Posts Tagged ‘Shelter’

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.

View this post on Instagram

Czasem tak sobie rozmyślam, że moje zamiłowanie do ekstremalnego wysiłku jest wręcz niepokojące. I to nie tylko na schodach – wszędzie tam, gdzie może się do swego HR maxa zbliżyć, sprawia mi uśmiech Chelsea. Wystarczy myśl o samym mocnym planowanym treningu i micha się cieszy. Albo zawody: jeśli gdzieś na zdjęciach zobaczycie mnie z uśmiechem na twarzy, to bardziej prawdopodobne będzie, iż przeszedłem już fazę grymasu i mam załączony tryb pełnej walki, a nie lecę bo lubię i lajcik. Cokolwiek jest powodem Waszego uśmiechu, róbcie to i nie przestawajcie! 😀 #polishboy #towerrunning #towerrunner #runner #run #bieg #bieganie #biegacz #biegambolubie #garmin #asics #adidas #royalbay #kalenji #winter #train #training #ambasadorzyfb #verticalrush #lorostowerrun #uk #greatbritain #leicester #london #compressport #adrunaline

A post shared by Kacper Mrowiec (@kmtowerrunner) on

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.

You might also be interested in:

tower-42-shelter-vertigo-challenge-2016

2009 Matthias Jahn (GER) 4:22  Caitriona Jennings (IRL) 6:04
2010 Steve Winder (GBR) 4:54  Anna Frost (NZL) 5:30
2011 Fabio Ruga (ITA) 4:24  Cristina Bonacina (ITA) 6:02
2012 Thomas Dold (GER) 3:58*  Suzy Walsham (AUS) 5:01*
2013 Ben Hall (GBR) 4:51 Suzy Walsham (AUS) 5:04
2014 Ben Hall (GBR) 4:55  Cristina Bonacina (ITA) 6:11
2015 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 4:12  Lenka Svabikova (CZE) 5:39
2016 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 4:29  Lenka Svabikova (CZE) 5:36
2017 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 3:59  Lenka Svabikova (CZE) 5:45 – results
2018 Emanuele Manzi (ITA) 4:37  Susie Drinkwater (GBR) 6:11 – results
2019 Soh Wai Ching (MYS) 4:17 Susie Drinkwater (GBR) 5:41 – results

* course record

2009-2016 results available through search here (direct links unavailable): https://www.tdleventservices.co.uk/event-results

Find out all the winners from other events around the world in our historical tower running results database.

Soh Wai-Ching Vertical Rush 2019

If you haven’t put in the training you won’t be winning anything. But, fitness level aside, there are a few things to know that could give you an edge as you take part in Vertical Rush 2020.

The event, which is organised by the charity Shelter, takes place at London’s Tower 42 and is by far the most popular and well-established stair running race in the UK calendar.

In 2019 over 1,400 participants took part, and 2020 promises to be just as big, which leads us right into our first tip.

Get there early

To facilitate the large numbers of runners, the day is split into hourly waves with the first going at 8am. In 2018, Shelter introduced a night run so people set off as late as 8pm. This extended run of waves is expected to return again in 2020. From experience there is less hype and razmatazz in the morning waves, which will allow you to keep focused on the task at hand.

The later sessions have press, cameras, filmed warm-ups and more standing around in the early March cold. Plus the later you leave it the more hands pass along the railings and the greasier they get, which can cause your hand to slip as you pull yourself along. There also seems to be less people in the earlier waves, which leads into the second tip.

VR2013A0106

Would Boris and his horn help keep your head in the game?

Get to the front

Unlike at other races around the world, many UK races don’t have a designated ‘elite’ start. If you email in advance and express a desire to start at the front, it will be accepted, but you won’t always find there’s someone on hand to ensure you are brought to the front of your wave of runners.

This is certainly the case for Vertical Rush, where the people involved with registration are not the ones bringing you through to the start. So, the onus will be on you to get to the front of your wave.

At Vertical Rush the registration desk and bag drop are in a separate building to the stairs. You will be led a short walk outside between the two buildings and into a small basement type area with a central pillar. The entrance to the stairs is through a door on the right hand side as you walk into the ‘holding area’. Get in line at the entrance to the door immediately.

An organiser will give a brief talk and then point to the start line, after which a slight rush happens, as people queue up. If you are not in position, you will likely end up several dozen places back and be faced with the task of passing slower climbers on the way up.

Another reason to start at the front is the haphazard staggering of runners. At previous events, runners should have been spaced by a minimum of 5-10 seconds. This does not always happen, and it is not uncommon for the excitement to overcome some people and for them to just pour onto the stairs in groups.

If you are not at the very front, or at least in the first five, you will certainly lose precious seconds on the early floors as you weave past others and wait for the numbers to space out a bit.

Vertical-Rush-tower-runni-001

The madness of a mass start at one of the earlier Vertical Rush events.

Details about the stairs

Knowing a bit about the stairs in a building prior to racing can be a real help, as it allows you to visualise the event a lot clearer and keep pre-race nerves to a minimum (click through if you want more details on how to handle pre-race nerves).

The stairwell at Vertical Rush is left turning and goes up in blocks of nine steps per flight. Each floor is numbered so you can keep a check on your pacing. The hand rail running along the inside of the stairwell is flat topped, which can make gripping slightly awkward, but it does curve nicely at the landings, making turns fairly smooth.

You may also be interested in:

Like us on Facebook for updates on results and upcoming events.