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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 5 - Tallinn TV Tower Run         Gallery    Video

The fourth edition of the Tallinn TV Tower Run saw 170 stair running enthusiasts climb the challenging 21 floors and 870 steps to the Observation Deck of the Tallinn TV Tower, with defending champions Piot Lobodzinski (POL) and Lenka Svabikova (CZE) triumphing again. While all eyes were focused on how fast recently crowned men’s Towerrunning World Champion Lobodzinski would go, it was Svabikova who ran the race of the day, smashing her previous record by 20 seconds.

The women’s elite were first off the mark at the Towerrunning World Cup Premium and WFGT Towerrunning Challenge event, and Svabikova set out to make up for her disappointing 9th place at last weekend’s Towerrunning World Championships. The 2014 World Cup silver medallist broke through the 6 minute mark, running an impressive 5:52.2, beating local favourite Kaisa Kukk whose 6:12.1 was also under the previous record, while third place went to Iwona Wicha (POL) in 6:20.6. “I am extremely pleased with my performance today and big appraisal to the race organisers” said Svabikova “I want to come back again next year to try for a third title.”

Meanwhile in the men’s elite race, Lobodzinski was aiming for his fourth straight stair race win in four weeks, and while he successfully achieved this goal, his 4:29.6 winning time was slower than his 4:10.7 course record from last year. “I am not happy with the time, but it is positive that I still won” remarked Lobodzinski. Only one second separated the minor medallists at the half way mark, but a strong second half race by Austrian Klaus Hausleitner saw him take the silver in 4:44.7, with Tomas Macecek (CZE) a close third in 4:47.0. The fastest Estonian was Hardo Reinart who placed 5th overall in 5:18.5.

The precision category, requiring runners to run the second half of the race as close in time to the first half, was extremely close with the 5 most consistent runners completing the second half of the race within only 2 seconds of their first half, a remarkable feat in a building of this size. Janika Nano was the most precise; her time difference just 1.2 seconds, while there was a tie for second with Mihhail Botskov and Raul Koster both recording a time difference of 1.6 seconds.

The next leg of the Towerrunning World Cup Premium series and WFGT Towerrunning Challenge will be held on April 18 at the Climb for Wilderness event up Calgary Tower in Canada.



March 28  -  Towerrunning World Championships  2015   Gallery  Pictures by AZF: 1 2 3 4

After a thrilling 2 days of competition at the Aspire Torch Staircase Run, it was Poland’s Piotr Lobodzinski and Austria’s Andrea Mayr who made history as the first ever winners of the Towerrunning World Championships, with Australia taking the team gold. After the qualification races on Friday, both Lobodzinksi and Mayr were on pole position for the F1-style mass start, and despite the strongest fields ever assembled in a stair race, maintained their positions to the top.

The women were first off the mark and after a surprisingly close qualification between Mayr and Suzy Walsham (AUS), the final produced one of the most thrilling battles ever in a women’s stair racing event, with Mayr pushed all the way before eventually winning in 7:50, with Walsham 4 seconds behind in 7:54.  After the sprint start, the top 8 women entered the building close together, but by the 10th floor, Mayr and Walsham had broken away from the pack. Walsham stuck to the heels of Mayr till the 40th floor, before the 5 times World Mountain Running champion showed her strength and pulled away to maintain her unbeaten stair racing record. “The race today was very tough” said Mayr “but I am very happy to win here.” Walsham was equally happy with her race, commenting “It was always going to be tough to win here but I am so happy with my performance – it was a great 2 days of racing for me.” Third place went to Poland’s Dominica Wisniewska-Ulfik, who was thrilled with her Championships performance “I am very happy to get a medal. I was fourth after the qualification so to go one better in the final is great.”

In the men’s race Lobodzinski also entered the building first, but was never challenged and went on to take the win by 17 seconds in 6:35. “I am very happy to be the winner of the first ever Towerrunning World Championships”, said the Polish star, “It was perfect race for me”. The minor medals proved a tougher battle with some overtaking and changing of positions from the starting grid order, but it was Australian duo Mark Bourne (6:52) and Darren Wilson (6:58) who eventually came away with the silver and bronze. “It was a tough race with a lot of strong competition, so I am really happy with the silver medal” said Bourne. After starting in 6th position, Wilson was also excited to come away with a medal “I had a crack and finished third, so it was awesome.” The team competition was based on the results from the qualification round, and the favourites, Australia, were dominant, winning by 44 points. The results were closer for the silver and bronze with the Czech Republic edging out Austria by 14 points.

“The first TWA World Championships in Doha were a great success with an incredibly exciting competition and the most star-studded international field in the Towerrunning history” says TWA President Sebastian Wurster. “We are very grateful for the excellent collaboration with Aspire Zone Foundation and appreciate the hard work of the entire event crew including dozens of volunteers who made this project possible.”



March 14  -  Bieg Na Szczyt  Grand Prix of Poland - Local heroes defend titles          Gallery

With one of the strongest fields ever in a Towerrunning Grand Prix event it was always going to be a tough climb to the top of not only Rondo 1, but also the podium. Much to the delight of local fans, it was defending champions Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) and Dominika Wisniweska-Ulfik (POL), who came away with the win.

In the men’s elite, with the top 3 World Cup leaders all participating, the qualification round saw only 6 seconds separating the trio, with Lobodzinksi finishing a close 1.58 seconds ahead of Christian Riedl (GER), and Tomas Celko (SVK) a further 4.75 seconds behind. Interestingly, both Riedl and Celko were faster than Lobodzinksi to the 10th floor and also in the final 4 floors of the 37 floors, but it was Lobodzinksi’s strength and consistency in the middle section that cinched the win and the vital lead off for the final.

Lobodzinski powered away in the final round to take the overall win in 3:33.88. Riedl held on for the second place 12 seconds behind, while Celko also maintained his position to take the bronze, a further 7 seconds behind. “After the qualification round I was a little disappointed with my time. It was 4 seconds slower than last year, and only one second ahead of Christian” said Lobodzinksi, “But I was happy to defend my title and my overall performance was similar to last year. Now I look forward to the next race in Paris on Friday, and afterwards to the World Championships.”

Except for Wisniweska-Ulfik, who triumphed in both rounds, the women’s elite race saw some exciting racing, with reshuffling of the minor positions from the qualification round to the final standings. The Polish Mountain Running Champion ran an incredibly strong qualification, clocking 4:40.54 to break the previous course record, and gain a crucial 8 second start off lead to 2014 Towerrunning World Cup runner-up Lenka Svabikova (CZE) and an 11 second lead to Anna Ficner (POL). She held this position to take the final in 4:49.57, with the fast finishing Ficner gaining a place and some time, to finish only 7 seconds behind. In similar fashion, Zuzanna Krchova (CZE) also finished strongly, narrowly pipping Svabikova for 3rd by only 0.83 second.

In its 5th edition, the Rondo 1 Run Up has become a very popular event on the local running scene with the participant limit of 500 reached only 30 minutes after release. “The Rondo 1 Run Up once more proved its organizational class" said TWA President Sebastian Wurster, “This race, coined by the great passion of event crew, runners and spectators, is a shining example for the development of our sport in Eastern Europe.”



March 7  -   Carrera Torre Latino   Grand Prix of Mexico            Gallery

Latin Americans revelled in the high altitude air at Saturday’s Towerrunning Grand Prix of Mexico and WFGT Challenge, with Colombian Juan Pablo Rangel winning the elite men’s race and hometown hero Ericka Cano Gomez taking the elite women’s crown. The race, up the 42 floors and 720 steps of the Torre Latinoamericana, a landmark on the Mexico City skyline, was always going to be tough, with the race finishing at an air-gasping altitude of 2,400 m above sea level, and the stairwell narrow and steep.

Despite the presence of strong USA and European competitors, the experienced Rangel, a multiple winner and course record holder of Columbia’s Towerrunning Grand Prix (Ascenso Torre Colpatria), stormed to victory in a new course record of 3 min 32 sec. “I am very happy I could come to Mexico to compete, and the race had a great atmosphere”, said Rangel, adding that with this years’ experience in the building, he believed he could run even faster next time. Continuing his strong revitalisation in 2015, second place went to US Towerrunning Champion Sproule Love in 3 min 58 sec, with the Czech Republic’s Pavel Holec rounding out the intercontinental podium in 4 min 06sec, narrowly beating 4th placed German Gorge Heimann by a mere 0.03 sec.

The women’s elite race was dominated by locals with Gomez winning in a swift 5 min16 sec, and Carmen Trinidad Ramiro Allende hot on her heels in 5 min 20 sec. Both athletes, although well known in Mexican track and field and mountain running, are new to the sport, with Gomez commenting “It was my first run-up event and I never thought it would be so hard, but I am very happy with my win here and I am looking forward to the next one.” Experienced Italian towerrunner Christina Bonacina claimed 3rd place in 5min44sec.

500 competitors, of whom an amazing 40% were women, challenged themselves in the race to the top, not only to admire the view, but to aim for a share in the USD 4,200 prize pool allocated across all ages and categories.

"We were thrilled to have Torre Latinoamericana join the Grand Prix series of the Towerrunning World Cup and the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge this year and it was great to see the success of both new and experienced stair runners, and in fact all participants, who contributed to a great morning of competition," says TWA Vice President Daniel Cecetka representing the sports’ international governing body in Mexico.

Next week, all eyes will be focussed on Warsaw’s Rondo 1 Run Up, the second Grand Prix race on this year’s Towerrunning World Cup tour, with several top-ranked athletes challenging Polish World Cup leader and defending champion Piotr Lobodzinski in his home race.



February 25 - Announcement Climb for Wilderness Calgary April 18        Website

The 2015 Towerrunning World Cup and WFGT Towerrunning Challenge returns to North America on Saturday 18th April for the Climb and Run for Wilderness event up Calgary Tower in Alberta, Canada. The event, in its 24th year, is one of the oldest Towerrunning events in North America and is held every year on the weekend closest to Earth Day as a charity fundraising event that helps fund and promote environmental and wilderness conservation in the province of Alberta.

The TWA Premium Race is unique in the series as it is not run as a singled timed ascent. Instead, runners will be undertaking a “Power Hour”, competing to see how many ascents of the 48 floors and 802 steps they can complete.  The male and female climber with the most ascents will each win USD500. “This Earth Day event has long been one of the most fun and exciting outings on Calgary’s social calendar”, said race organiser Sean Nichols from the Alberta Wilderness Society, “We’ve long known about what a special day it is for competitors, family and spectators, and we’re thrilled to welcome climbers from around the world to Calgary”.Climb for Wilderness and the TWA are pleased to announce travel packages for 6 athletes comprising €150 travel reimbursement and 1 night’s accommodation. 4 of these travel packages will be awarded to top-ranked applicants using the official TWA elite application system. 2 packages will be raffled among applicants with a top 30 ranking. Application period is from today until March 8, 2015 at 10 pm CET by emailing presidium@towerrunning.com.



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