January 13 – Torre Pontida – Latina
The European start of a new Towerrunning Tour season traditionally happens in Italy, when athletes climb Italy’s 8-highest building, Torre Pontida, located in Latina in the vicinity of Rome. There is a qualification round and the five fastest females and ten fastest men have to do it again.
A counterpart to all the athletes aiming for the top was given for the 2nd time at Torre Pontina by Haki Doku, who climbed down the 702 stairs with his wheelchair. This multisport Albanian athlete living in Italy in the meantime is well known worldwide for his spectacular downstair climbs.
Looking back at the race history the 2014 premiere was won by Italian Towerrunning legend Cristina Bonacina and in the following year mountain runner Ivonne Martinucci made it another home win. And then for three years in a row Czech Lenka Svabikova was champion and three times Ivonne the runner up. Last year Lenka made it despite a night on the plane directly coming from the Tour Final in Changsha, China ! These two battled it out again at the 6th edition. This time it was Yvonne’s day. She was more than 10 seconds faster than Lenka in the qualification heat and, though improved their times in the final, took victory with 4:39 against the Czech’s 4:50. Teresa Galano (ITA) took 3rd place in 5:16.
In absence of defending Champion Fabio Ruga the Italian cyclist Pasquale Caramanica and Czech Miroslav Burian had nearly equal fastest qualification times. But in the final the Czech athlete, who has some wins at major stair races at his score card, could improve more and won the race in 3:52 by a mere second before Italian mountain runner Fabrizio Triulzi (3:53). Caramanica had to be content with 3rd place in 3:54. Austrian Rolf Majcen became 4th in his 156th stair race in which he climbed 88 buildings and 14 outdoor stairs.