May 7 – Race Report Asian & Oceanian Championships 2017 - Taipei 101 Run Up
The second Towerrunning Asian and Oceanian Championships were held last Sunday as part of the annual Taipei 101 Run Up. The 13th edition of the famous race, still regarded by most as the toughest on the Tour, attracted around 5,000 participants from 36 countries, who climbed 91 floors, 2,046 steps and 391m in vertical height to reach the observation deck. The top regional athletes attended: including the strong Australian contingent, the leading Chinese athletes, and the best local Taiwanese athletes. The Australian duo of Mark Bourne and Suzy Walsham lived up to pre-race expectations with both winning by more than one minute, although neither came close to the course records (set in the inaugural race in 2005) and the €6,000 incentive bonus.
In the men’s race, despite some illness, Mark Bourne had a convincing victory in 11:24 to take his first Championship gold. “I wasn’t quite in record shape today, but I am very happy to come away with a win in the Championships” Bourne said. “I would love to come back next year and have another crack at the record.” Fellow Australian and orienteering specialist Leon Keely was a surprise second in 12:33 while local athlete Chun-Gu Kuo came in third in 12:52. “It was awesome to compete here and now I am looking forward to the World Championships next month” said Keely. A further five local athletes featured in the top 10, as well as the two Chinese athletes Kaiyue Fu and Jiajing Ou who came in 6th and 12th respectively.
In the women’s race, Walsham successfully defended her Championship gold from 2015, winning in 13:36. “I’ve had a busy couple of weeks with a lot of travel so I was a bit flat today, but still super happy to win and defend my Asian and Oceanian gold from two years ago” said Walsham. Fellow Australian and last year’s race winner Alice McNamara was a gallant second in 14:58, “I’ve had a chest infection for over a week so today was tough, but really happy to get the silver” said McNamara. Taiwanese runner Shih, Ching-Huei scored the final podium position with a time of 16:11. Chinese athlete Fengjuan Fan finished 4th, while Australia’s Cindy Reid 5th.
A highlight of the event was the awarding of a lifetime achievement award to Paul Crake (AUS). Crake is a legend of the sport and still holds the course record at Taipei 101 of 10:29. (His 2006 race was only 2 seconds slower at 10:31). The athletes were thrilled with his attendance at the event and the chance to get some tips on the sport of Towerrunning. Being a regional championship, the race was a Towerrunning 200 event, with top placed athletes securing valuable Towerrunning Tour ranking points, as well as a share in the €10,000 prize pool. In addition, the two bronze medallists from Taiwan also received an official invitation to next month’s World Championships.
May 3 – Preview Asian & Oceanian Championships 2017 - Taipei - May 7
The second Towerrunning Asian & Oceanian Championships will take place on May 7 at the iconic Taipei 101. The building is a landmark super tall skyscraper in the Xinyi district of Taipei, Taiwan, and until 2010 was the world’s tallest building, reaching 508m to the top of the spire. Construction started in 1999 and the height of 101 floors commemorates the renewal of time: the new century that arrives as the tower was built (100+1) and all the new years that follow (1 January = 1-01). Although the highest occupied floor is 438m above ground, the athletes will “only” have to climb the 2,046 steps to the outdoor observation deck on level 91, 391 metres above ground.
Looking back at the first AOC 2015 in Guangzhou both titles went to Australia with Chinese athletes taking all the other medals then. This year the odds are the same. We have clear Australian favourites with strong Chinese athletes challenging them and some Taiwanese talent aiming for surprise with the home factor. And there is an extra bonus of 6000 € for any athlete breaking the still existing course records from the inaugural Run Up in 2005 of 10:29 (Paul Crake - AUS) and 12:38 (Andrea Mayr - AUT). The 101 is proud to be the venue of the Championships and looking forward a great race !
April 8 - Race Report: Valtellina Vertical Tube Race - Sondrio
The only outdoor stair race in the Towerrunning Tour 2017 - let's consider the Eiffel tower race not as an outdoor run because it has all typical characteristics of an indoor run - took place in lovely Valtellina near Sondrio. Because the race track goes straight along a water tube the event is called Vertical Tube race. Like in previous years the third edition was a battle between international well recognized Towerrunning specialists and the very strong Italian mountain runners. And again the first group led by Tomas Celko and Stefan Stefina did not really have a chance to fight for victory. After being runner-up last year Hannes Perkmann changed position with defending champion Francesco Puppi (both ITA). The winning time of 14:15 minutes for exactly 500 meters of climb and 2713 steps was just 13 seconds slower than the course record. The surprise of the day was maybe Jakob Mayer from Austria. Already well known for his stair running abilities (e.g. place 4 in the TWA World Championships 2015) he may have benefited from his mountain running experience (e.g. part of the Austrian national team).
In absence of the injured dominator of previous years, Emmie Collinge (GBR), again an Italian resident athlete with foreign nationality has been victorious in the female category. Katarzyna Kuzminska (POL) with a time of 17:48 minutes was just 5 seconds ahead of Valentina Belotti. Another 7 seconds behind Francesca Bellezza (both ITA) completed the podium.
April 8 - Valtellina Vertical Tube Race - Sondrio
Top 6 Towerrunning 80
1 Hannes Perkmann (ITA) 14:15
April 7 – Accomodation World Championships 2017 - Guangzhou - June 17-18
The second Towerrunning World Championships will take place on June 17-18, 2017 at Canton Tower in Guangzhou (CHN).
The TWA is pleased to announce additional travel packages for 14 athletes comprising 3 nights of accommodation including breakfast ( 2 in a room )
These packages will be awarded to TOP 50 ranked TWA registered athletes in the March 2017 ranking update using the official TWA Elite application system. Interested athletes can apply from April 8 until April 15, 2017, 10 pm CET
All registered TWA athletes willing to take part but not fulfilling the qualification criteria will get a spot in the Elite category and free race entry. The World Championships are a regular Towerrunning Tour event with the highest possible factor of 280. More information will be published soon.
March 25 - Race Report: Dallas Vert Mile - Reunion Tower Pictures
The inaugural Dallas Vert Mile in Texas, USA brought a terrific field who blitzed Reunion Tower’s 470 vertical feet and 807 steps! The event featured three races - a sprint race, which consisted of one climb up the tower; a three-lap, 1/4 climb; and a 12 lap vert - or vertical - mile. All of the Towerrunning World Association points up for grabs came in the sprint race.
Egle Uljas won the women’s field with a time of 5:42 followed by Jessica Pickett and Christiana Aleman. Karen Geninatti - who had won previously in Reunion Tower - and Heather Conover - rounded out the top five. On the men’s side, Jason Larson defeated John “Oz” Osborn by four seconds to claim victory in 4:12. Brian Elliott - an accomplished endurance athlete but newcomer to tower racing - came in third. Josh Duncan missed the podium by just one second, and Scott Stanley, the former Reunion Tower record holder, finished fifth.
Although this marked the first Dallas Vert Mile tower race, there had been races in Reunion Tower in the past, and the winners of the sprint race didn't just beat the previous records - they smashed them! Ten women beat or tied the previous record of 7:20, and eight men finished under the previous record of 5:08. Egle Uljas topped the record by nearly 1 1/2 minutes, and Jason Larson lowered the men’s record by 56 seconds.
While the full vert mile event did not count for TWA points, it did count for points with Towerrunning USA. Jason Larson and Oz Osborn battled just as fiercely as they did in the sprint race, and this time, Oz came out on top with a time 1:01.22. He edged Larson by 15 seconds - a difference of just 1.25 seconds per lap. Josh Duncan easily made the podium in this race with a solid third place showing followed by Brady Renshaw in fourth and Brian Elliott in fifth.
On the women’s side, Kristin Renshaw won the full vert mile in 1:11:22. Andrea Magee came in second followed by Jessica Pickett, Christian Aleman, and Lila Lehtola. In the 1/4 mile race, 16-year-old Collin Lee bested Mike Mannis by five seconds to win in 20:51 with Robert Liao, Steve Tuholski, and Kevin Clock rounding out the top five. Courtney Ortegon won the women’s division in 21:25, a time that would have been fast enough to put her on the men’s podium. Sara Lumbley came in second ahead of Michele Hughes, Kirby Lee, and Danielle Daily.Notable first time towerunning competitors included former Dallas Marathon winner Logan Sherman and former UFC welterweight champion of the world, Johny Hendricks.