Lobodzinski and Walsham Defend Titles as Towerrunners Sweep the Podium
In the men’s race, everyone was asking if Christian Riedl (GER) could repeat his win over Lobodzinski from the previous week, while the dark horses were Mark Bourne (AUS), a notable big building performer and last year’ surprise silver medalist, orienteer Kiril Nikolov (BUL). At the first stage, Riedl was already 5 seconds clear of Lobodzinski, who trailed in 8th position. By the second stage however, Lobodzinski had a narrow 2 second lead on Riedl, which extended to 9 seconds by the intermediate stage – a win for Lobodzinski now looked certain. Despite a late comeback, Riedl could not make up the time, but secured second place with a strong 7:54, only 6 seconds behind Lobodzinski. “I am very very happy” he said “I avenge my result from last week and break my course record. It’s a really great night for me”. Riedl had done his best, noting “It was much better than last year”, and became only the second man to break 8 minutes. Although outside the top 10 for more than half the race, Bourne powered through the last section to take bronze in 8:11. Nikolov had to be content with 4th in 8:20, while Tomas Celko (SVK) ran a gallant 5th in 8:32.
In the women’s race, although Walsham was the favourite, many wondered about an upset after she was clearly trailing Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (POL) over the first 2 stages; 11 seconds behind after the first stage and still 6 seconds behind after the second stage. But with her vast experience and pace judgement, Walsham remained too strong in the second half taking the win in 9:48. Wisniewska-Ulfik held her position to finish second in 10:32, while American Champion Stephanie Hucko placed 3rd in 10:59. “I am so happy to win here again”, said Walsham “It is one of the most amazing, but also toughest Tower races in the world.” Incredibly, only 10 seconds separated 3rd to 6th place, with Oriane Riccitiello (FRA) 4th in 11:04, Brooke Logan (AUS) 5th in 11:07 and Angela Castello Noria (ESP) 6th in 11:09.
The race, organised by Ecotrail, has become one of the most sought after tower events. In addition to the privilege of running up one of the world’s most recognizable towers, the race poses some unique challenges for competitors – a race at night under lights, open to the weather conditions, and multiple stages with different stairwells.
The 3rd Towerrunning European Championships 2016, held within the traditional Bieg na Szczyt, at the Rondo 1 skyscraper in the Polish capital Warsaw set another mark in the history of our sport. The three heat Championship event was integrated in a day full of exciting sport. Apart from the Championship there was an “amateur” race with more than 400 finishers, relay teams and many firefighters climbed the tower separate competitions too.
81 athletes from 14 countries were registered for the TWA event. They opened the day´s action early in the morning with their first “sprint” heat halfway up the building. Due to timing problems this heat later had to be repeated between the two full distance legs. The first full distance leg saw Christian Riedl (GER) take the lead in the pointbased ECH evaluation being less than two seconds faster than the home favourite Piotr Lobodzinski and nine seconds faster than Italian Fabio Ruga. In the respective female heat a former Bieg na Szczyt winner, Anna Ficner (POL) was the clear winner. The sprint leg after the break saw a great performance from Stefan Stefina (SVK) dominating the others. Riedl became 2nd, Matjas Miklosa (SLO) 3rd and unexpectedly Lobodzinski had to be satisfied with 5th place losing many points. Anna Ficner managed to dominate the female 2nd leg too and with another disappointing run prerace favourite Dominka Wisniewska-Ulfik was out of the medal race.
Riedl started the final heat with 148 points followed by Stefina 116, Ruga 114 and Lobodzinski 112. Dedicated to win the title from this good position he managed to narrowly hold off the Polish athlete again with Ruga settling in for 3rd. These three in that order finally won the Championship medals with Stefina falling back to ungrateful 4th rank. Leader after 2 legs Anna Ficner proved untouchable in the final heat thus convincingly taking the European title. Runner up in the female final heat was a very strong Iwona Wicha (POL) AsS Wisniewska-Ulfik took 3rd, Wicha managed to overtake the two Czech athletes Zuzana Krchova and Lenka Svabikova. On equal points with Krchova in the ECH final ranking Wicha won the silver medal. because the better result in the 3rd leg.
The 40+ European title was taken by Matjas Miklosa (SLO) before David Robles Tapia (ESP) and Görge Heimann (GER). In the female 40+ ranking (precondition of 6 athletes from at least 4 countries not fulfilled) the Germans celebrated a double victory with Sylvia Jacobs and Gabi Hirsemann, 3rd Tünde Popovics (HUN).
The favourites did not win the Championships in their home country. But thanks to Anna Ficner at least one title stayed in Poland. After the race World Champion Lobodzinski said, that on this very day he was mentally just not able to give the more than 100%, which would have been necessary to beat Riedl. On home ground naturally there was additional stress for him with all the media and other requests …. Nevertheless one story of this eventful day is, that after Bronze in 2012 and the title in 2014 Piotr now has a full set of Towerrunning European Championship medals and that the shares the 2016 Silver medal with his girlfriend Iwona.
It was a great day for the Towerrunning sport in Warsaw – Thanks to the organizing team around Piotr Jakobik and Congratulations to the new Champions Anna Ficner and Christian Riedl !
March 2 – Announcement Towerrunning 120 - Climb & Run for Wilderness - Calgary APR 23
The 2016 Towerrunning Tour and WFGT Towerrunning Challenge returns to North America on Saturday 23th April for the Climb and Run for Wilderness event up Calgary Tower in Alberta, Canada. The event, in its 25th 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 Alberta.
The Towerrunning 120 race is unique in the tour combining the 1 km prerun and a single climb up the 52 floors and 802 steps. The race organizer offer a 1 200 Euro in prize money for the three best male and female runners. “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 4 athletes comprising 300 Euro travel reimbursement and 2 night’s of accommodation. The travel packages will be awarded to TOP 30 ranked applicants in February ranking using the official TWA elite application system. Application period starts from March 2 until March 13, 2016 at 10 pm CET by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
March 12 – Top 6 Towerrunning European Championships 2016 - Warsaw
1 Anna Ficner (POL) 214
1 Christian Riedl (GER) 228
March 9 – Preview - Towerrunning European Championships 2016 - Warsaw MAR 12
Besides being a big event on national level the Rondo 1 Run Up from the beginning has attracted strong international contenders too and has reached the undisputed status of being the most important stair race in Eastern Europe. Encouraged by the overwhelming success in the first five years the organizing team around Towerrunning World Council member Piotr Jakobik from the Warsaw based sports marketing agency Sport Evolution applied for staging the 3rd Towerrunning European Championships 2016, an event awarded by the Towerrunning World Association every two years to a different host organizer.
Instead of the traditional qualification round and a pursuit final heat the 2016 Championship race consists of three heats in time trial format: Sprint (19 floors) - Full (38 floors) - Final (38 floors). The final result is the point sum of these three heats, each evaluated according to the standard TWA 80 Scoring Matrix.
Among the very strong participant field the man to beat definitely is Piotr Lobodzinski, the undisputed TWA ranking leader. Among the usual suspects chasing him, on a good day people like Tomas Celko (SVK), Christian Riedl (GER), Matjaz Miklosa (SLO) or Tomas Macecek (CZE) might beat him. Another home athlete, Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik is the favourite in the women’s race, with Lenka Svabikova (CZE) being the biggest threat for her. Another Czech runner Zuzana Krchova or Jana Zatlukalova (SVK) are very competitive too. Male Dark horse is home athlete Bartosz Swiatkowski, who had to skip last season due to injury, but is on the comeback trail and he already knows the feeling to beat Piotr at Rondo 1 ! And being a proud father since a few days ago might give him an extra motivation too. Looking at the females there still is the mini chance that Austrian stair legend Andrea Mayr on short range leaves her Olympic marathon training camp in Italy for a quick trip to Warsaw.
The Polish favourites Dominika and Piotr have one thing in common. Both placed runner up at Rondo 1 in 2013 and both won the race in 2014 and 2015 ! And looking back at Towerrunning European Championship history at the 2012 premiere in Frankfurt both titles went to athletes from the organizing country. In the 3 Countries-ECH two years Andrea Mayr from one of the host countries won. Defending male champion is Piotr Lobodzinski. These two athletes are reigning TWA World Champions too.
We look forward to an exciting Saturday full of emotions, when the Towerrunning community including nearly all the top ranked athletes as well as many other event organizers, will celebrate the new European Champions in Warsaw.
March 6 - Race Report: Carrera Vertical Torre Latino - Mexico City Gallery
Latin Americans revelled in the high altitude air again at Sunday’s Towerrunning 120 and WFGT Challenge race, the Colombians Frank Carreňo winning the elite men’s race and Maria Eugenia Rodriguez 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.