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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.



November 8   -  SkyRise & Climb for Life Chicago - Willis Tower & LaSalle     Pics SkyRise  Pics LaSalle

The Willis Tower – formerly known as Sears Tower – was the tallest building in the World for more than 20 years (1974-1998), and still lays claim as the highest stair climbing race in the Western hemisphere. The finish is located at the 412m high SkyDeck on the 103rd floor, and with “only” 2,115 steps, runners have to climb up leg-burning stairs with an average height of 19.5 centimetres – the highest for all well-known races.  Included in this year’s almost 3,000 competitors were many newcomers, as well as several previous winners. 

Skyrise Chicago always attracts the best US Towerrunners, but this year’s men’s start list was complimented by strong European athletes and pre-race favourite Darren Wilson from Australia. Unfortunately, due to flight problems the TWA World Championships bronze medallist didn’t make it to the windy city, so all eyes were on the top seeded athletes comprising Towerrunning USA President Alex Workman, reigning US Champion and current Willis Tower course record holder Sproule Love, Germany’s Gorge Heimann, and the World Trade Center premiere winner Tim Donahue (USA).  Starting and finishing first, Love set the benchmark time of 13:41. Heimann, who started 10 seconds later, never got in contact with the American and finished 18 seconds after Love clocking a nett time of 13:49. Surprisingly the next runner crossing the finish line was TWA Sports Director Rudolf Reitberger from Austria, recording a very strong 13:47. Despite many personal bests from the chasing athletes, including Tim Donahue in 14:01, Slyvio Atmanspacher (GER) in 14:14 and Alex Workman in 14:19, Love secured the win, with Reitberger taking second place and his first ever podium in a TWA Premium race. “It was my best race in the last 8 years” stated the former ESBRU winner.  Heimann settled for the bronze, the top three separated by only 8 seconds.

The women’s field was North American affair. Everyone expected a tough battle between Cindy Harris and Stephanie Hucko, who has had some strong performances in the US throughout the year.  But it was the experienced Harris (course record holder and 7th at the TWA World Championships) who claimed an unprecedented 10th win with a time of 16:02, defeating Hucko (17:18) by more than a minute. The podium was completed by US-living Canadian and this year’s US Bank Tower winner Veronica Stocker in 18:29.

Remarkably all 6 male and female medallists are over 40 years old, proving that experience can be an advantage in such a high and difficult building like the Willis Tower. Just two hours after the Skyrise, another Tower Run took place in Chicago, the 58 story Climb for Life at LaSalle building.  Many of the elite runners used this opportunity to gain extra points for the TWA World Cup and the race saw a reversal of fortune for some of the elites. This time, Hucko overcame Harris by 10 seconds to take the women’s title, while Canadian newcomer Tim Young celebrated his first victory (after finishing 7th at the Skyrise) beating Reitberger by 4 seconds.



November 8   -  Preview SkyRise  Chicago on Nov 8 -  Willis Tower      

This Sunday, the US city of Chicago will host the TWA Premium Race and WFGT Towerrunning Challenge up the soaring Willis Tower. Skyrise Chicago is one of the tallest stair racing climbs in the world and athletes will climb 2,109 stairs up 103 floors to the SkyDeck Chicago, 1,353ft (412m) above the ground. America’s top stair runners will be out in force, but they will be up against some top international climbers, eager to conquer America’s biggest race.

In the men’s field, TWA World Championships bronze medallist and big building specialist Darren Wilson (AUS) will start favourite, but he will face tough competition from the American contingent featuring Sproule Love, winner of the 2015 USA Championships and current Willis Tower course record holder, Eric Leninger, winner of this year’s Hustle up the Hancock, and Alexander Workman, 3rd in last year’s race and top ranked American in the TWA World Cup. In addition to Wilson, the international contingent will feature Germans George Heimann, 2nd here in 2013 and winner at this year’s Calgary Tower, and TWA World Cup top 20 ranked Ralf Hascher, and Austrians Rudi Reitberger and TWA Executive Director Michael Reichetzeder. All eyes will be on the clock to see if Love’s 2011 course record of 13:03 will fall.

The women’s race will be a North American affair with in-form Americans Stephanie Hucko, 2015 USA Stair Climbing Champion and runner-up at this year’s Empire State Building Run Up, against Cindy Harris, 9 times winner, course record holder and currently 7th in the TWA World Cup, last year’s winner Sherri Breese, Liz Ruvalcaba, the third ranked American and 2015 winner of Presidential Towers stair climb, and TWA Top 20 ranked Madeleine Fontillas Ronk. The international contingent will feature TWA World Cup 8th ranked Canadian Veronica Stocker, winner of this year’s Calgary Tower “Power Hour”.

The race is expected to attract more than 3,000 participants and aims to raise more than $1million for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

For more details see the race website at www.skyrisechicago.org.



October 17 -   Carrera  Stairs Up! Hotel Crowne Acapulco  

On October 17 the race Stairs Up! Towerrunning Crowne Plaza Hotel Acapulco took place - within the framework of the first Circuit of Towerrunning Mexico. About 6 pm, 150 runners gathered at the pool area of the hotel to Beginning with the children categories were given. At exactly 18:15 hours, Elvia Zavala, Director of Crowne Plaza Hotel and Rahel Avila Guzman, Director of Marketing of the Ministry of Acapulco Tourism on behalf of Dr. Sergio Salmeron Manzanares, got the out flag to participants to open the stellar race.

The award was given by the Director of the Association and representatives of the various authorities of the State and Federal Government, during the event the Mexican Association awarded Ms. Elvia Zavala special recognition for their support for the realization of the vertical stroke.

The Towerrunning Mexican Association declared that the best “Acapulqueño” Olmedo René Guerrero Dominguez (Time 3:09) and Angelica Rodriguez Tovar (Time: 4:25) will be sponsored to participate in the Grand Prix Torre Latino in 2016, disclosed that include Acapulco circuit during 2016 and expect the participation overcame what was achieved in this first edition.

The overall winners of the race were Gustavo Isaac Mendoza Cruz (Time: 2:27) and Estefany Paredes Rodriguez (Time: 3:39)

With this results, the winners (Gustavo and Estefany) have accumulated more points in the ranking of theg Mexican Towerrunning Crcuit and they will represent the countrys the next December 8th  int Bogta at the Gran Prix of Mexico - Ascenso Torre Colpatria.

Acapulco Gallery

Towerrunning Mexico       

Next race: Carrera Revolucionaria Towerrunning  Tepoctlan November 22          



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