Posts Tagged ‘Spinnaker Tower stair race’

“The Slovenian Multi-Tool” Matjaz Miklosa set a new course record at Portsmouth’s Emirates Spinnaker Tower on Sunday, flying up the 530 steps in just 2.07.

Matjaz "The Slovenian Multi-Tool" Miklosa set a new course record of 2.07

Matjaz “The Slovenian Multi-Tool” Miklosa set a new course record of 2.07

It was a crisp, bright morning down on the south coast as competitors from across the UK and the world descended on the Hampshire city for the Spinnaker Tower-thon. In its second year, the event was also doubling as race two in the UK Tower Running Championship Series and, as such, attracted over three times as many competitors as 2014.

Among the first wave were well-known UK tower runners Mark “The Marauder” Sims and Nishad “Big Trek” Manerikar aka “Jai Manerikar” aka “United Stairs of Manerikar” aka “The Maharajah” aka “Perpetual Navigator” (who went on to join the sub-four minute group and earn himself a top-15 overall finish). Also in the mix were America’s Zivadin “Big Z” Zivkovic (16th) and Tower Running UK’s Patrick Gallagher (4th), who were both representing the West Coast Labels team.

USA meets UK: West Coast Labels runners Zivadin Zivkovic and Patrick Gallagher

USA meets UK: West Coast Labels runners Zivadin Zivkovic and Patrick Gallagher

2014 winner Sims was coming off the back of a strong second place finish at last month’s Gherkin Challenge and had sights firmly set on his course record of 2.32.

Mark Sims sprints towards the stairwell en route to his second place time of 2.27

Mark Sims sprints towards the stairwell en route to his second place time of 2.27

The Liverpool-based runner cut an impressive five seconds off that as he exited onto the tower’s second viewing deck in just 2.27.

The record, however, was to stand for just around an hour as Matjaz Miklosa set off in the noon wave and sprinted to an incredible new time of 2.07. He was followed shortly after by fellow Slovenian Jasmina “Crouching Tigress Hidden Klančnik” aka “Rapid Ascent” who took victory in the women’s division and established a new course record of 3.30.

Jasmina Klancnik receives her prize at the top of Spinnaker Tower

Jasmina Klancnik receives her prize at the top of Spinnaker Tower

Third spot overall was taken by new tower runner Alex James “Mr Boombastic” Ward, who had previously achieved a very fast third place at September’s Gherkin Challenge event, in what was his first ever stair race. We expect very good things from the young athlete as he finds his feet in the sport and gets more race experience under his belt.

It was also great to see the return from injury of David Harris, previous winner of the Three Peaks and Gherkin Challenge. He managed an impressive sixth in his first race back and will be one to look out for in November at Broadgate Tower.

With the absence of all four athletes from the Orchard Park Stair Running Club, who stormed the top 10 at the Gherkin Challenge last month, the race allowed for some serious shift in the current standings of the UK Tower Running Championship Series.

UK Tower Running Championship Series 2015

Screen shot 2015-10-12 at 8.19.22 PM

All the attention now turns to the third race of the series, taking place next month at Broadgate Tower in London. If racers haven’t signed up yet they should do so soon, here.

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The UK Tower Running Championship Series continues this coming Sunday (11th Oct) with a race at Portsmouth’s renowned Emirates Spinnaker Tower.

Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

The sprint race, which covers 530 steps, was won in 2014 by Mark Sims in a time of 2.32 who will be back this year vying to retain his title and add to his impressive second place finish at the Gherkin last month. Also in the mix this year will be “The Slovenian Multi-Tool” Matjaz Miklosa. Currently ranked 8th in the world, and coming off the back of a solid sprint performance last weekend in Graz, Austria, Miklosa will be hotly tipped to push Sims to the limit.

The unique stairs inside Emirates Spinnaker Tower

The unique stairs inside Emirates Spinnaker Tower

The disappointing absence of Rich Sirrs, clear winner at the Gherkin, means there is now potential for the UK championship to be blown wide open. The Orchard Park Stair Running Club athlete would have been hotly fancied to take one of the top spots and secure his current position at the top of the UK Championship Series table.

After one race the championship table currently looks like this:

UK Tower Running Championship Series

  1. Rich Sirrs                   40
  2. Mark Sims                  32
  3. Alex James Ward       26
  4. Lawrence Needham   22
  5. Daniel Sirrs                 20
  6. Mark Wallace              18
  7. Jay Kilshaw                 16
  8. Patrick Gallagher        14
  9. Michael Johnston        12
  10. Thomas Fox                 10

Good luck to everyone racing in Portsmouth on Sunday.

Keep climbing!