Posts Tagged ‘results’

The tower running season was back in full swing this past weekend with prominent races in the USA, Italy and Germany.

The famous Dallas Vertical Mile weekend event was the star of the show, with many of the top American climbers in action in both the sprint event and longer climb options. But it was also all go at the Torre Pontina in Latina and the Wohnhochhaus der Baugenossenschaft Ideal in Berlin.

Read on to find out all the results.

The Schenectady Express rolls into Dallas

The Dallas Vert Mile weekend got started on Saturday with a ‘sprint’ event up 807 steps of the Reunion Tower. Then on Sunday competitors took on a vertical mile, consisting of 12 climbs up the tower.

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Reunion Tower, Dallas

2018 winner Terry Purcell wasn’t in town this year, but last year’s second-place finisher Alex ‘The Schenectady Express’ Workman was back to have another crack at the sprint and vertical mile events.

Workman took the win in both events. He clocked a speedy 3:43 in the single climb and managed to complete the 12 climbs needed for the vertical mile in a record 55:13, which was an impressive improvement on his 57:23 finish last year.

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Alex Workman on his way to winning the sprint event at the Dallas Vert Mile

Jason Larson was second in both events, with a 4:01 sprint finish and a vertical mile in 57:20.

In the women’s division, there was an even closer race in the vertical mile. Stephanie Hucko eventually came out on top, finishing her 12 climbs in 1:06:20. Second place went to María Elisa Lopez Pimentel in 1:07:46.

With a 5:10 finish in the sprint event, María Elisa Lopez Pimentel was a clear winner. She finished comfortably ahead of second place Alejandra Sanchez (5:42) and third place Amy Brown (5:59).

Dallas Vert Mile 2019 results

 

Latina Vertical Sprint 2019
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Torre Pontina, Latina, Italy

Lenka Svabikova and Ivonne Martinucci went head-to-head once more at the 702-step Latina Vertical Sprint.

Martinucci, the 2015 champion, was looking to finally dethrone Svabikova, who she had finished second to from 2016-2018.

The veteran Italian finally turned the tables on the well-known Czech tower running star, winning in 4:39. Svabikova was well off her personal best time of 4:16, reaching the top in 4:50.

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Ivonne Martinucci wins Latina Vertical Sprint 2019

The men’s race was incredibly close, with less than two seconds separating the top three.

It was middle-distance track specialist Miroslav Burian from the Czech Republic who was fastest in 3:52.83. Second place was Italian mountain runner Fabrizio Triulzi in 3:53.80, while third spot went to Italian cyclist Pasquale Caramanica who finished in 3:54.39.

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Miroslav Burian – winner of Latina Vertical Sprint 2019

Latina Vertical Sprint 2019 results

 

Towerrun Berlin

Action at the 465-step sprint event at the Wohnhochhaus der Baugenossenschaft Ideal was split between two divisions – firefighters and general public.

First among the firefighters, and fastest overall on the day, was Marko Berenz with a winning time of 3:28.

The next fastest times came in a tight battle for top spot in the general category, with Ahmad Asadi’s 3:46 and Andreas Fruhmann’s 3:47.

Towerrun Berlin 2019 results

April’s a relatively quiet month for UK tower running, with just the Care International event at the Leadenhall Building in London taking place on Saturday 14th.

But globally there have been lots of races so far this month, with events in Estonia, Italy and the USA among others, showcasing the truly international face of competitive stair running.

Read on for our pick of the stair climbing results from around the world this April, and find out the latest nicknames on the circuit.

April 1st – Estonian Towerrunning Championships 2018, TV Tower, Tallinn

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Rauno ‘Ebajalg’ Tiits secured victory at the inaugural Estonian Tower Running Championship with a blistering run to the top of the 870-step TV Tower in the Estonian capital.

His winning time of 4.35 was also a new course record. Fans of UK tower running will be familiar with the name Tiits, as the Estonian took the win at last November’s double-run event at London’s Broadgate Tower ahead of some of the top UK stair climbers.

In second place was Poland’s Arkadiusz ‘Street Fighter’ Karbowy, another familiar name to those who follow UK stair climbing. His lightning quick time of 4.46 (the only other sub-five minute finish on the day) will come as no surprise to those who’ve seen him flying up the Tower Wing of Guy’s Hospital during training.

Rimo ‘Special Sauce’ Tiim finished third in 5.04.

In the women’s division it was a more one-sided affair with Estonian sporting star Kaisa ‘The Gift’ Kukk winning in an unrivalled 5.46.

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The newly crowned Estonian tower running champions, Rauno Tiits and Kaisa Kukk.

Kukk is no stranger to sporting success. A sub-three hour marathoner, she has multiple wins in a wide range of race distances under her belt and so her transition to tower running success was no doubt expected among the Estonian athletic community.

It’s her second win of the season already, and we expect big things from Kukk if she makes stair climbing her focus. On a separate note, she’s also our tower running WCW this week. Fire!

Her nearest challenge came from Poland’s Ilona ‘Leg Breaker’ Gradus, winner of the Marriott Everest Run in Warsaw back in February, and a top ten finisher at other Polish events already this year. She hit the top step in 6.39, some way back from Kukk.

Liina ‘The DJ’ Volmerson, winner of the Saucony Trekking Championship stair race series in 2017 (alongside Rauno Tiits), finished third in 7.03.

The experience and pedigree of Kukk’s rivals makes her overwhelming winning margin all the more impressive.

Full results here.

 

April 7th – Fight for Air Climb Newark 2018, One Gateway Center, New Jersey

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“The Beast from the East” Stephen Marsalese made light work of it at the ALA Fight for Air Climb in Newark.

The stair climbing veteran, and perennial podium finisher around the East Coast events, was the only person to go under the coveted three-minute mark as he scaled the 504 steps of One Gateway Center in 2.48.

His Tower Masters team mate, 63-year old Mark ‘The Immortal Whisper’ Greenlee, was behind him in 3.18, improving on his fifth place finish from last year. Last year’s fourth placed finisher, Ted ‘Uber Jock’ Enoch, took third this time around in a time of 3.32.56

Special mention to the speedy 13 year old who finished in fourth place in 3.32.81 – missing out on a podium spot by the very narrowest of margins. He’s so exquisitely named he needs no adornments from us. Fly Talon Falcone, fly!!

‘Champagne’ Sally Kalksma made it a double win for the Tower Masters team as she returned to winning ways following her international adventures last month at La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel in Paris.

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Sally Kalksma at the start line of La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel 2018

Kalksma clocked 4.39 to secure the win from Mary ‘Warlord’ Cataudella (5:02) and Nina ‘The Mason’ Mikkilineni (5.06). Full results available here.

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Kalksma and Marsalese celebrate their wins (bottom) and pose with fellow Tower Master runners.

April 7th – Ginormous Climb 2018 – 200 Clarendon (John Hancock Tower), Boston

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Ginormous is an underrated and underused word, but we’re glad to see the organisers of this event, at Boston’s John Hancock Tower, have kept it front and centre for five years now.

Historically this race has attracted some big tower running names, such as Tim Donahue, but they were absent this time around.

Still, close to 400 racers turned up to climb the 1,220 stairs (61 floors) and they produced solid battles for top spot in the men’s and women’s divisions.

When the dust had settled it was Kai ‘The All Seeing Eye’ Van Horn who stood victorious with a winning time of 8.18.

11 seconds back was Samuel ‘All that glitters is not’ Goldman, while Brendan ‘The Allston Accelerator’ Harrison took third in 8.37.

The women’s division was far closer, with just ten seconds separating the top three. Elizabeth ‘Easy Work’ Burke won in a time of 10.58, with Jennifer ‘Little Bitty’ Previti right behind in 10.59. Maegan ‘Smooth Mover’ Hoover completed the trio with her 11.08 finish.

Full results here.

April 7th – Valtellina Vertical Tube Race 2018, Italy

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We love this event. It’s the one event we make sure to scour the results of every year, and we have since it began back in 2015. The reason is because it gives a perfect opportunity to see how top tower runners match up against some of the world’s best mountain runners and vertical km specialists, in what is a bit of a hybrid event.

The course is a kilometer long outdoor staircase (2,700 steps) that runs straight up a mountain, alongside a hydroelectric tube that lends the event its name. So it’s technically a stair race, but so different from what tower runners are used to – no turns or railings, and outdoors – that whatever technical/strategic advantages they might have had are removed and it comes down to a straight battle of strength and endurance.

It’s one of the only races – bar arguably La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel, which also includes high-level mountain runners – that you can get an idea of how the world’s elite stair climbers match up with elites from other disciplines when pitted head-to-head. For context, reigning world tower running champion Piotr Lobodzinski finished in fifth place in 2016 with a time of 14.55.

It also has a place in our heart as it’s the one international event where a British athlete has the course record. Emmie Collinge set the staggering women’s course record of 16.10 in 2016. She is the only woman to have ever run the course in under 17 minutes, managing it at the event’s first edition in 2015, too, when she finished in 16.25.

We caught up with Collinge after that debut win in 2015, and commented then that she could be the new force on the global tower running scene if she wanted to be. But alas her participation in stair races has been limited to those two stunning runs at Valtellina.

Anyway, on to the action from this year’s edition.

In the men’s event the field was understandably made up of mainly Italian competitors. But there was a decent spread of well-known tower runners and elite mountain runners from other countries in attendance, too, which included ‘Fearless’ Frank Carreno, Tomas ‘The Zilina Avalanche’ Celko and Jacob Mayer. Unfortunately there wasn’t a single British male representative at the event.

Last year’s winner, Italian Hannes Perkmann, secured victory once more with a time of 14.10, a five second improvement on his winning time in 2017. It was also the second-fastest time ever, just eight seconds off the course record of 14.02 set by Bernard Dematteis.

Perkmann is part of the Italian mountain running team and specialises in longer distance events.

Fellow Italian Alberto Vender made a massive leap from his ninth-place last year to take second place in a time of 14.44. He chopped a whopping 38 seconds off his PB in the process.

Emanuele ‘Il Guerriero’ Manzi – one of the event organisers, mountain runner and top-level tower runner – made it an all-Italian podium. He made it his third podium finish at the event (he finished sixth in 2017), finishing in his fastest ever time of 14.46.

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Hannes Perkmann on his way to victory in Valtellina

The women’s race was the closest in the event’s short history. In the end it was Catalan youngster Gisela Carrion Bertran who took the spoils in 17.25, the fourth fastest time ever by a woman at the event. A well-established mountain runner and vertical km racer, Carrion Bertran possibly came in under the radar of some in attendance, but her athletic pedigree is well established.

Just behind her was 2017 winner Katarzyna Kuzminska from Italy. She managed to take 20 seconds off her winning time from last year, reaching the top of the stairs in 17.28.

Italian sporting legend and Olympic cross-country skiing relay bronze medallist Antonella Confortola took third place in 17.43. Her multi-discipline medal record of world championship and European championship podium finishes in cross-country skiing, mountain running and vertical km is highly impressive. Check it out on Wikipedia.

British interest at the event was limited to Sarah Frost who finished in 26th position in 22.25.

Full results here.

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Gisela Carrion Bertran: winner of Valtellina Vertical Tube Race 2018

 

There were additional races in Bahrain, Canada, China, Estonia and USA this month, but full results are currently unavailable for all of them. We’ll be updating this article shortly.

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Coming out of retirement doesn’t always work out well for sports stars. Some get it just right – think Sugar Ray Leonard (the first time), George Foreman, Michael Jordan (the first time). Others should have left well enough alone – Messrs Armstrong, Ali and Borg et al.

Last Sunday at the John Hancock Center in Chicago, one legend got it almost exactly right.

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The iconic John Hancock Center is the fourth tallest building in Chicago

If you talk with people who have been involved with stair climbing for years, one name will always eventually come up: Terry Purcell. When he retired from the sport in 2011 he left behind an unrivalled record.

24 years ago, Purcell laid the foundation stone for a now mythic reputation when he took part in his first race at Sydney’s Centrepoint Tower. Baited into it by fellow Australian Geoff Case, who had won the Empire State Building Run-Up from 1991-1993, Purcell excelled from the go. Within two years he had destroyed Case’s record at the Sydney Tower by 24 seconds. In 1998 he won ESBRU himself, and by the time he retired in 2011 he had won more elite races than any other climber before him. His record included 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.

Purcell didn’t just standout for his incredible speed in the stairwell. He revolutionised the sport with his approach to race technique and specific training.

On technique:

Most guys don’t study technique…which is fantastic for me. They may be fitter and have more time to train, but they waste so much energy. I see people wasting it on the turns by taking too many steps. I see people not using the railing well to save your legs

On his opponents and training:

The way to kick them in the gut is to surge! But who does that? A guy who’s trained to do it for the last six months!”

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Terry Purcell winning the 1998 Empire State Building Run-Up

Hustle up the Hancock 2017

It was to the John Hancock Center that Purcell returned on Sunday to chase a record tenth victory. Standing in his way were two of the fastest American stair climbers of the past 15 years – Jesse Berg and Eric Leninger.

Sunday’s event had a beautiful romanticism to it, as old rivalries were reborn and close friendships were cast aside.

When Purcell won his first race at Hancock back in 2002, Berg finished almost two and half minutes behind him in 15th place. For the following two years Berg sat in fifth place, but just 1.30 off top spot. In 2005 he was up to fourth spot and only 48 seconds behind Purcell.

2006,  Berg finished second, going sub-ten minutes for the first time. 2007 he was third while Purcell lowered his course record to 9.30 (beaten by Sproule Love’s 9.23 in 2013). In 2008 Purcell took a break, but he returned the following year to win again, while Berg managed third. And so their rivalry played out until Purcell left the Hancock behind after a final victory in 2011, with Berg once again finishing in third spot – just five seconds behind.

All the while Eric Leninger was approaching unnoticed, slowly improving his times, edging closer to the much-coveted sub-ten minute time. In 2014 he finally managed to go under the ten minute barrier and take his first win. He defended his title in 2015 and 2016, also with sub-ten minute times.

In their time together on the race circuit, Purcell and Leninger developed a close friendship. Here Leninger discusses that bond:

In the last couple years we raced, Terry started becoming somewhat of a coach to me. I’ve always listened (and thought) I knew exactly what he was saying, but the more time goes on, the more I draw from our conversations…past and present. It’s an interesting dynamic between us filled with mutual respect and admiration, but also the fire of pure competition. He’s someone I hold in the highest regard…but also someone who brings out my absolute top level of competition. When he retired, I felt that part of my connection to the sport was lost, as there was no-one else on that starting line that I looked forward to racing as much as him. When I returned to the sport after a year off, Terry became a true mentor….helping me understand that life inside the stairwell is applicable to life outside the stairwell too.

Going for his fourth straight victory on Sunday, Leninger was probably first to know that Purcell was coming out of retirement to once again race up the 94 floors of the John Hancock Center. The ‘fire of pure competition’ was lit again.

But Purcell’s return was not to have the fairy tale ending. There would be no ten from ten.

It was Missoula firefighter, elite triathlete and trail runner, Andrew Drobeck who took the overall victory. He was competing alongside fellow firefighters as part of the ‘Firefighters for New York’ team. Established in 2002, the team competes each year to honour the firefighters who gave their lives on 9/11. His win helped them secure second overall in the team standings.

Drobeck has long been a top-level triathlete, winning in races from sprint to Ironman distance. But he is also no stranger to tower running. He’s won multiple races in full firefighting gear, including five straight wins at the renowned Scott Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle’s Columbia Tower, where he holds the record of 10.39. But Sunday’s race was his first ‘regular’ race out of gear. There were many curious to see exactly what he could do in the stairs unimpeded by heavy apparatus. He didn’t disappoint.

He took the win in a time of 10.19. It was made all the more impressive by the fact he set off in the 13th wave, weaving his way to the top between reams of slower climbers from earlier heats.

Purcell took second overall, finishing in a time of 10.25. Berg got the closest to the Australian he had ever managed, finishing just one second behind in 10.26. Leninger took fourth in 10.34.

Brilliant to see Terry racing again, and exciting to see an elite athlete from another sport successfully manage the crossover to stair climbing, when many others have fallen short. It will be interesting to see what Drobeck can do in the sport if he makes it a focus.

He will be competing again at the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb on March 12th to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You can donate to that great cause and Drobeck’s attempt at a sixth straight win here.

Check out the full results from Hustle up the Hancock.

Ed. note: My heart leapt when I saw Purcell’s name on the results sheet for Hustle up the Hancock. He was the first stair climber whose results I studied and is a true legend of the sport. It was akin to the feeling I had when Gandalf re-emerged as Gandalf the White in LOTR having battled with the Balrog or when Mick Dundee was revealed to still be alive after the shootout at the end of Crocodile Dundee 2. It’s fantastic to see Terry return, and for me to get to write about an actual race he has taken part in.

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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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The dominant Team Texas crew from the West Coast Labels/X-Gym team took a clean sweep of the podium at the 55 story Fight For Air Climb at Dallas’ Reunion Tower last weekend.

It was the second race the building has hosted in recent months, and once again it was “The Chalice of Thunder” Scott Stanley who took a solid win. The Euless athlete has gone from strength to strength in recent races and secured victory in Dallas in a flying time of 4.10. Following in second was the broad shouldered figure of Brad “The Wrecking Ball” Pazoureck in 5.06, while Michael “Spartan” Doherty secured third for Team Texas in 5.21.

The victorious West Coast Labels team (pic courtesy of S. Stanley)

The victorious West Coast Labels team (pic courtesy of S. Stanley)

The three also took on an extra climb each in the elite double-climb competition, with the overall podium positions remaining the same after their second run.

In the women’s section of the race, it was Rosechelle “R&R” Ruggiero who grabbed gold, finishing in an impressive 6.55. Close behind her was Melissa “I Got 99 Problems But Stairs Ain’t One” Ross in 7.02. Haley “The Comet” Cheshier rounded off the podium in 7.09.

Great running by all. Congratulations on your successes.

Keep climbing!