Posts Tagged ‘towerrunning world championship’

The 2015 world tower running champion Andrea Mayr has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s World Championship event at Tapei 101 due to injury.

The Austrian sustained an ankle injury back in February, and has now confirmed her withdrawal from the biggest event of the season.

The Olympic marathoner has been largely absent from the tower running circuit since she took victory at the inaugural World Championship in 2015, but was primed to return to defend her title at Taipei 101 on 5 May.

Mayr, who set the Taipei 101 course record of 12.38 back in 2005, was hotly anticipated to provide current world number one Suzy Walsham with her toughest challenge.

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Andrea Mayr winning the inaugural tower running World Championship in 2015

Of the remaining women set to line out in Taiwan, only Czech athlete Zuzana Krchova has recently beaten Walsham. Krchova took victory over her at the Towerrunning Tour 2017 Final in January, which was at the 1,210-step Beichen Plaza in Changsha, China. She also won the Rondo 1 event in Poland, back in March, among a highly-competitive field of European athletes.

Krchova is obviously an accomplished and formidable tower runner, but how she will fair at the considerably taller 2,046-step Taipei 101 is to be seen.

The highly-experienced Walsham has raced and won at the tower multiple times and, with obvious disappointment at Mayr’s injury aside, will surely now be brimming with confidence. The absence of Japan’s Yuri Yoshizumi, another of the few women to have ever beaten Walsham, will be a further boost to the race favourite.

The second tower running World Championship will take place at Taipei 101 on Saturday 5 May 2018. Keep an eye out next week for our in-depth guide to the event.

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The first Towerrunning World Championships took place last weekend in Doha, Qatar. In the most competitive stair running field ever assembled, athletes took on three climbs, over two days of racing, to determine who would be crowned World Champion.

The Torch in Doha, venue for the World Championships

The Torch in Doha, venue for the World Championships

Action began on Friday morning with an open race up the building’s 1,304 to determine the 30 competitors that would advance to the second round later in the day, and Saturday’s final. This race threw up no surprises and the list of finalists contained all the elite runners. In the men’s section it was reigning Towerrunning champion Piotr “Showtime” Lobodzinski who took an early lead, with Australians Mark “The Canberra Assassin” Bourne and “Optimus Climb” Darren Wilson close behind him. Also in the mix were “Fearless” Frank Carreño, “The Zilina Avalanche” Tomas Celko and Matjaz “The Slovenian Multi-Tool” Miklosa. To give you some perspective on how strong a field it was, British athlete “The Manchester Myth” Andi Jones (albeit not a stair climb specialist) who has a sub-30min PB for 10k and a 2:15 marathon PB was no way near being in contention for the top spots. Neither were Olympian Will “The Dark” Clarke and his colleague Romain “Centurian” Guillaume, pro-triathletes from the Uplace-BMC team. The caliber of athletes in this race was astounding. These guys are fast!!

This gentleman was so fast he out ran his own shoes as he powered away from the start line!

This gentleman was so fast he out ran his own shoes as he powered away from the start line!

The first race of the day (51 floors) was followed by a shorter race (30 floors) in the afternoon to determine the starting order for Saturday’s final. The shorter course seemed to favour the European athletes who narrowed the gap slightly and closed in on the top three. “Showtime” made no mistake about assuring pole position for the final and took another win. He was followed by Carreno, Celko, Miklosa and Macecek. Positions were now set for the final, which would begin in an F1 style grid format. Lobodzinski was pole, Carreño 2nd, Bourne 3rd, Celko 4th, Miklosa 5th and, having finished 3rd in the first round, “Optimus Climb” 6th.

The inaugural Towerrunning World Championships final gets underway

“And they’re off!!” The inaugural Towerrunning World Championships final gets underway

The final began with a 150m run into the stairwell, with positions throughout the field changing drastically before the athletes even hit the stairs. As expected Lobodzinski maintained his position at the front the whole way up and reached the top to be crowned the very first Towerrunning World Champion, while Bourne managed to leapfrog Carreño. and regain second place. The most impressive turnaround of the day was the work put in by “Optimus Climb” who went from being 6th on the grid, behind the likes of Celko and Miklosa, to finishing in third. Brilliant effort from the Adelaide man.

The top three celebrating after the race. Check out the vascularity and the delts on Darren Wilson!!

The top three celebrating after the race. Does “Optimus Climb” have a licence for those guns!??!

With the first fully televised stair race happening the weekend before at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and now the fully stacked World Championships in Doha successfully completed, our sport is really coming into its own. It is clearly gaining in popularity and the top athletes are proving they are as fit and dedicated as those from any sporting discipline you care to mention. In the likes of Bourne, Wilson and Lobodzinski we have some fine ambassadors for stair climbing and the future looks very bright. Congratulations to all who took part in Doha.