Part 2 – Males
Excitement pure before the male race. All the invited Top8 from the October Ranking were present. The big miss was defending Tour Champion Christian Riedl from Germany, because due to family reasons he did not travel much this year. Worth of mentioning too are three others, who like Christian missed qualification only by a few points: Mateusz Marunowski (POL) mainly because “his ” Münster race was skipped this year, Michal Kovac (SVK) and Jesus Raya (MEX).
On the starting line stood four athletes with a theoretical chance to win the Tour crown ! Virtually in the lead was Wai Ching Soh from Malaysia and realistically it was a duel between him and Poland’s five time Champion Piotr Lobodzinski. Wai Ching so far had never beaten Piotr in a race, but a runner up to a Piotr win or a 4th rank in case of Piotr placing 2nd would be enough. The other expected duel was for the 3rd in the Tour between Germany’s Görge Heimann, who after finishing 4th in 2017 and 2018 really wanted this Tour podium and Mexican Alexis Trujillo. Slightly shortened Görge had to place before Alexis to secure 3rd.
Among all those eagerly waiting behind the finish line was Iwona Wicha, a few minutes after finishing 10th herself, hoping for husband Piotr to take the crown. It was Chinese Fanrong Shi from the 15 second interval group who clocked the first sub19 time of the day and took the lead, his 18:59 should place him 8th finally
About 90 seconds later there was a new leader, Wenbo Zheng (CHN) in 18:15. And after another approximately 90 seconds Australian Mark Bourne came in with 17:33, missing Christian’s course record from last year by 7 seconds. This time in the end proved to be good enough for a convincing win of Shanghai Tower International Vertical Marathon 2019, not unexpected after two other recent clear wins in Osaka and Melbourne.
Next finishers were Qinghua Liu (CHN, 18:19, 4th) and Ryoji Watanabe (JPN, 18:54, 6th). Tension grew. Suddenly, local time was 10:17:42, Frank Carreno (COL, 19:39, 10th) finished. And then everything happened very very quick. Within the following 22 seconds all the four top contenders crossed the line.
10:17:51 – Görge Heimann (19:14, 9th)
10:17:59 – Alexis Trujillo (18:54, 7th) thus capturing the Tour podium with only 6 points ahead of Görge
10:18:01 – Wai Ching Soh (18:26, 5th)
10:18:04 – Piotr Lobodzinski (17:57, 2nd) thus winning the Tour by 10 points (or 7 seconds from his opponent’s point of view)
So the Towerrunning Tour 2019 culminated in that one decisive minute, within which the Top5 finished their season. Thanks to Shanghai Tower Management and the Tiker Sport team led by Kevin Young for an exciting Final !
Towerrunning Tour 2019 Top10
1 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 964
2 Wai Ching Soh (MAS) 954
3 Alexis Trujillo (MEX) 864
4 Görge Heimann (GER) 858
5 Frank Carreno (COL) 718
6 Mark Bourne (AUS) 674
7 Ryoji Watanabe (JPN) 652
8 Stefan Stefina (SVK) 621
9 Mateusz Marunowski (POL) 538
10 Michale Kovac (SVK) 489