December 15 - Race Report  - Ascenso Torre Colpatria  -  Bogota on Dec 8         

December 8th (Inmaculada Concepción) is a public holiday in Colombia. And for the 11th time this year it was also the date of Ascenso Torre Colpatria – an event  which serves both as a fundraiser for Operacion Sónrisa and as one of the most important stair races worldwide. The big challenge for the international top athletes there is to beat the national elite used to the 2600m altitude ! The venue is Torre Colpatria, a 50-story skyscraper often referred to as “Mirador Torre Colpatria” which is illuminated every night with thirty-six color changing Xenon lights and a landmark of the 8 million metropole Bogota. In fact the event starts the night before with fireworks and a special light show attracting thousands of people in the surrounding downtown streets.

Angela Figueroa defended her title winning in 6:49,81 beating Martha Ronceria (6:54,15) and Maria Eugenia Rodriguez ((7:04,61). It was her 4th title at Colpatria after 2008, 2011 and 2014. Special credit goes to Maria Eugenia Rodriguez too, as the multiple winner of this race has continued her streak of podium finishes in all eleven editions since 2005. Once more the international athletes missed the podium with Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (POL) placing 4th before Zuzana Krchova (CZE).

Like in the years before the male race was another duel between Frank Nicolas Carreno and five time Colpatria champion Juan Pablo Rangel. In a narrow decision Carreno clocked the only sub5 time of the day repeating last years win in 4:59,14 just about two seconds faster than Rangel (5:01,30). These two athletes shared the top two ranks since 2010. Third place went to Nicolas Herrera in 5:12,07. No chance against Colombian dominance had the international athletes; Stefan Stefina (SVK-5:57,9) and Sproule Love (USA-6:01,2) were a minute behind.

Carrera Ascenso Torre Colpatria is the only major stair race worldwide, which is organized in close cooperation with the national Olympic committee and national athletics association. With almost 3,000 participants climbing the iconic tower in the business center of Bogota within a few hours the agency Correcaminos de Colombia once again proved their superiority in organizing an event combining sports on world class level and charity, as the  participants also raised funds for Operacion Sónrisa.

December 13  -  TATA Tower Run Mumbai presented by CII - Mumbai -  Dec 13  

The Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) organised the second edition of Tata Tower Run at the iconic 30-storey World Trade Centre (WTC)  in Mumbai. The Sunday morning witnessed enthusiastic participation from across categories like children, youth, senior citizens and individual and corporate teams for the run. This initiative, which involved running 689 stairs of the landmark structure and aimed at promoting the spirit of healthy living among Mumbaikars was also supported by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).

Shashi Kumar Diwakar won the first position clocking a finish timing of 3 mins and 37 seconds. He broke his own record of 4 mins and 23 second to win the title for the second consecutive year. Hannah Wabera from Kenya won the first position in the individual women participant category by clocking a finish time of 5 mins and 37 seconds. Including the athletes of the team competition more than 250 participants enjoyed a great race documenting the growing status of the Towerrunning sport in India.

December 8  - Ascenso Torre Colpatria Top 5            Top3Females     Top3Males

1 Angela Figueroa (COL) 6:49,81
2 Martha Ronceria (Col) 6:54,14
3 Maria Eugenia Rodriguez (COL) 7:04,61
4 Dominica Wisniewska-Ulfik (Pol) 7:49,36
5 Susan Krchova (Cze) 8:00,94

1 Frank Nicolas Carreno (COL) 4:59,14
2 Juan Pablo Rangel (COL) 5:01,30
3 Nicolas Herrera (COL) 5:12,07
4 Saul Padua (COL) 5:23,15
5 John Jairo Vargas (Col) 5:23,81

For another year the Colombian athletes dominated their home race.
More Info coming - Event website:

November 29  -  Race Report - Swissotel Vertical Marathon - Grand Prix of Singapore 

Walsham Claims 10th title while Lobodzinski clinches first

While more than 2,000 participants ascended the Swissotel The Stamford Hotel in Singapore on Sunday morning, including some Minions and a Reindeer, the biggest cheers were for the elites as Singapore’s first ever TWA Grand Prix event got underway.  Chances of a course record were dashed when the possibility of lightning strikes earlier in the morning resulted in the finish moving indoors to the 69th floor, (instead of the 73rd floor rooftop), but this did not dampen the spirit of the competitors as Singapore resident Suzy Walsham (AUS) won her 10th straight Women’s Open title and Piotr Lobodzinski continued his wining form securing his first win after a 3rd placing in 2013.

In a departure from previous starting procedures, the elites went off individually at 10 second intervals.  Walsham started off conservatively and was almost caught by Poland’s Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik by the 10th floor, but Walsham’s experience and knowledge of the building saw her gradually pull away from the 20th floor onwards to take the win by more than 40 seconds in 7:46, with Wisniewska-Ulfik holding on to second place in 8:28.  The third fastest woman of the day came from the age group categories, with Bridget Robertson (NZL) running a personal best in 8:45.  “I am thrilled to get my 10th win here in my “home” race” beamed Walsham “My training has been a bit interrupted and I was a bit shocked how fast Dominika was in the early stages, but I stuck to my race plan and it worked well for me.”

In the men’s race, Lobodzinski started first and was never challenged, winning his first Swissotel Vertical Marathon in 6:49.  Italian mountain runner Luca Cagnati showed the cross-over capabilities from the mountains to the stairs with a strong 6:57, while Germany’s Gorge Heimann narrowly secured another podium finish placing 3rd in 7:12, only 2 seconds faster than Xavier Chevrier (ITA).  “I am very happy with my first win here in Singapore” said Lobodzinski “I was feeling pretty relaxed, but now I see the time I know why!  But after a long year of racing it is still great to get the win.”

The top 10 results of both the men’s and women’s events demonstrated not only the international attraction of the Swissotel Vertical Marathon race, but also the growing participation in Towerrunning events.  The men’s top 10 featured 6 different nationalities while the women’s top 10 featured 7 nationalities from 4 continents, with 8 of them breaking 10 minutes, double the number from the previous year.

November 29  - Swissotel Vertical Marathon Singapore Top 6 (preliminary) 

1 Suzy Walsham (AUS) 7:46
2 Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (POL) 8:28
3 Bridgette Robertson (NZL) 8:45
4 Cindy Reid (AUS) 9:13
5 Cristina Bonacina (ITA) 9:15
6 Vanja Cnops (BEL) 9:16

1 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 6:48
2 Luca Cagnati (ITA) 6:57
3 Görge Heimann (GER) 7:12
4 Xavier Chevrier (ITA) 7:14
5 John Muiruri Mburu (KEN) 7:43
6 Ralf Hascher (GER) 7:55

Due to weather conditions the race finished on 69th floor.

November 15   -  Eureka Climb - Eureka Tower -Melbourne   

Record 5th titles for Alice McNamara and Mark Bourne

The Eureka Climb is Australia’s highest stairclimbing race with participants ascending 1,642 steps to level 88’s observation deck (Eureka SkyDeck), 297m above the ground.  The only TWA Premium Race in Australia in 2015, it is held in one of the World’s tallest residential towers, Eureka Tower in Melbourne, Australia.   The race always attracts Australia’s elite stair runners, and this year was no exception, with Mark Bourne and Alice McNamara securing their 5th victories, an incredible record considering the first edition of the race was only in 2008.

The men’s race was a battle between Australia’s leading duo of Mark Bourne and Darren Wilson, currently ranked 6th and 4th respectively in the 2015 TWA World Cup.  Bourne, the World Championship silver medallist, has been in good form with a recent win in Sydney and two second places in Beijing and Shanghai, while Wilson, the Asian Champion and World Championship bronze medallist recently won the Adelaide Stair Challenge.  But Bourne proved too strong, again cracking the elusive 8minute mark to win in 7:55, with Wilson 13 seconds behind in 8:08.  “I’m very glad to win the Eureka Climb for the 5th year in a row” said Bourne, “As always, the race was tough so it is great to break the 8-minute barrier once again.”  Scott McGraw matched his 3rd placing from 2013 finishing in 9:19.

The women’s race was dominated by Alice McNamara with a superb 9:39, only 6 seconds shy of her 2011 course record.  Preparing for selection in the Australian Olympic Rowing team for Rio, McNamara, who finished 7th overall, was one minute ahead of 2013 winner Brooke Logan (10:39), while Kim Hamilton rounded out the top 3 in 11:25.

The event included a category for Emergency Services and was well supported by firefighters (weighed down by 23kg of equipment), Ambulance and Police officers, and members of the Defence Force.  Around 2,500 participants raised more than $250,000 for charities Interplast and Whitelion.

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