News

March 28  -  Towerrunning World Championships  2015  

After a thrilling 2 days of competition at the Aspire Torch Staircase Run, it was Poland’s Piotr Lobodzinski and Austria’s Andrea Mayr who made history as the first ever winners of the Towerrunning World Championships, with Australia taking the team gold. After the qualification races on Friday, both Lobodzinksi and Mayr were on pole position for the F1-style mass start, and despite the strongest fields ever assembled in a stair race, maintained their positions to the top.

The women were first off the mark and after a surprisingly close qualification between Mayr and Suzy Walsham (AUS), the final produced one of the most thrilling battles ever in a women’s stair racing event, with Mayr pushed all the way before eventually winning in 7:50, with Walsham 4 seconds behind in 7:54.  After the sprint start, the top 8 women entered the building close together, but by the 10th floor, Mayr and Walsham had broken away from the pack. Walsham stuck to the heels of Mayr till the 40th floor, before the 5 times World Mountain Running champion showed her strength and pulled away to maintain her unbeaten stair racing record. “The race today was very tough” said Mayr “but I am very happy to win here.” Walsham was equally happy with her race, commenting “It was always going to be tough to win here but I am so happy with my performance – it was a great 2 days of racing for me.” Third place went to Poland’s Dominica Wisniewska-Ulfik, who was thrilled with her Championships performance “I am very happy to get a medal. I was fourth after the qualification so to go one better in the final is great.”

In the men’s race Lobodzinski also entered the building first, but was never challenged and went on to take the win by 17 seconds in 6:35. “I am very happy to be the winner of the first ever Towerrunning World Championships”, said the Polish star, “It was perfect race for me”. The minor medals proved a tougher battle with some overtaking and changing of positions from the starting grid order, but it was Australian duo Mark Bourne (6:52) and Darren Wilson (6:58) who eventually came away with the silver and bronze. “It was a tough race with a lot of strong competition, so I am really happy with the silver medal” said Bourne. After starting in 6th position, Wilson was also excited to come away with a medal “I had a crack and finished third, so it was awesome.” The team competition was based on the results from the qualification round, and the favourites, Australia, were dominant, winning by 44 points. The results were closer for the silver and bronze with the Czech Republic edging out Austria by 14 points.

“The first TWA World Championships in Doha were a great success with an incredibly exciting competition and the most star-studded international field in the Towerrunning history” says TWA President Sebastian Wurster. “We are very grateful for the excellent collaboration with Aspire Zone Foundation and appreciate the hard work of the entire event crew including dozens of volunteers who made this project possible.”



March 26  -  Towerrunning World Championships  2015  - The Day Before     coming  Livestream

As preparations in and around The Torch Hotel in Doha are finalized, the world’s top stair runners are all set for a fantastic two days of competition at the inaugural TWA Towerrunning World Championships starting this Friday. The event will be the most competitive stair running event ever, with the biggest stars of Towerrunning, including World Cup leaders and 2014 champions Piotr Lododzinski (POL) and Suzy Walsham (AUS), all aiming to be crowned World Champion and share in a prize pool of USD 27,000.

In the men’s field, the depth of the field is unprecedented with 9 out of the World’s top 10 ready to battle it out. In addition to the in-form Lododzinski, who has two recent wins in Warsaw and Paris, there is 2014 World Cup silver medalist Tomas Celko (SVK), Asian/Ocean Towerrunning Champion Darren Wilson (AUS), Taipei 101 and former Empire State Building Run Up Champion Mark Bourne (AUS), Czech Towerrunning Champion Miroslav Burian, Austrian Champion Klaus Hausleitner and other top Europeans Matjaz Miklosa (SLO), Görge Heimann (GER), Tomas Macecek (CZE), and Emanuale Manzi (ITA).

In the women’s field, Walsham, who already has wins this year in Guangzhou, New York and Paris, will face stiff competition from unbeaten five times World Mountain Running Champion Andrea Mayr (AUT), 2014 Towerrunning World Cup silver medalist Lenka Svabikova (CZE), Polish Towerrunning Champion and recent winner in Warsaw Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (POL), USSCA top ranked Cindy Harris (USA) and top Europeans Christina Bonacina (ITA) and Zuzana Krchova (CZE).

Competition begins on Friday morning with the first of two qualification rounds. In the morning, runners will race individually up the 1,304 steps and 51 floors of The Torch Hotel, followed by a shorter 30 floor race in the afternoon. Points will be awarded based on finishing times, with the starting positions for the final determined by the top 30 highest scores. In an exciting final format, the mass start will feature an F1-style starting grid, with the fastest qualifier in pole position, followed by the remaining competitors along the 37 m grid. Finalists will have a 150 m run to the building, before scaling 50 floors to the finishing line, where the first placed finisher will be crowned World Champion.

Organised by the Aspire Zone Foundation, the Aspire Torch Staircase Run is in its fourth year, and up to 500 local competitors will also have the chance to compete along with the elites.



March 17 - Announcement Taipei 101 Run Up - Grand Prix of Taiwan  

The first East Asian Towerrunning Grand Prix and WFGT Towerrunning Challenge event in the 2015 season will kick off on May 3rd with the 11th edition of the Taipei 101 Run Up. The building is a landmark super tall skyscraper in the Xinyi district of Taipei, Taiwan. Construction started in 1999 and until 2010 it was the world´s highest building.

The race is regarded by stair runners as one of the toughest single building climbs in the world, with the height of the stairs, together with the height of the building, resulting in an overall punishing climb. Although the highest occupied floor is 438 m above ground, runners will “only” have to climb the 2,046 steps to the outdoor observation deck on level 91, 391 m above ground. Course records by Paul Crake (AUS) and Andrea Mayr (AUT are from 2005.

Taipei 101 is pleased to announce travel packages for 6 athletes comprising EUR 300 travel reimbursement and 2 nights’ accommodation. For 2 additional TWA-registered Asian athletes, 1 nights’ accommodation will also be offered. Travel packages will be awarded to top-ranked TWA registered athletes using the official TWA elite application system. Interested athletes can apply from today until March 27 at 10 pm Central European Time by emailing presidium@towerrunning.com.



March 14  -  Bieg Na Szczyt  Grand Prix of Poland - Local heroes defend titles          Gallery

With one of the strongest fields ever in a Towerrunning Grand Prix event it was always going to be a tough climb to the top of not only Rondo 1, but also the podium. Much to the delight of local fans, it was defending champions Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) and Dominika Wisniweska-Ulfik (POL), who came away with the win.

In the men’s elite, with the top 3 World Cup leaders all participating, the qualification round saw only 6 seconds separating the trio, with Lobodzinksi finishing a close 1.58 seconds ahead of Christian Riedl (GER), and Tomas Celko (SVK) a further 4.75 seconds behind. Interestingly, both Riedl and Celko were faster than Lobodzinksi to the 10th floor and also in the final 4 floors of the 37 floors, but it was Lobodzinksi’s strength and consistency in the middle section that cinched the win and the vital lead off for the final.

Lobodzinski powered away in the final round to take the overall win in 3:33.88. Riedl held on for the second place 12 seconds behind, while Celko also maintained his position to take the bronze, a further 7 seconds behind. “After the qualification round I was a little disappointed with my time. It was 4 seconds slower than last year, and only one second ahead of Christian” said Lobodzinksi, “But I was happy to defend my title and my overall performance was similar to last year. Now I look forward to the next race in Paris on Friday, and afterwards to the World Championships.”

Except for Wisniweska-Ulfik, who triumphed in both rounds, the women’s elite race saw some exciting racing, with reshuffling of the minor positions from the qualification round to the final standings. The Polish Mountain Running Champion ran an incredibly strong qualification, clocking 4:40.54 to break the previous course record, and gain a crucial 8 second start off lead to 2014 Towerrunning World Cup runner-up Lenka Svabikova (CZE) and an 11 second lead to Anna Ficner (POL). She held this position to take the final in 4:49.57, with the fast finishing Ficner gaining a place and some time, to finish only 7 seconds behind. In similar fashion, Zuzanna Krchova (CZE) also finished strongly, narrowly pipping Svabikova for 3rd by only 0.83 second.

In its 5th edition, the Rondo 1 Run Up has become a very popular event on the local running scene with the participant limit of 500 reached only 30 minutes after release. “The Rondo 1 Run Up once more proved its organizational class" said TWA President Sebastian Wurster, “This race, coined by the great passion of event crew, runners and spectators, is a shining example for the development of our sport in Eastern Europe.”



March 12  -  Preview Bieg Na Szczyt  Grand Prix of Poland Mar 14      Live Broadcast on race day 10:00 CET

The Towerrunning Grand Prix of Poland returns to Warsaw this Saturday for the 5th edition of the Rondo 1 Run Up. The elite men’s and women’s field are stacked with some of the world’s top-ranked stair runners as they hone their final preparations for the upcoming Towerrunning World Championships.

The men’s field includes the current top 3 ranked World Cup athletes, comprising hometown hero, World Cup leader and defending champion Piotr Lobodzinksi (POL), 2014 World Cup silver medallist Tomas Celko (SVK), and recent Empire State Building Run Up champion Christian Riedl (GER). “There is a lot of pressure on me after my victory in Warsaw last year and a very successful 2014 season,” acknowledges Lobodzinksi, “but I will handle it. I know I am in good shape and I will do my best to defend my title.”

He will face stiff competition from the inform Riedl, who is looking forward to returning to Warsaw and going one better than last year. “After being 3rd in 2013 and 2nd in 2014 it would be fantastic to stand on top of the podium this year” said Riedl, “However I am aware that the race will be very competitive, but I will do my best.” Celko indicated similar sentiments, “My training sessions are stronger than last year and I hope to go faster…and of course I would like to be in a medal position.”

The women’s elite race will also see the return of last year’s champion Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (POL). “I really want to defend my title at Rondo 1 Run Up. I am training hard for the race and hope for a new course record” said the Polish champion. She will face tough competition from 2014 Towerrunning World Cup silver medallist Lenka Svabikova (CZE) who will be competing in the event for the third time “Last year, I promised the race organiser I would come back in even better shape, so I will be doing my best to celebrate my first victory in Warsaw”, and World Cup bronze medallist Maria Therese Handlbauer (AUT). Other top 10 ranked athletes including Christina Bonacina (ITA) and Jana Zatlukalova will also be in the mix.

The race, up 836 steps and 38 floors of the Rondo 1 building, has an interesting format comprising an all-important qualifying round and a final round for the 12 fastest men and women. The qualifying round is critical for the final starting position, as runners will line up in a starting order according to their results achieved in the qualifying round, with the fastest leading off; while the other finalists will start after the amount of seconds they lost to him/her in the qualification round. The first runner to reach the finish line will be the winner.



March 7  -   Carrera Torre Latino   Grand Prix of Mexico            Gallery

Latin Americans revelled in the high altitude air at Saturday’s Towerrunning Grand Prix of Mexico and WFGT Challenge, with Colombian Juan Pablo Rangel winning the elite men’s race and hometown hero Ericka Cano Gomez taking the elite women’s crown. The race, up the 42 floors and 720 steps of the Torre Latinoamericana, a landmark on the Mexico City skyline, was always going to be tough, with the race finishing at an air-gasping altitude of 2,400 m above sea level, and the stairwell narrow and steep.

Despite the presence of strong USA and European competitors, the experienced Rangel, a multiple winner and course record holder of Columbia’s Towerrunning Grand Prix (Ascenso Torre Colpatria), stormed to victory in a new course record of 3 min 32 sec. “I am very happy I could come to Mexico to compete, and the race had a great atmosphere”, said Rangel, adding that with this years’ experience in the building, he believed he could run even faster next time. Continuing his strong revitalisation in 2015, second place went to US Towerrunning Champion Sproule Love in 3 min 58 sec, with the Czech Republic’s Pavel Holec rounding out the intercontinental podium in 4 min 06sec, narrowly beating 4th placed German Gorge Heimann by a mere 0.03 sec.

The women’s elite race was dominated by locals with Gomez winning in a swift 5 min16 sec, and Carmen Trinidad Ramiro Allende hot on her heels in 5 min 20 sec. Both athletes, although well known in Mexican track and field and mountain running, are new to the sport, with Gomez commenting “It was my first run-up event and I never thought it would be so hard, but I am very happy with my win here and I am looking forward to the next one.” Experienced Italian towerrunner Christina Bonacina claimed 3rd place in 5min44sec.

500 competitors, of whom an amazing 40% were women, challenged themselves in the race to the top, not only to admire the view, but to aim for a share in the USD 4,200 prize pool allocated across all ages and categories.

"We were thrilled to have Torre Latinoamericana join the Grand Prix series of the Towerrunning World Cup and the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge this year and it was great to see the success of both new and experienced stair runners, and in fact all participants, who contributed to a great morning of competition," says TWA Vice President Daniel Cecetka representing the sports’ international governing body in Mexico.

Next week, all eyes will be focussed on Warsaw’s Rondo 1 Run Up, the second Grand Prix race on this year’s Towerrunning World Cup tour, with several top-ranked athletes challenging Polish World Cup leader and defending champion Piotr Lobodzinski in his home race.



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