Posts Tagged ‘sproule love’

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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Hola lectores, el post de hoy va a ser en español…just messing y’all! Plain ole boring English this week, but the excitement is all in the news as we take a look at the action from Saturday’s big Towerrunning Grand Prix of Mexico in Mexico City.

Battle commenced at the Torre Latinoamericana, the city’s oldest skyscraper, which with its steep spirally stair case was bound to prove a tough challenge for all those who climbed. The stair running world sent forth some of its strongest competitors to test the South Americans who, despite a rich history of athletic excellence, haven’t yet had a huge impact on the international stair running scene. The notable exception of course being the inimitable Javier “El Flecha” Santiago.

Among the well-known elite runners preparing to climb the building’s 720 steps were Americans Sproule “The Ghost” Love and Scott “The Chalice of Thunder” Stanley, Austria’s Rolf “The Wanderer” Majcen, Germany’s Gorge “der Stufe Zerstörer” Heimann and Pavel “I Have a Dream” Holec from the Czech Republic.

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“The Ghost” (004) doing some hypnotic psych-out tricks on an unsuspecting Gorge Heimann, as Pavel Holec (002) and Juan Pablo Rangel (003) look on fearfully!

In among them at the start line was the rangy Colombian mountain runner Juan Pablo “The Inverted Waterfall” Rangel, who has established stair running dominance in his own country, securing a number of victories and the course record at the Colombia Grand Prix.

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“The Inverted Waterfall” cascading past a rival during a road race

There are a lot of legends already built up around Rangel. Some say he lives in a mountain cave, three quarters of the way up Pico Cristóbal Colón. Others say that before each race he enforces on himself a two-day period of complete isolation where he exists solely on water and peyote. One race steward in Colombia apparently saw Rangel’s cheeks blown back by the effects of g-force as he was moving so fast up a stairwell. Mythic tales or not, it is indisputable that the Colombian is a certified speedster, and he proved it again on Saturday by taking the win in a course record of 3:32. He was pushed hard by “The Ghost” who reached the top, which is at 2,400m above sea-level, in 3:58. “I Have a Dream” Holec took third in 4:06, edging Heimann out by the very narrow margin of 0.3 seconds.

The World in Unity: Holec, Rangel and Love celebrate on the podium

The World in Union: Holec, Rangel and Love celebrate on the podium

The women’s section was an interesting affair with some Mexican track athletes and mountain runners heading to the tower to test themselves against the unrelenting stairs. Ready at the start line to attempt to halt local dominance and add another key to her ring was “The Gatekeeper” Cristina Bonacina.

The win was taken by local lady and first time stair runner Ericka Cano “Diamond Soles” Gomez in 5:16, with her compatriot Carmen “The Cavalier” Trinidad Ramiro Allende close behind in 5:20. “The Gatekeeper” Bonacina opened the door to her second third-place finish in a week with a time of 5:44. In fact, the Italian was the only non-Mexican in the top six. A great result for the home-grown talent over in Mexico.

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There is a touch of the enigmatic about Sproule Love. “The Ghost” often just appears, taking a win here and a course record there, haunting the ranks of stair climbers in the USA.

His dominant streak continued on Sunday morning as he finished first in a field that contained some of the strongest and fastest climbers in America.

1,391 steps stood between climbers and the coveted title of USA Stair Climbing Champion. With 2014 champ Alex “The Schenectady Express” Workman in attendance it was clear that claimants to the crown were going to have to really earn it. Sproule Love certainly did that, as he bounded up in a time of 7:22.

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“The Ghost” on his way to victory

Here is a great mini-doc on Sproule Love that includes clips of him training (with a cameo from Tim Donahue).

Workman managed to take five seconds off his time from last year and finished in second place, crossing the mat in 7:51. The year-on-year consistency of The Express is so impressive. We recommend all readers to follow his blog, where you will find insights into the world of elite level stair climbing, as well as some of the most comprehensive stair climb-specific training advice available anywhere on the internet. Trust us, we’ve looked.

Going one better than his fourth place finish last year, and shaving off 12 seconds from that race, was 3rd place John “Renegade” Osborn in a time of 7:56 (his strong finish can be seen here in the first 10 seconds of this news piece on the event). We have to mention “The Steel Oath” Jason Larson who came in a speedy 4th place, after taking a win up in Minneapolis the morning before. What an absolute machine!!!

In the women’s division “The Oracle” Stephanie Hucko followed up on her second place finish at ESBRU to take the honors in a time of 8:52. As a highly successful triathlete, and it seems complete all round sportswoman, she has transitioned seamlessly into stair running and has made a massive impression already this year. We look forward to following her progress in 2015. Second place went to Evelyn “The Dream Catcher” Wisniewski in 10:02, with “The Bellingham Bullet” Kacie Cleveland storming to third place, just a second behind, in 10:03.

The West Coast Labels team took group honors, with most of the fastest climbers on the day wearing the team’s colours.

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A selection of the West Coast Label athletes who took part in Scale the Strat

A special mention has to go to an incredibly inspirational climber in Las Vegas on Sunday. New Zealander Jordon “Auckland Fury” Milroy has cerebral palsy, which impairs his movement, but has evidently had zero impact on his courage and endurance. He is on a mission to climb the world’s tallest towers in a bid to raise awareness about disability. You can follow his progress and offer your support by liking his Facebook page.

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