rush title in London. With both events cancelled he has now apparently decided to take on the LOROS Tower Run.

Soh becomes the firm pre-race favourite now. We firmly expect the course record to fall if he makes it onto the start line.

This race has now become an even more exciting prospect than it was this afternoon. Roll on Saturday.

Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with the full results and race report on the weekend.

tower-42-shelter-vertigo-challenge-2016

Update: within an hour of publishing this article, the 2020 edition of Vertical Rush was cancelled. Read more on the cancellation here.

Malaysia’s Soh Wai Ching will be back in London on Thursday to defend the Vertical Rush title he won last year.

Soh won the 932-step race at Tower 42 in March, 2019, in a time of 4:17. In doing so he became the fourth fastest person to ever race the tower, with only Thomas Dold (3:58), Piotr Lobodzinski (3:59) and Fabio Ruga (4:11) having run faster in the 11 editions of the UK’s biggest stair race.

The world number two has made massive improvements in the past 12 months and established himself as a legitimate contender to world champion Piotr Lobodzinski with a win over the Pole in Dubai in February.

Soh Wai-Ching Vertical Rush 2019

Soh Wai Ching was the winner of Vertical Rush 2019

Coming off the back of a record-breaking run at the Sibu Tower Run, Soh had been scheduled to race at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel in Paris on Wednesday. But following the postponement of that race he will now race in London on completely fresh legs.

As such, he is expected to run even faster at Vertical Rush this year and could well eclipse the time of Italy’s Fabio Ruga. The 3:58 course record certainly isn’t out of reach, either, and it would be no big surprise to see the young Malaysian get very close to it.

Soh’s closest British competition on Thursday is likely to be newcomer Laurence Ball, the rising star of UK tower running. He will be expected to take a huge amount of time off the 4:49 he clocked on his Vertical Rush debut last year, which earned him fourth spot. It’s Ball’s first stair race of the year, so it will good to see what form he is in.

Laurence Ball tower running

Laurence Ball

Unfortunately, Mark Howard (3rd last year) will not be racing, so fans will have to wait for the next installment in the ongoing Ball vs Howard rivalry.

Another relative newcomer to the sport who’s also anticipated to be in the mix for the podium is Poland’s Kacper Mrowiec.

He already has a 2020 win under his belt, having taken victory at 29-floor Ideal-Hochhaus in Berlin back in January.

Mrowiec is not long back from a winter training camp in Spain, and since his return to Poland he’s been training on the stairs alongside world number one tower runner Piotr Lobodzinski.

Like Ball, Mrowiec is a little over a year into his tower running career and beating the more experienced Soh might be just out of reach right now. But expect a very close battle for the remaining spots on the podium.

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Towerrun Berlin 2020

Kacper Mrowiec and Karena Liebenowand took victories at the first race of the 2020 tower running season yesterday (Jan. 12), at the 29-floor Ideal-Hochhaus in Berlin.

Poland’s Mrowiec came out on top among a strong field of athletes that included leading German tower runners, Andreas Fruhmann, Lars Migge and Matthias Gall.

The race, in its 20th edition, began with a mass start pre-run of around 400m into the 465-step tower.

Mrowiec reached the top in 3:37, followed by Fruhmann (3:43) and Blazey Wytwer (3:53).

In the women’s division, Karena Liebenow came out on top with a winning time of 4:49. In second place was Magdalena Hopp in 4:56, with Claudia Becker taking third in 5:07.

Scroll down to see footage from the event.

Towerrun Berlin 2020 race

Action from the 2020 Tower Run Berlin


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