Posts Tagged ‘Takaaki Koyama’

Looking for stair climbing inspiration or hoping to keep up to date with the latest news from the the global tower running community? Well, we’ve got you covered with some recommendations for Instagram accounts to follow.

If you’re already following the five tower running accounts on Instagram we suggested last year, then you might be interested in these next five too.

Christof Grossegger @__stairs_up__

This Austrian multi-athlete was one of the most active stair climbers in the ruined 2020 season, taking wins at Pyramidenkogel and Tek Na Kalvarijo. Austria has produced some of the world’s top tower runners over the years and Grossegger is one of the country’s exciting new breed. His feed is full of regular action shots from his exploits in stair running, mountain biking and Red Bull 400.

Takaaki Koyama @mt.yamako

Another emerging star, this time from Japan. Takaaki Koyama has firmly established himself as one to watch in the growing Asian tower running scene. If you want to keep an eye on all things vertical running in Japan, then Koyama’s your man. Follow Tower Running Tokyo while you’re at it for even more insight.

Stair Climbing Australia @stair_climbing_australia

If you’ve been involved in stair climbing much you’ll know there’s a super-friendly community at all levels. Stair Climbing Australia’s account does a brilliant job of bringing those good vibes across virtually. Whether it’s funny, informative or inspirational posts, they’ve always got something worth checking in on. Its virtual stair climb challenges this year have kept many tower runners busy and entertained. Probably the most active stair climbing account on Instagram.

Tomas Celko @tomascelko

The ‘Wim Hof’ of tower running, Tomas Celko is never far from freezing cold water these days. So a word of caution, you might just find yourself stripping down and hopping into an ice bath soon after following his account. One of the sprint kings of stair climbing, Celko has battled back from injury this year to get back toward fitness. Join the 10k+ people following his journey back to the top in 2021.

Towerrunning Singapore @towerrunningsingapore

Singapore has a rich tower running history that dates back to 1987. The growth of the sport out there is now in the hands of the newly-formed Towerrunning Association of Singapore and we’re expecting exciting developments from them over the next few years. Its Instagram account is yet to blow up, but get in before it was cool and follow them now.

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Ryoji Watanabe set a new course record at Tokyo Tower on Sunday, becoming the first person to run the 500-step course in under two minutes.

Watanabe finished in a fantastic 1:59.98 to reach the top ahead of the chasing Takaaki Koyama.

Ryoji Watanabe Tokyo Tower
Ryoji Watanabe lies flat out after his winning run at Tokyo Tower

The exciting event more than lived up to pre-race expectations, with a close race highly anticipated.

The in-form Koyama set a personal best 2:07.09 as he followed shortly behind Watanabe.

You can see the strong finish from both athletes in the video below.

Behind Koyama, Akie Yajima finished third in 2:10.13, with 2016 champion Naoya Endo in fourth. Hiroichi Uesugi finished in fifth place.

Tokyo Tower hosts one of the final Asian tower races of 2020 this coming Sunday.

It’s the ninth edition of the popular event in Japan, that sees runners sprint up 500 steps.

In the men’s event there is potentially an exciting clash of former champions. Japanese number one tower runner Ryoji Watanabe (2017 and 2018 champion), Takaaki Koyama (2019), and Naoya Endo (2016) are all on the provisional start list.

Takaaki Koyama reaches the top of Tokyo Tower to win in 2019

Koyama is heading into the event following a strong win last weekend at the Sapporo TV Tower, so will definitely be in good form.

Ryoji Watanabe won the event in 2017 and 2018

Watanabe, who finished third overall on the Vertical World Circuit in 2019, hasn’t raced on the stairs for months but did win ahead of Koyama at the Building Climb Cup race in Niigata back in January.

If Watanabe is anywhere near being in top condition, he will be the man to beat on Sunday. He ran an incredible 2:01 to win in 2018, finishing 16 seconds ahead of Koyama.

Takaaki Koyama took first place at the first edition of the Sapporo TV Tower Vertical Run in Japan.

The new event, which had been rescheduled due to Covid-19 restrictions, involved two runs up 442 steps.

The experienced Koyama showed impressive consistency as he clocked 1:50 in his first run, followed by 1:49 in his second for a total winning time of 3:39.

Takaaki Koyama at the start line

Koyama finished narrowly ahead of Koki Tanaka (3:43), who clocked the fastest single run of the day, a time of 1:48 with his second attempt. But with his initial run a slightly slower 1:55, it left him four seconds behind overall.

A section of the stairs at the Sapporo TV Tower

The battle for the final podium spot was very closely contested. In the end it was Yusuke Tanaka who sealed it with his 3:59 total. Fourth spot went to Hirokazu Uesugi (4:01) and Hitotsubashi Seiya (4:02) was in fifth place.

Sapporo TV Tower

In the women’s division, Japanese international triathlete Airi Sawada proved herself a force on the stairs, taking victory in 5:23 (2:45 and 2:38). She was 20 seconds faster overall than second-placed Moeko Yasugahira.

Airi Sawada and Takaaki Koyama celebrate winning the Sapporo TV Tower Vertical Run 2020

Ryoji Watanabe towerrunning

Ryoji Watanabe kicked off his 2020 tower running campaign with a win at the Building Climb Cup race in Niigata, Japan.

Held at the Next21 building, the event consisted of three qualifying runs up 19 floors, with the top-ten fastest men and women (cumulative total time) advancing to the final.

The final involved two runs to the 19th floor, with the athlete with the fastest cumulative time declared the winner.

Next21 Niigata tower run

Next21 in Niigata, Japan

Watanabe (JPN), who finished third in the Vertical World Circuit last year, dominated the whole event. He laid down a marker in the qualifiers, running the fastest time in each of the three rounds (2:26, 2:23 and 2:28).

He then stepped it up considerably for the tightly contested final. He ran 2:09 in the first round, marginally faster than second-placed Shota Nakamata (2:10) and Hayato Matino in third (2:11).

Ryoji Watanabe towerrun

Ryoji Watanabe in action at Next21

But Watanabe, who won the race last year, showed his caliber in the final run to secure victory. He finished in 2:06, some way ahead of Nakamata (2:12) and Daiichi Ishikubo (2:13).

In the women’s division, Mie Takahashi finished on top clocking a consistent 2:53 in both of her runs in the final.

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Mie Takahashi on her way to victory

Takaaki Koyama wins single climb event

Takaaki Koyama clocked a super-fast 2:04 to win the Short event. Eighth in the Vertical World Circuit rankings last year, the Japanese athlete is a rising star on the tower running circuit.

Takaaki Koyama

Takaaki Koyama begins one of his climbs

He held off Watanabe, who clocked 2:08, to secure victory in the single sprint event.

Fastest woman in the Short race was Yumi Uchiyama who finished in 3:16.

All the results from the race at Next21 can be found here.

There are also excellent photos from the event available here.

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