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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.



February 18  -  Announcement Tallinn TV Tower Run  on April 5       race website www.towerrun.eu

The Tallinn TV Tower Run will host the next leg of the 2015 Towerrunning World Cup and the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge on April 5. The Tower, completed in 1980 to provide telecommunications services for the Moscow Olympic Sailing Regatta, provides Estonians with a unique and stunning view – the captivating Tallinn Old Town in the foreground and the glistening Baltic Sea in the distance. Athletes will climb to the Observation Deck, 870 steps and 170m above ground. “This is our second time to carry out this international event.and we welcome all climbers to visit our beautiful country” commented race organiser and Towerrunning World Council delegate Valdo Jahilo. “We are also pleased to announce that for the first time, we will broadcast the race on the internet.”

Last year’s race saw over 200 participants from 14 countries competing, with Towerrunning World Cup Champion Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) and World Cup Runner-Up Lenka Svabikova (CZE) triumphing in 4:10.7 and 6:12.8 respectively. . The race is limited to 250 participants
with the men’s and woman’s winner each receiving 400 €, Tallinn TV Tower Run and the TWA are pleased to announce travel packages for 6 athletes comprising 150 € travel reimbursement and 1 night’s accommodation. Interested athletes can apply from today until 24th February, 2015 at 10 pm Central European Time by emailing presidium@towerrunning.com.



February 12  -  Announcement Bieg Na Szczyt   Grand Prix of Poland on March 14   

For the second year in a row, Warsaw’s Rondo 1 Run Up will serve as the Towerrunning Grand Prix of Poland. Scheduled for March 14, the race will be an important prelude to the historic Towerrunning World Championships in Doha for many top-ranked European athletes, with local hero and Towerrunning World Cup leader Piotr Lobodzinski aiming to repeat last year's victory.

“We are extremely happy to host the Towerrunning Grand Prix of Poland again” said Piotr Jakóbik, spokesman for Rondo 1 Run Up. “As always, we are looking for tough competition between the top World Cup athletes, including our compatriots, especially Piotr Lobodzinski and Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik. We hope for new track records as everyone should be already in good shape for the coming World Championships” he adds.

Rondo 1 Run Up is pleased to announce travel packages for 6 athletes comprising 150 € travel reimbursement and 2 nights’ accommodation. To add international flavour to the event, a further 2 travel packages are on offer for non-European athletes, comprising 300 € travel reimbursement and 2 nights’ accommodation. Travel packages will be awarded to top-ranked TWA registered athletes using the official TWA elite application system. Interested athletes can apply from today until 17th February, 2015 at 10 pm Central European Time by emailing presidium@towerrunning.com.



February 4  -  38th Empire State Building Run Up        Gallery

While the temperature outside had been sub-zero for days, the action inside the building was heating up at the 38th Empire State Building Run Up. As the first Premium Race of the 2015 Towerrunning World Cup and WFGT Tower Challenge got under way, elite athletes from 10 countries lined up to scale the 1,576 steps to the 86th floor observation deck. Continuing on from his impressive victory at the recent World Cup Final, German climber Christian Riedl finally triumphed at his sixth attempt, while Australian Suzy Walsham improved on her record-breaking tally to become a six-time winner.

The elite women were first off the mark and it was Italian Christina Bonacina and American Cindy Harris who were quickest through to the stairwell. Walsham trailed in third, but overtook soon after and powered away for her 6th victory in a strong 12min30sec. “I’ve had a really interrupted preparation with injury and illness so I wasn’t sure how I would hold up today, but I am thrilled to win again. Having done the race 8 times now, my familiarity with the building definitely helped with my race strategy”, commented Walsham. Americans filled the minor placings with Stephanie Hucko finishing in 13:50 and Shari Klarfield closely behind in 13:55. Hucko thought there were a few girls ahead of her until a race official told her she was in second place around the 66th floor, “I was so shocked I nearly tripped over”, she laughed “But I knew Shari was close behind so I told myself to leave nothing behind and went for it. I am ecstatic.”

The men’s race was equally exciting with Riedl triumphing by a mere 3 seconds in 10:16 from defending champion Norwegian Thorbjorn Ludvigsen in 10:19. Completing the international podium was Australia’s Darren Wilson in 10:53. Riedl paced his race to perfection initially trailing in 5th place, until he passed Wilson on the 45th floor and Ludvigsen on the 66th floor to storm home for the win. Speaking after the race, “It was really great. For me it was like the end of a long story, having raced here 5 times and finally winning on my sixth, but maybe it is now the beginning of another story” he smiled.

As the building was specially lit up in red and white for the evening race, there were other stories of triumph with cancer survivor Madeleine Fontillas Ronk finishing 13th place in the women’s elite race, and amputees Sarah Reinertsen and Eduardo Garcia, representing the Challenged Athletes Foundation, also completing the grueling race.



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