Posts Tagged ‘piotr lobodzinski’

Piotr “Showtime” Lobodzinski added another victory and an event record to his outstanding 2015 season at the Millennium Tower in Vienna last weekend.

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Showtime Lobodzinski laughing all the way to victory

The popular event, which involves three climbs up 843 stairs, regularly draws the cream of the European stair running elite and this year was no exception, with Christian Riedl, Tomas Celko, Matjaz Miklosa and Klaus Hausleitner among those in attendance.

“Showtime” was the fastest in each of the three legs, with even his slowest time of 3:45.0 (clocked on his second run) still faster than anything any of his competitors could muster in any of their climbs. Joining the Pole on the podium, in line with the current World Cup rankings, were reigning ESBRU champion Christian “The Eclipse” Riedl in second place and Slovakia’s Tomas “The Zilina Avalanche” Celko in third. The three demonstrated their supremacy on the day, being the only ones to manage sub-4 minute times in all their climbs.

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The Triumvirate: Riedl, Lobodzinski and Celko

Rounding out the top five were “The Slovenian Multi-Tool” Matjaz Miklosa and another strong Slovakian, Stefan “The Fist of Jánošík” Stefina.

In the single climb race it was Austrian Rolf “The Wanderer” Majcen who took victory on home turf in a time of 4:09.

In the ladies division it was another Pole who raced to victory as Dominika “The Rising Sun” Wisniewska-Ulfik finished her three climbs in a total time of 14:40. She was followed by Lenka “Czech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself” Svabikova aka “Shredder” aka “Operation Abs” in 15:23, while up-and-coming Polish athlete Iwona “Pole Position” Wicha aka “The Gun Show” finished third in 15:48.

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Six of the best: Riedl, Lobodzinski, Celko, Svabikova, Wisniewska-Ulfik and Wicha (front)

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Yo, what’s up fellow tower running results geeks? It’s been a busy few weeks at Tower Running UK HQ and so we haven’t had the chance to review recent races. But we are back now and are gonna fly through all the action of the last few weeks, over the course of a few posts, where there have been some big races all over the world.

In the words of the Wu Tang Clan, “let’s take it back to ’79”, or more accurately to May 17th, when three races took place. One of these was in Warsaw, Poland where the slayer of the barbarian hordes, the defender of chastity, the Bull of Bielsk Podlaski, Piotr “Showtime” Lobodzinski extended his winning streak with a comfortable victory up the 959 steps of the Hotel Intercontinental in a time of 4.43. Fastest woman on the day was Iwona “The Shredded Siren” Wicha, who also bagged a ninth place overall finish. Zoooooom!!!!

Piotr Lobodzinski in full flight at the Intercontinental Tower Run (©Andrzej Chomczyk - http://www.sztukakadru.pl/)

Piotr Lobodzinski in full flight at the Intercontinental Tower Run (©Andrzej Chomczyk – http://www.sztukakadru.pl/)

Over in New York there was, by all accounts, a great event held at One World Trade Center One for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. As the first fully public stair climb at the building, which has been open for about six months, it attracted a deep field of some of the best climbers from across the USA and beyond. The gruelling race covered 90 floors, with 1,970 stairs.

One World Trade Center in New York City

One World Trade Center, pride of place on the New York City skyline

At the top end of the leader board was the stair climbing triumvirate of the East Coast, who were battling for top honors against some of Europe’s leading stars. Coming out victorious was Tim “The Scarlet Pimpernel” Donahue aka Don Juanahue (11.38) who battled for first place with “The Ghost” aka Sproule ‘Tough” Love aka Viscount Greystoke (11.58). Donahue had already won the inaugural run at Four World Trade Center last year so looks like he is on a mission to collect the whole set.

The Champion Arrives: Tim Donahue taking victory at Four World Trade Center in 2014

The Champion Arrives: Tim Donahue taking victory at Four World Trade Center in 2014

The final podium spot went to “The Wanderer” Rolf Majcen from Austria (12.14), who was coming off the back of a solid win in Hanoi. He narrowly edged out The Schenectady Express (12.20) to scupper an all New York one, two, three.

The ladies section of the race was equally exciting with two of the best stair climbers in the States going head-to-head once more in New York. Back in February at ESBRU, “The Oracle” Stephanie Hucko battled closely for second place with Shari “You Just Got Chicked” Klarfeld aka “The Plainview Panther”, with Hucko nicking the silver spot then by just five seconds.

The battle this time around was just as tightly fought, with The Oracle once again holding off the ever-strong Klarfeld to take the win in a time of 13.57. Klarfeld finished just 11 seconds behind her in 14.08. Tricia “The Triumph” O’Hara aka “San Fran Damn!!” took a well-earned third place.

Congratulations to all who took part in the event. Special mention to the West Coast Labels team who not only dominated the top spots but also took the Top Fundraising team spot, by raising an incredible $26,010.

Over in Malaysia there was a massive turn out for the 14th International Towerthon in Kuala Lumpur. The race took place at the city’s Menara Tower, with competitors tasked with climbing 2,058 stairs.

The Menara Tower in Kuala Lumpur

The Menara Tower in Kuala Lumpur

The top three spots were all taken by Kenyans, with overall victory there going to Enock Kipchirchir Kigen. We gave a knowing nod when we saw that the Kenyans had arrived on the scene. With that country’s rich athletic heritage, especially in the steeplechase and the 5000m, it will be exciting to see if their athletes can make a solid transition into the sport of tower running. Just one of the many things to watch out for as this sport continues to grow in popularity.

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There have been some big races lately, with the world’s elite competing at events in Europe and Asia. We want to quickly jump back a couple of weeks to April 23rd, to a race we didn’t get chance to write about at the time, but which involved some of Europe’s top stair runners.

Held in Vienna, the first Haus des Meeres stair race was a very closely run affair, with Austria’s best climbers battling for homeland bragging rights. In a sprint race up just 271 outdoor steps, the top five were separated by a mere five seconds. Taking a well earned victory was the perennially competitive Norbert “Hannibal” Lechner. This guy regularly takes podium places and top-ten finishes at events with the strongest fields around the world. After a disappointing final run at the World Championship in Doha, Lechner had remarked that he had lost a bit of motivation and as a result his training hadn’t been as intense as usual. It seems the slight layoff proved just what he needed as he sprinted to victory in a time of 00: 59.45. He just managed to hold off “The Mauerbach Tornado” Klaus Hausleitner, who finished in 00: 59.75.

Lechner prepares for the challenge of Taipei 101

Lechner prepares for the challenge of Taipei 101

On May 3rd Lechner’s attention turned to the gargantuan challenge of the steeply stepped Taipei 101, currently the fifth tallest buidling in the world. Also taking on the 2,046 steps were world number one Showtime Lobodzinski, Italy’s Emanuele “Il Guerriero” Manzi, “The Meat Cleaver” Petr Novotny from the Czech Republic and a number of talented local climbers. Reigning champion and multi-time winner Mark “The Assassin” Bourne was absent, so it was the perfect opportunity for Showtime to finally take victory at a race in which his previous best finish had been second. And he did just that. The 2014 Towerrunning Champion has been in incredible form recently and it shows no sign of stopping. Second place went to Manzi, also having a brilliant season, with local climber Jun Gu “Pyroclastic Flow” Guo taking a well-earned third. As usual, “Hannibal” was in the mix, finishing a strong 7th.

The top finishers at Taipei 101 celebrate their success

Some of the top finishers at Taipei 101 celebrate their success

In the women’s section there was a good spread of talent on show. Again the reigning champ, Valentina “Atalanta” Belotti, was missing, which denied us the chance to see what would have undoubtedly been a great race between her and 2014 Towerrunning Champion Suzy “The Title Magnate” Walsham. In the end, Walsham took a fairly handy win, with “The Rising Sun” Dominika Wisniweska-Ulfik finishing in second. It was great to see “The Gatekeeper” Cristina Bonacina taking third. “Need For Speed” Cindy Reid, winner in Vietnam a few weeks back, managed a solid fifth.

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The first Towerrunning World Championships took place last weekend in Doha, Qatar. In the most competitive stair running field ever assembled, athletes took on three climbs, over two days of racing, to determine who would be crowned World Champion.

The Torch in Doha, venue for the World Championships

The Torch in Doha, venue for the World Championships

Action began on Friday morning with an open race up the building’s 1,304 to determine the 30 competitors that would advance to the second round later in the day, and Saturday’s final. This race threw up no surprises and the list of finalists contained all the elite runners. In the men’s section it was reigning Towerrunning champion Piotr “Showtime” Lobodzinski who took an early lead, with Australians Mark “The Canberra Assassin” Bourne and “Optimus Climb” Darren Wilson close behind him. Also in the mix were “Fearless” Frank Carreño, “The Zilina Avalanche” Tomas Celko and Matjaz “The Slovenian Multi-Tool” Miklosa. To give you some perspective on how strong a field it was, British athlete “The Manchester Myth” Andi Jones (albeit not a stair climb specialist) who has a sub-30min PB for 10k and a 2:15 marathon PB was no way near being in contention for the top spots. Neither were Olympian Will “The Dark” Clarke and his colleague Romain “Centurian” Guillaume, pro-triathletes from the Uplace-BMC team. The caliber of athletes in this race was astounding. These guys are fast!!

This gentleman was so fast he out ran his own shoes as he powered away from the start line!

This gentleman was so fast he out ran his own shoes as he powered away from the start line!

The first race of the day (51 floors) was followed by a shorter race (30 floors) in the afternoon to determine the starting order for Saturday’s final. The shorter course seemed to favour the European athletes who narrowed the gap slightly and closed in on the top three. “Showtime” made no mistake about assuring pole position for the final and took another win. He was followed by Carreno, Celko, Miklosa and Macecek. Positions were now set for the final, which would begin in an F1 style grid format. Lobodzinski was pole, Carreño 2nd, Bourne 3rd, Celko 4th, Miklosa 5th and, having finished 3rd in the first round, “Optimus Climb” 6th.

The inaugural Towerrunning World Championships final gets underway

“And they’re off!!” The inaugural Towerrunning World Championships final gets underway

The final began with a 150m run into the stairwell, with positions throughout the field changing drastically before the athletes even hit the stairs. As expected Lobodzinski maintained his position at the front the whole way up and reached the top to be crowned the very first Towerrunning World Champion, while Bourne managed to leapfrog Carreño. and regain second place. The most impressive turnaround of the day was the work put in by “Optimus Climb” who went from being 6th on the grid, behind the likes of Celko and Miklosa, to finishing in third. Brilliant effort from the Adelaide man.

The top three celebrating after the race. Check out the vascularity and the delts on Darren Wilson!!

The top three celebrating after the race. Does “Optimus Climb” have a licence for those guns!??!

With the first fully televised stair race happening the weekend before at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and now the fully stacked World Championships in Doha successfully completed, our sport is really coming into its own. It is clearly gaining in popularity and the top athletes are proving they are as fit and dedicated as those from any sporting discipline you care to mention. In the likes of Bourne, Wilson and Lobodzinski we have some fine ambassadors for stair climbing and the future looks very bright. Congratulations to all who took part in Doha.