February 3 - Race Report - Empire State Building Run Up - New York Gallery
The Australian duo of Darren Wilson and Suzy Walsham dominated the 39th edition of the famous Empire State Building Run Up held Wednesday evening in New York. It was also the first race of the 2016 WFGT Towerrunning Challenge series. Howling winds greeted the runners as they exited the building after climbing 1,576 steps to the 86th floor observation deck, but it had little effect on the winners with Wilson crossing the line in 10:36 and Walsham clocking 12:19.
The women’s elite were first off the mark and all eyes were on defending champion and record-winner Walsham to see if she could continue her previous years’ winning form. She had a solid start, trailing only Italian Christina Bonacina into the stairwell, but took the lead at the tenth floor and was then unchallenged to reach the finish 1min17sec ahead of top American Stephanie Hucko, who finished with a personal best 13:36. Third place went to Cindy Harris (USA), who was competing in her 19th start, and resulted in her 14th podium finish. “I am so happy to get my 7th win here” said Walsham “I felt really strong during the race and got into a really good rhythm. It was great to go faster than last year.”
After two runner-up positions and last year’s third placing, Wilson was thrilled to come away with his first win. “I’ve been coming here for five years so to finally win the race is awesome” commented Wilson, “I was first through to the stairwell and that really helped me get into my own pace. When I started to pull away I had to stay focused and keep pushing to the end. I’m so stoked.” In addition to the winner’s trophy, Wilson has a permanent reminder of the race in the tattoo of the building on his calf. In second position was Emanuele Manzi (ITA) in 11:10 with local hero Sproule Love (USA) third in 11:16.
The race is the oldest international stair climb and has become a “bucket list” event for the world’s top towerrunners. Twenty-seven elite athletes from six countries were selected for the invitational heat which featured several of the World’s Top 10 stair runners and most of the top Americans. Additional heats include media, celebrities, New York City real estate brokers, and athletes from the race’s charity partner, the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
January 27 - Announcement Carrera Torre Latino on March 6 - Mexico City
Torre Latinoamericana, a skyscraper in downtown Mexico City, will host the first ever Towerrunning 120 event on March 6, 2016. The race, the first leg of the 2016 Towerrunning 120 series, will see 1 000 participants scaling 720 steps to the 42nd floor of the landmark building. “We are delighted with the organization of La Carrera Torre Latino and are very pleased to be part of the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge and to host Towerrunning 120 event this year again” said race director Pedro Fossas. “The Tower has a lot of charisma and we are sure it is going to be a very exciting event. Even before we made it public last year, there was already big expectation about the race and being a final of Towerrunning Mexico 2015 series, the expectation is even higher”, he added. Elite runners will be competing for a share in 1 800 Euro prize pool awarded to the top 3 placed male and female competitors. Another 1 800 Euro is reserved for the top 3 placed male and female competitors in Master and Veteran category.
La Carrera Torre Latinoamericana is pleased to announce travel packages for 4 elite tower runners comprising 300 Euro travel reimbursement and 2 nights of accommodation including breakfast. These invitation will be awarded to TWA registered TOP 50 ranked competitors using the official TWA application system. Interested athletes can apply from today until February 6, 10 PM Central European Time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
January 20 – Announcement - Towerrunning Tour 2016 - January to June
The 2016 season can already present the first winners from TowerrunningTrial 60 race held in Latina ( Torre Latina, January 10). Both Lenka Svabikova and Tomas Celko set the new track records! In the next month we continue with New York’s Towerrunning 80 race, the world-famous Empire State Building Run Up on February 3, followed by USA Championships 80 race in Las Vegas ( Strathosphere, February 28 ), we are heading to a “super-March” with three races on two continents. The first Towerrunning 120 race in Mexico City (Torre Latino, March 6) is followed by the Towerrunning European Championships 200 race in Warsaw (Rondo 1, March 12) and the Towerrunning 80 race in Paris at the iconic Eiffel Tower ( March 18 ). In April Towerrunning 120 races are staged in Almere ( WTC Almere, April 1) and Calgary (Calgary Tower, April 23). May begins with a Towerrunning 160 race in Taipei (May 1), then a Towerrunning 120 race in Benidorm (Gran Hotel Bali, May 15) before Latin America’s new Towerrunning 160 event is held in Santiago de Chile (Gran Torre Santiago, May 22). Later on the focus traditionally shifts to Europe, beginning with the German Championships 80 race in Frankfurt ( MesseTurm, June 12 ) and the Towerrunning 160 triple race in Vienna (Danube Tower), Brno (AZ Tower) and Bratislava (Ufo Tower) is scheduled for June 17-19.
The summer months are always pretty quiet so we will have a summer break to get ready for the second half of the Towerrunning Tour 2016.
The events were selected on the basis of a bidding process with standardized minimum requirements to be fulfilled by the respective organizers. Invitations, travel packages, and further incentives for top-ranked elite athletes will be offered by almost all of the selected events. These benefits are exclusive privileges for TWA-licensed competitors possessing a valid TWA registration for the 2016 season.
Moreover, all selected Towerrunning Tour races offer attractive cash prizes and prizes-in-kind. TWA President and WFGT Executive Committee member Daniel Cecetka emphasizes the importance of closely collaborating with the World Federation of Great Towers: “The fruitful partnership of the TWA and WFGT forms a great basis for many of the selected events. We are pretty convinced, that this partnership will give rise to the development of even more attractive races in the near future.” We are working hard, so stay tuned - additional races may join the selection !
January 19 – Announcement - Towerrunning European Championships 2016 - Warsaw MAR 12
Towerrunning European Championships will take place on March 12, 2016 in Warsaw at Rondo 1 ( Bieg Na Szczyt Rondo 1 / Rondo 1 Run Up ). The European Championships are organized as a joint project of the TWA and the organizers of Rondo 1 Run Up.
Invitation process for the Towerrunning European Championships will be run by the Towerrunning World Association. Registered TWA athletes, who will not be selected in the official invitation process, but are willing to compete in the European Championships should send their applications to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com until February 19. Athletes competing in the Towerrunning European Championships tournament will be exempt from the entry fee for Rondo 1 Run Up.
The invitations are provided for:
The Towerrunning European Championships tournament will consist of three races at Rondo 1:
Non-European athletes are also very welcome. The Towerrunning European Championships are a regular Towerrunning Tour event . Ranking points are awarded to all competitors. Cash prizes and invitations are exclusive privileges of European athletes.„ We are glad that Rondo 1 will host the Towerrunning European Championships 2016. Rondo 1 Run Up has been widely recognized by both the athletes and the Towerrunning World Association since its launch in 2011. We are certain that all the organizational requirements are going to be met and the race will attract hundreds of runners again. Polish Towerrunning fans surely expect their leading athletes on the podium, so we look forward to a great competition in Warsaw “ -says Daniel Cecetka, President of Towerrunning World Association.
January 10 - Race Report - Towerrunning Tour Latina Vertical Sprint - Torre Pontina Gallery
December 28 - Race Report GP of China - Guang Zhou - Dec 26 Gallery
The last Towerrunning Grand Prix of the 2015 season and even the last stair race of the year took place on GuangZhou’s Canton Tower. After the inaugural race in January 2015 (but belonging to the 2014 season) the second tallest telecom tower in the World was again the location with the highest altitude difference (450 vertical meters) of all Grand Prix races so far.
For the international athletes the date very close to Christmas was very challenging, nevertheless some of the well-known stairrunners – in particular the World ranked number 1 Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland – showed up. For the Chinese athletes this race was the grand finale of their Vertical Marathon Series. After 12 races in 4 different cities it was the possibility to compare against some of the World’s best in our sport.
Prior to the men’s race nobody would have betted against a victory of Lobodzinski. There was more discussion if he could break Darren Wilson’s very strong course record of 14:34. It was maybe the fact of being already over the top shape that made it impossible for Lobodzinski even to come close to the record. The victory of the dominator of the season (World Champion and Ranking leader for all 52 weeks) was undoubted. Local hero Jiajing Ou once again proved his international level of racing. A one minute (!) improved Richard Sirrs (GBR) completed the male podium. Behind the Top 3 athletes the next best Chinese runners proved already to be at least as strong as the international experienced veterans Rudi Reitberger and Rolf Majcen.
In the women’s division there was no clear favorite at all. The international fraction was leaded by Brooke Logan from Australia and Iwona Wicha from Poland. The best known Chinese athlete was Fengjuan Fan who won all her qualification races with a huge margin. In the end the Top 4 females finished within 55 seconds. In a race of this length and especially in the women’s field a very close outcome. The middle of the podium was reached by Logan who won her first Grand Prix title just a few months after giving birth. Fan, again proving her competitiveness, Wicha and a strong improved Wenrong Zheng (CHN) were ranked next and all of them finishing under 20 minutes.
Very interesting news have been announced during the award ceremony. Starting already in 2016 the organizers of the Vertical Marathon Series will establish a new series in China and even surrounding countries including many of the tallest buildings in the World. For long distance fans in Towerrunning it’s not overdone to say that a new era will start. Watch our webpage carefully in the next weeks/month for further information.