News

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.



January 24  -  Towerrunning World Cup Final  2014 Vienna  - January 24, 2015                Video

An exclusive field of 67 stair runners including the top-ranked athletes of the Towerrunning World Cup, the winners of ten WFGT Towerrunning Challenge events all around the globe and Towerrunning Austria qualifiers gathered in the wintry Vienna, Mecca of the European stair racing community. In the first one of two individually timed heats, the competitors had the task to secure their ticket for the final round by placing among the top 10. Naturally, as the athletes want to save their energy for the decisive heat, this mode gives rise to tactical experiments and surprises. Australia’s Darren Wilson gambled away his chances and was eliminated on 12th position. Wilson was in good company with Cristina Bonacina (ITA), Jana Zatlukalova (SVK), Görge Heimann (GER), Norbert Lechner (AUT), and other top-ranked international athletes missing the cut.

The fastest semi-final times were set by Christian Riedl and Andrea Mayr. Did they shoot their bolt too early? By no means. No one thought possible that the course record could be broken in the ice-cold stairwell, but Christian Riedl proved us wrong. The German, racing his first World Cup competition since October, literally smashed Lobodzinski’s standing record and clocked an unbelievable time of 3:23.6 minutes, four seconds ahead of the Polish World Cup champion and further Eastern European rivals Tomas Celko (SVK), Tomas Macecek (CZE) and Stefan Stefina (SVK). Young Austrian athlete Jakub Meyer caused a stir with his 6th place in a world-class field.

Andrea Mayr, still unbeaten in Towerrunning races, gave another demonstration of her stair racing qualities and won the competition in 4 minutes and 7.4 seconds. Though she was without a chance in the battle for a World Cup medal with just five race participations in the 2014 season, the reigning European Towerrunning Champion seems to be well-positioned for the World Championships in Doha. A fortnight after her AOTC title, Suzy Walsham’s World Cup triumph was never placed in jeopardy. The Singapore-living Australian, scarcely recovered from a short illness, became runner-up and kept her World Cup rival Lenka Svabikova clearly at bay. The Czech, leading the point standings for several weeks, placed fourth in Vienna, one second behind Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (POL).

After a short breather, the Towerrunning World Cup award presentation was held amidst great rejoicing. As mentioned in the beginning, Piotr Lobodzinski (1569 points) and Suzy Walsham (1471.5) stood atop the podium. Tomas Celko (1427) and Lenka Svabikova (1372) took silver, and the bronze medals went to Christian Riedl (1422.5) and Maria Theresa Handlbauer (955.5). With the points collected in GuangZhou and Vienna, Australia sealed the deal in the Nations Cup ranking. Towerrunning Austria’s ÖTL Cup titles, connected with an invitation to the World Championships, went to Klaus Hausleitner and Maria-Theresa Handlbauer.



January 9  -  Asian & Oceanian Championships Guang Zhou                         

Down Under once again has set the standards: Having claimed 9 of 10 possible victories in the 2014 season’s Grand Prix and Premium Races in East Asia and Australia, the Australian team lived up to its reputation as favourite and claimed both Asian & Oceanian Towerrunning Championship gold medals. Darren Wilson celebrated a superior triumph conquering GuangZhou’s Canton Tower in 14 minutes and 34 seconds, while it took Suzy Walsham 17:36 minutes for her race to one of the highest and largest outdoor observation decks in the world. The margins of victory were incredible 68 and 96 seconds, respectively. Even a fall on the difficult race course could not prevent Darren Wilson from his triumphal procession.

Outstanding female Chinese contestants Fengjuan Fan (19:12) and Lujiao Liao (21:19) outcompeted Xinxin Maier (21:59) in the battle for the AOTC medals, whereas the men’s heat was coined by strong performances of the European athletes. Towerrunning World Cup runner-up Tomas Celko (SVK) became second (15:42) with a mere 6 seconds gap in front of Emmanuele Manzi (ITA). Czech Republic’s Tomas Macecek came in fourth place (16:03), followed by AOTC silver medallist Jiajing Ou from China (16:05) and Görge Heimann (GER, 16:19). Defa Li (CHN - 17:12) took the AOTC bronze medal.

After five qualifying stages, almost 500 athlete dared to compete in the final race of the premiere AOTC tournament. The event, conducted under the auspice and immediate supervision of the Towerrunning World Association, has been endowed with a total cash prize purse of 7,400 USD. Dozens of media representatives and celebrities enjoyed the race and were able to convince themselves of the venue’s exceptional amenities.

Canton Tower, also referred to colloquially as “slim waist”, is 600 meters tall, with 450 meters of its main body and 150 meters of its antenna, which makes it the second-tallest tower in China. After 2580 stairs in different stairwells, connected by seven flat interchange sections, the athletes reached the finish line at the outlook terrace, encircled by the world’s highest horizontal ferris wheel. The city with its numerous skyscrapers has proved to be a perfect playground for China’s first Towerrunning circuit organized by Rings Sport Marketing.

As Canton Tower is one of the privileged members of the World Federation of Great Towers, the event also formed part of the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge series. Jiajing Ou and Wenfei Xie, overall winners of the 2014 & 2015 GuangZhou Vertical Marathon Series, were awarded with a round-trip to the joint grand finale of the WFGT Towerrunning Challenge and Towerrunning World Cup in Vienna on January 24.



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