Posts Tagged ‘West Coast Labels’

“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

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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 dominant Team Texas crew from the West Coast Labels/X-Gym team took a clean sweep of the podium at the 55 story Fight For Air Climb at Dallas’ Reunion Tower last weekend.

It was the second race the building has hosted in recent months, and once again it was “The Chalice of Thunder” Scott Stanley who took a solid win. The Euless athlete has gone from strength to strength in recent races and secured victory in Dallas in a flying time of 4.10. Following in second was the broad shouldered figure of Brad “The Wrecking Ball” Pazoureck in 5.06, while Michael “Spartan” Doherty secured third for Team Texas in 5.21.

The victorious West Coast Labels team (pic courtesy of S. Stanley)

The victorious West Coast Labels team (pic courtesy of S. Stanley)

The three also took on an extra climb each in the elite double-climb competition, with the overall podium positions remaining the same after their second run.

In the women’s section of the race, it was Rosechelle “R&R” Ruggiero who grabbed gold, finishing in an impressive 6.55. Close behind her was Melissa “I Got 99 Problems But Stairs Ain’t One” Ross in 7.02. Haley “The Comet” Cheshier rounded off the podium in 7.09.

Great running by all. Congratulations on your successes.

Keep climbing!

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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It was a busy, busy time in the stair running world this past weekend with three events on Saturday 21 Feb and four events on Sunday 22 Feb happening around the world.

Over in Omaha, Nebraska, course record holder Ivan “The Phantom” Marsh took the win at the 9th Trek Up The Tower, clearing the 870 steps of the First National Tower in a speedy 4:41. He was pushed hard by Ryan “King Kong” Long in a time of 4:54, with the pair clocking the only sub-5 minute times of the day. The impressive Nikki “Whispering Buffalo” Perry was the fastest female, taking a top ten finish at the same. Fist pump to Nikki!!

Up in Minneapolis it was all go at the 8th Fight For Air Climb at the US Bank Plaza. To be honest, we can’t quite make sense of the preliminary results but you can have a look here if you like and try to figure it out. Well done to all who took part anyway.

In Hannover, Germany there were nine people taking on the gargantuan task of a vertical marathon!!! This involved climbing and descending a stairwell 194 times for a total of 41,904 steps (up only). The “winner” (they’re all winners, seriously) finished in 11hours and 38minutes. Here is a brief video from the event. We’re not so sure what is being said, but these guys look tough as nails and at 0:46 you will also see probably the shortest shorts ever made in the history of global textile production. Yes stair climbing is serious business, but who says we can’t look sexy while we do it? Am I right??

Sunday saw one of the biggest events in the United States stair running calendar, as racers gathered at the John Hancock Centre in Chicago for the 18th Hustle Up the Hancock. Powering up the 1632 stairs in first place was Eric “Veritas” Leninger, with a semi-mind bogglingly speedy time of 9:51. In hot pursuit was distance running coach Dan “The Vision” Walters in 10:12, with stair running legend Jesse “Ice” Berg filling the podium in 10:40. With Leninger pipping Walters at the Fight For Air Climb in Oakbrook a few weeks back too, their burgeoning rivalry will be something to follow over the coming year. Unfortunately Justin Stewart took ill before the race and had to pull out. This is a real shame as his inclusion would have added a very interesting element to the proceedings.

The women’s side of the race was dominated by some familiar names as “The Phenom” Cindy Harris added another win to her record, finishing in 11:44. Just three seconds behind in 11:47 was Liz “The Punisher” Ruvalcaba. Liz is the girlfriend of Eric Leninger; talk about a Power Couple. Love birds be getting things DONE!!

We can’t quite fathom that third place may actually be just 14 years old, but the results suggest that Brett “The Bullet” Chody is just that. Her sub-13 minute time of 12:25 is a bit of a revelation. If she stays in the sport, we can certainly expect to see her name topping race results in the future, for sure. Congratulations Brett, we are humbled!!

Of course the essence and appeal of stair running isn’t about times or results. It’s about guts, not quitting, camaraderie and pushing through. This is all on show in this video that shows a guy called Mark Block setting a PB, cheered on by his friend Karen Geninatti. This is pretty awesome!!

In Philadelphia, runners took to the 53 stories of the BNY Mellon Bank Center for the 28th Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Climb. The Tower Masters (and West Coast Labels team members) stayed true to their name as legend Stephen “The Beast from the East” Marsalese took the men’s top spot in a clean 7minutes flat, with fellow team member Sally “Phoenix” Kalksma taking the ladies win (and 7th overall) in 9:35.

Stephen Marsalese and Sally Kalksma toasting their victories

Stephen Marsalese and Sally Kalksma toasting their victories

In Denver, David Roeske took the win at the 10th Fight For Air Climb at the Republic Plaza, with Heather Inglis taking honours in the ladies section.

Stair climbers in Australia got to break in a new stairwell as they tackled the Q1 Tower in Queensland’s Gold Coast, at the inaugural Sea to Sky Stair Climb. Despite stormy weather that threatened to keep some climbers away, the event went off successfully and we are sure the race will be a very welcome addition to Australia’s list of annual climbs. As expected, the phenomenal Mark Bourne took the win fairly handily on the day in 6:45, with Kim Hamilton leading the women in with a time of 10:03. Adam Ryan from Stair Climbing Australia has put together this excellent video, which shows a variety of the elite runners at different times throughout the race. Seeing Mark Bourne still powering away somewhere on the 76th floor is worth checking out. Nice little soundtrack on this one too. Great work!

That wraps up this week’s results. Congratulations to everyone who got out there and took part. Keep climbing!!