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April 18 -  Climb for Wilderness Calgary              Gallery

A trumpet fanfare by local musician Chris Morrison kicked off the 24th annual Climb and Run for Wilderness on a bright, crisp spring day in Calgary. For the first time in the event’s history, the exciting “Power Hour” climb was added to the day’s schedule, and the race joined the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge and Towerrunning World Cup with Premium status. Despite their unfamiliarity with such a format, international Goerge Heimann (GER) and US-living Canadian Veronica Stocker triumphed.

The “Power Hour” challenged competitors to see how many full circuits (both up and back down) of the 802 stairs and 160 m high Calgary Tower they could complete in one hour, with the event being so tough even champion Heimann commented “I haven’t taken part in such a hard race before!” An interesting aspect for competitors was the 2 separate stairwells used for the race – one for going up and one for going down; with the stairwells wrapped around each other heading in different directions. This enabled the athletes to see how far ahead or behind they were, but also enabled encouragement between them.

The race began with a mass start, and last year’s endurance winner and local favourite Jonathan Heinz was first into the stairwell. However by the 10th floor Heimann, 7th in the 2014 Towerrunning World Cup, took the lead and remained in front until the end, completing five full circuits in 49:54. The fight for bronze and silver was much closer. Alexander Workman (USA) passed Heinz on the second lap, however struggled running down the stairs, with Heinz revealing his unique technique: taking seven steps individually and then jumping the entire last seven steps, landing loudly with both feet on the stamped steel. Gaining ground on the descents, Heinz finally passed Workman and held on for second, also completing 5 circuits (58:39), with Workman third, his last minute burst securing him 5 circuits with just 3 seconds to spare.

In the women’s elite category, the beginning of the race was similar to the men’s, with last year’s endurance winner Shannon Magee starting fast in the first lap. However Stocker, the number one ranked USSCA climber, passed her shortly after and was never threatened, completing 4 full circuits in 55:12. Magee came in second, completing her 4 circuits in 58:26. American Madeleine Fontillas Ronk took the bronze, completing 3 laps. “It’s surprisingly hard to run down stairs” said Stocker “but it was a great race and I will be back next year.”

More than 1,200 participants took part across the day’s 5 athletic events: a race including a 1 km road section, a family-friendly “fun climb”, a four-hour endurance climb, a team challenge, and the Power Hour. “The 24th Climb and Run for Wilderness has been without a doubt the most exciting and rewarding Earth Day Celebration we have had the honour to present. Our newest element, the power hour, was an outstanding success and we continue to spread this event’s reach around the world,” said AWA Executive Director Christyann Olson.



April 18 - Valtellina Vertical Tube Race             Gallery         Video

 The small number of distance outdoor races is richer by a major attraction.. The premiere edition of the Valtellina Vertical tube race was a glorious success. It is one of longest towerrunning races in Europe held on a 1km long track with 2700 stairs and 500m of elevation. No rails. 250 runners finished this tough race cheered by a large crowd of enthusiastic spectators.

Very famous names from mountainrunning and a number of towerrunning specialists took the challenge on a sunny saturday in Valltelina in the north of Italy. In beautiful weather with hot  25 C Bernard Dematteis, recently 2nd at Eiffel Tower, won in an  incredible time of 14:02.  Runner up and under 15 minutes too was towerrunner Emanuele Manzi (14:52). The third podium rank in this outdoor race went to mountain runner Alex Baldaccini in 15:02. On seventh position overall Emmie Collinge  from England was the fastest woman with a time of 16:25. Second was Samantha Galassi from Italy in 18:41 before compatriote mountain runner Ivonne Martinucci in 18.54.



April 17 - Preview Climb for Wilderness Calgary      

Climbers Set for “Power Hour” in Calgary

Climbers are preparing to be challenged this Saturday at the 24th edition of the Calgary Tower Climb and Run for Wilderness event.  The event, a TWA World Cup Premium and WFGT Towerrunning Challenge race, is unique on this year’s calendar as instead of trying to be the fastest for one ascent, runners will be competing to see how many circuits of the Tower’s 802 steps and 160m height they can complete in an hour.

Top Canadian athletes are expected to perform strongly with last year’s men’s winner of the 5 hour endurance challenge, Jonathan Heinz, returning for a shot at the shorter “Power Hour” version.  He managed an incredible 28 circuits over 5 hours last year.  He will be challenged by two of the world’s best veteran climbers, fellow Canadian Napoleon Woo, who recently competed in ascents up the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the TWA World Championships at The Torch in Doha, and Georg Heimann (GER), 7th in the 2014 World Cup and European Towerrunning Veteran Champion.

In the women’s race, Calgary favourite Shannon Magee, last year’s female winner of the endurance challenge, will also be returning and after completing 22 circuits over 5 hours last year, will be aiming for 5 complete circuits in this year’s Power Hour.  She will be up against fellow Canadian Veronica Stocker, who placed 10th at last month’s World Championships and is the top ranked female on the USA’s Stair Climbing Association latest rankings, and experienced American climber Madeleine Fontillas Ronk, recent winner of the Fight for Air climbs in San Francisco and San Diego.

The Climb and Run for Wilderness is a premiere community event celebrating Earth Day.  It attracts participants from across North America and more than 1,000 registered competitors are expected. The Climb and Run for Wilderness also includes major additional components of education about the environment and the creation of public art. In addition to the “Power Hour” Challenge, this year’s event includes a family “fun” climbing event, a corporate team challenge, and a 4-hour endurance event.  Details can be found on the event website http://climbforwilderness.ca/.



April 15 - Announcement Subida Gran Hotel Bali on May 30 

On May 30 the Towerrunning World Cup Premium series will celebrate its premiere on the Iberian Peninsula. The race venue, Gran Hotel Bali, is one of the most emblematic hotels in Benidorm and has picturesque views of the beautiful Poniente Beach. Until the 1960’s, Benidorm was a small fishing village but today it is known for its tourism, beaches and surprisingly, skyscrapers.

The Gran Hotel Bali Tower Run is one of the oldest stair races in Europe, and this year will be the 13th edition of the race. The race will see competitors running up 936 steps over 52 floors to the 190 m-high finish. Last year saw a surprising result in the men’s race, with the race record, held by the legendary Paul Crake, finally falling to Spanish runner Angel Llorens. No doubt this year’s competitors will be eyeing to go even faster.

The TWA is pleased to announce travel packages for 6 athletes comprising 150 € travel reimbursement and 1 night’s accommodation with breakfast. Four of these travel packages will be awarded to top-ranked TWA registered athletes using the official TWA elite application system. Two packages are raffled off among applicants ranked in the top 30 in the latest TWA World Cup ranking update. Interested athletes can apply from today until 22nd April, 2015 at 10 pm Central European Summer Time by emailing presidium@towerrunning.com.



April 5 - Tallinn TV Tower Run      Rudi Reitberger’s view as a participant and TWA official   Gallery    Video

The Premium race in Estonia’s capitol Tallinn is a really special one. The public area of the tower is full of modern electronics and information systems, but entering the staircase is like travelling back in time to the former Soviet Union. Not only are there missing or fallen pieces of concrete (making me a little fearful!), but the staircase has only 7 steps between turns, making the runner quite dizzy after even just a few floors – in the 170m ascent, there are 130 turns.Although the race was only one week after the World Championships, the international field quality was still high. World Champion Piotr Lobodzinkski continued his winning form, although 20 sec slower than last year. In the fight for 2nd place, Tomas Macecek (CZE) wanted revenge against Klaus Hausleitner (AUT) for Doha, where he lost 10th place in the final floors, however a faster second half gave Hausleitner a small gap and he claimed his first ever silver medal in a Premium race. Very strong masters climber Rolf Majcen (AUT) finished in 4th, followed by the best Estonians.

After a disappointing World Championship final and a less than perfect race in Tallinn last year, Lenka Svabikoba (CZE) wanted to prove she could do better, and she did, running 5:52 and easily breaking last year’s record. Strong local distance runner Kaisa Kukk again claimed second place, with Polish Iwona Wicha completing the podium. Together with the beautiful old city of Tallinn and the professional organization led by TWA World Council member Valdo Jahilo, I highly recommend all experienced stair runners to do this race at least once in their life time.



April 7 - Reminder: TWA registration for 2015 World Cup season  still possible - 24€ (18€ under  20 or 50+)
 
In the 2015 season the Towerrunning World Association and our sport will do another step towards global professionalization by introducing an athlete registration system, connected with a systematic data management and new services.
 
All athletes can sign up by filling in a registration form. Subsequently, you will receive your individual TWA Athlete ID number. This ID together with your password will give you access to a personal page in a protected area of the TWA website. From 2015 your individual access can be used to view your race results and statistics, to apply for TWA elite athlete support (travel packages ...) and register for international Towerrunning championships.
 
The license fee is 24€ for the whole season (reduced fee of 18€ for athletes under 20 or 50+). Preliminary registered athletes can convert their account into an official TWA license for the 2015 season from within their profile.

https://www.towerrunning.com/athletes.html



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