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June 3 - Race Report:  Carrera Towerrunning Challenge Torre Latino - Mexico City       

Torre Latino is an iconic building in downtown Mexico City. Built in 1956 it was the first skyscraper in Latin America and is a worthy venue for the yearly final of the Mexican Towerrunning series. Athletes have to climb 42 floors with 720 stairs and almost 500 took the challenge again on June 3. The race traditionally is part of the TWA Towerrunning Tour and the World Federation of Great Towers Towerrunning Challenge. There are invitations for elite athletes and price money not only for the fastest overall racers, but for Master and Veteran categories too. Another great aspect about this event and making it unique is, that challenged athletes are an important part of the competition and of course children are racing too.

There was no surprise in the male race. The Colombian favourite Frank Nicolas Carreno, one month ago Bronze medalist at the Taipei World Championships defended his title. His 3:32 made him undisputed champion again. More excitement was in the race for the runner up spot and  another Carreno took it. Frank's brother Wilmer was the lucky one narrowly beating Görge Heimann from Germany, who after some near misses in previous years finally managed a podium spot.. An unwanted touch of dramatics was added, as last year's runner up Alexis Trujillo was hindered by a closed door on his climb. By general agreement he was allowed a second try, but nearly missed a podium spot then. 

No new names but a new record at the females. Mexican Rocio Carrera defended her title with a time of 4:41.  US Towerrunning legend Cindy Harris for the 3rd year in a row had to be content with the runner up spot. The podium was completed by another Mexican, Araceli Castillo. Looking at the other categories we note a couple win by Rosa Maria Gonzalez Torres and Ignacio Manrique in Masters and Veterans divisions respectively. Special applause to the achievements of some visually impaired athletes and to double leg amputee Michel Munoz climbing the tower with his hands !

Like in the past three years we experienced a great event, organized in the proven way by Pedro Fossas representing the tower and Roberto Velezquez, President of Towerrunning Mexico, with his team. 
Like always there is excellent picture coverage catching the atmosphere by official pictures as well as by those of  James Harris.



May 26 - Race Report Subida Vertical Gran Hotel Bali - Benidorm          Video

Christian Riedl and Wafiya Benali winners at Gran Hotel Bali

Only 6 days after Christian Riedl won the competition in Shenzhen, he took another winner trophy home in his bag. With a time of 4:23 minutes he reached the roof of the Gran Hotel Bali in Benidorm. The view on the top of the beautiful spanish coast was certainly the payback for the hundreds of steps of hard work before. In an unbelieveable time of 4:34 minutes, another German runner, Görge Heimann, reached the 2nd position before the Slovak Stefan Stefina. Heimann, who is going to turn 50 years young in October, improved his previous time by 11 seconds, Stefina by 1 second.

In the female category the Moroccan Wafiya Benali, who also loves to participate on street races, set the new course record in 5:43 minutes. Lenka Svabikova followed her with a gap of 15 seconds. The spanish runner Maria Beltran Toledo remained true to the towerrunning sport. She came in 2 seconds faster than in 2017. All other athletes also fought hard for their best outcome and to conquer the 936 steps.

Haki Doku  from Albania, chose to take another stair challenge with his wheelchair. After he had done, for instance in the past Frankfurt’s Messeturm, he was ready for the hotel Bali. He „rolled“ down from the top in 18:14 minutes. This shows will power is the key to success. It is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.

The 15th version of Subida Vertical at Grand Hotel Bali denoted a new participant record in 2018. This competition definitely remains something special for all international athletes. Thanks to Miqel Tortosa and his team the race has established itself as one of the highlights of the Towerrunning Tour and would be a perfect venue for a championship tournament.

A sideeffect of Christian Riedl's wins and Piotr Lobodzinski's absence both in Benidorm and Shenzhen was, that both athletes now are on tie points in the ranking ! Due to less number of races Christian climbed the top spot after a five year continuous reign of Piotr. 

RH



May 20 - Race Report PAFC International Vertical Marathon Masters - Shenzhen - PingAn Finance Centre  

The recently finished 599m office building is the world's 4th highest skyscraper at the moment. A great venue for an exciting race, where athletes had to climb 116 floors on 3201 stairs from ground to the observation desk making 541m altitude. An excellent international field lined up in the afternoon of a very hot and sunny day with outside temperature of 33° and high humidity. These conditions made even the prerace warm up a tiring business and some athletes from cooler parts of the world described this indoor event as a "heat race" !

Another additional challenge lay in the track stairography - on the way to the top at the 8 refuge floors runners had to change stairwells on relatively long flat intersections. For some athletes a welcome break from continuous climbing, others did not like these sections, which in sum might have added another 2 minutes to an already very long race time ! But the reward on top for the 300 participants was an amazing view on this clear day.

Business as usual in the female race. This was the 3rd big race on continous weekens for Suzy Walsham, but the new crowned Towerrunning World Champion in 22:51 added another clear win to her long success list. Runner up was Muhua Jian from China and US legend Cindy Harris completed the podium. Home athlete Qinglan Zhou placed 4th followed by Italian legend Cristina Bonacina and Mexican Maria Elisa Lopez.

One man was unbeatable in the male race. With 19:28 in absence of Piotr Lobodzinski the Vice World Champion Christian Riedl from Germany was the only one with a finishing time under 20 minutes. But the race for runner up spot was very very narrow - a mere 11 seconds made the difference between ranks 2 to 5 ! Qinhua Liu from China was the lucky one on 2nd followed by German Goerge Heimann (like in Taipei same rank for him as for equally "young" Cindy Harris !). The two others narrowly repressed from the podium were Japan's Ryoji Watanabe and Wenbo Zheng from China. Another Chinese athlete, Wei Chen, placed 6th followed by  Michal Kovac from Slovakia and a not fully fit Wai Ching Soh from Malaysia.

Thanks to perfect organization it was a spectacular race at a very challenging venue and we hope for a repeat next year !



May 17  –  Announcement Ostankino Tower Run - Moscow on July 21 

On July 21 the first Towerrunning 200 race in Europe this year will be held in Russia. New country on TWA Towerrunning Tour race map and a breathtaking venue too ! Ostankino Tower built in 1967 is the second  tallest structure in Europe with a height of 540 meters. Nothing more to say – just enjoy !

It will be a revival race. Ten times National Championships were held at the venue. At the 2000 edition 70 athletes raced after a qualification the day before. The fire a few months later stopped it .... The race will see competitors running up 1 704 steps  to the 337 meter high finish, course record is 11:55. The race organizers offer a 5 000 Euro in prize money for the four best male and female runners (1000 - 750 - 500 - 250).

The TWA is pleased to announce travel packages for 6 athletes ( non Europeans ) comprising 400 Euro travel reimbursement and 2 nights of accommodation including breakfast and 6 athletes ( Europeans ) comprising 200 Euro travel reimbursement and 2 nights of accommodation including breakfast. These packages will be awarded to TOP 40 ranked TWA registered athletes in the May 2018 ranking update using the official TWA Elite application system. Apploications to president@towerrunning.com and sport@towerrunning.com. from May 23 to 30, 2018, 10 pm CET.



May 5 - Race Report Towerrunning World Championships 2018 - Taipei 101   Pics 1      Pics 2     Pics ARP

The tournament consisted of two heats at Taipei 101 starting with a "sprint" run up to floor 35with 824 stairs climbing 152 maltitude. Only 90 minutes later the decisive "full" run was started covering the classic 2046 stairs with 391 m  altitude up to the observation desk. In the first heat the ranking leaders and prerace favourites already showed their willingness to win this most important race of the 2018 Towerrunning season. Suzy Walsham( AUS) clocked an impressive 4:31 more than 20 seconds faster than Zuzana Krchova (CZE) and half a minute faster than 4 time 101 winner Valentina Belotti (ITA). Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) needed 3:39 beating Frank Carreno (COL) by 10 seconds. They were followed by two Germans, expected Christian Riedl and surprisingly just 0,28 seconds behind Goerge Heimann.

Suzy showed her superiority again in the second heat with a 13:01 personal best at 101 followed by Valentina (13:15) and Zuzana (13:52). According to the tournament mode at tie points the full race result determined that the silver medal went to Italy and bronze to Czech Republic.On  4th Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (POL), 5th Muhua Jian (CHN) coming from 7th after the sprint. Her strong performance in the full race and another tie points decision displaced Cindy Harris (USA) to 6th at her 101 debut after more than 20 years as extra elite stair racer. 

Piotr too was fastest in the full raceclocking a 11:11 and beating Christian by 4 seconds. this secured gold for Piotr and silver for Christian.Three athletes followed within 100 seconds. With 11:48 Ryoji Watanabe (JPN) jumped from 6th to 4th, Frank Carreno settled his bronze, whereas Mark Bourne (AUS) had to be content with 5th place. With a sub12 Jakob Mayr (AUT) was sixfastest in the full race followed by Emanuele Manzi (ITA), but the 6th in the World Championship tournament went to Goerge. It is fascinating that both World Championship 6th places were taken by athletes marked 50+ in the Towerrunning Ranking !

Thanks to the 101 team with the credit of having organized now 14 times the Taipei 101 Run Up  with a few thousand participants every year at this iconic venue we had an exciting Championship tournament. The TWA says "Thank You" too to 85 participants from 26countries ! The internationality of highest level Towerrunning is documented too by some statistzic trivia. 6 different nations won the medals, athletes from 9 countries were in Top6 and from 14 countries in Top 10. Only the winners nations Australia and Poland were represented three times in the Top10. Congratulations to the old and new World Champion Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland and to an emotional milestone in the extraordinary career of Suzy Walsham. The Australian athlete crowned herself World Champion in her 100th stair race having started 2006 in her living place Singapore !



May 5 - Top 6 Towerrunning World Championships 2018  

1 Suzanne Walsham AUS 560
2 Valentina Belotti ITA 475
3 Zuzana Krchova CZE 475
4 Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik POL 395
5 Muhua Jian CHN 365
6 Cindy Harris USA 365

1 Piotr Lobodzinski POL 560
2 Christian Riedl GER 475
3 Frank Nicolas Carreno COL 455
4 Ryoji Watanabe JAP 400
5 Mark Bourne AUS 380
6 Goerge Heimann GER 335



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