January 10  -  Race Report - Towerrunning Tour Latina Vertical Sprint -  Torre Pontina            Gallery

January 10 it was the third edition of the record Reale Mutua Latina Vertical Sprint, running up the ramps of the Torre Pontina, to an altitude of 128 meters. A record number of athletes attended, as many as 200 coming from all over Italy,  Europe and even Mexico. Record on the podium too, won by the athletes from Eastern Europe, who pulverized the previous times. Up the 727 steps and 38 floors no one ever was faster than Slovak Celko Thomas (3:17) and the Czech Lenka Svabikova (4:16)
Competitionwas even more exciting by the formula of double race, in which the times of the first qualifier defined the starting grid of the second final heat - Formula 1 style, including traffic lights ! In the female category, the order of arrival remained unchanged between the first and second rounds, while among men, Celko overturned the initial verdict, surpassing Fabio Ruga. The involvement of children, through a trail facilities, sports, balance, speed and fun. The walkway of the athletes was enlivened by a band of percussionists, which made it an even more spectacular and impressive performance. The comments of the experts give high credit to the efforts of the organizers, Alberto Spagnoli (Latina Runners) and Cristina Maione (Maione Store). The preparation of the fourth edition has already begun!

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.

December 26  -  Top 6 Grand Prix of China -  Guang Zhou -  Canton Tower Run Up - Dec 26  

1 Brooke Logan (AUS) 18:54      Top3
2 Fengjuan Fan (CHN) 19:13
3 Iwona Wicha (POL) 19:28
4 Wenrong Zheng (CHN) 19:49
5 Egle Uljas (EST) 21:42
6 Wenfei Xie (CHN) 22:54

1 Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) 15:15      Top3
2 Jiajing Ou (CHN) 16:05
3 Richard Sirrs (GBR) 16:22
4 Jinhui Zeng (CHN) 16:53
5 Zhicheng Wang (CHN) 17:05
6 Rudolf Reitberger (AUT) 17:09

December 21  -  Preview  Grand Prix of China -  Guang Zhou -  Canton Tower - Dec 26  

On December 26, all eyes of the stair racing scene will be fixed on GuangZhou’s Canton Tower where the last Grand Prix race of the season will take place. The 450 m ascent in the world’s fifth-tallest freestanding structure will be a truly amazing challenge for the world's strongest stair runners travelling to GuangZhou (China). Among many others, the strong field comprises the male World Cup ranking leader and top favourite Piotr Lobodzinski, multiple winner of Vertical Marathon races in China Richard Sirrs, adding veteran champions Rudi Reitberger, Rolf Majcen and a local hero Jiajing Ou.The female field is represented by Cindy Reid, Iwona Wicha, Brooke Logan, Egle Uljas and Fengjuan Fan.

12 different skyscrapers in GuangZhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing hosted the preliminary heats of the Grand Prix of China. Tausends of local athletes competed in the first round races in order to qualify for the Canton Tower Run final. The winners from the preliminary rounds will be challenging the international runners for the glory. The elites will be vying for a share in more than 3,000 Euro prize money, while the top place-getters in all categories will receive attractive prizes.

December 15 - Race Report  - Ascenso Torre Colpatria  -  Bogota on Dec 8         

December 8th (Inmaculada Concepción) is a public holiday in Colombia. And for the 11th time this year it was also the date of Ascenso Torre Colpatria – an event  which serves both as a fundraiser for Operacion Sónrisa and as one of the most important stair races worldwide. The big challenge for the international top athletes there is to beat the national elite used to the 2600m altitude ! The venue is Torre Colpatria, a 50-story skyscraper often referred to as “Mirador Torre Colpatria” which is illuminated every night with thirty-six color changing Xenon lights and a landmark of the 8 million metropole Bogota. In fact the event starts the night before with fireworks and a special light show attracting thousands of people in the surrounding downtown streets.

Angela Figueroa defended her title winning in 6:49,81 beating Martha Ronceria (6:54,15) and Maria Eugenia Rodriguez ((7:04,61). It was her 4th title at Colpatria after 2008, 2011 and 2014. Special credit goes to Maria Eugenia Rodriguez too, as the multiple winner of this race has continued her streak of podium finishes in all eleven editions since 2005. Once more the international athletes missed the podium with Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (POL) placing 4th before Zuzana Krchova (CZE).

Like in the years before the male race was another duel between Frank Nicolas Carreno and five time Colpatria champion Juan Pablo Rangel. In a narrow decision Carreno clocked the only sub5 time of the day repeating last years win in 4:59,14 just about two seconds faster than Rangel (5:01,30). These two athletes shared the top two ranks since 2010. Third place went to Nicolas Herrera in 5:12,07. No chance against Colombian dominance had the international athletes; Stefan Stefina (SVK-5:57,9) and Sproule Love (USA-6:01,2) were a minute behind.

Carrera Ascenso Torre Colpatria is the only major stair race worldwide, which is organized in close cooperation with the national Olympic committee and national athletics association. With almost 3,000 participants climbing the iconic tower in the business center of Bogota within a few hours the agency Correcaminos de Colombia once again proved their superiority in organizing an event combining sports on world class level and charity, as the  participants also raised funds for Operacion Sónrisa.

December 13  -  TATA Tower Run Mumbai presented by CII - Mumbai -  Dec 13  

The Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) organised the second edition of Tata Tower Run at the iconic 30-storey World Trade Centre (WTC)  in Mumbai. The Sunday morning witnessed enthusiastic participation from across categories like children, youth, senior citizens and individual and corporate teams for the run. This initiative, which involved running 689 stairs of the landmark structure and aimed at promoting the spirit of healthy living among Mumbaikars was also supported by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).

Shashi Kumar Diwakar won the first position clocking a finish timing of 3 mins and 37 seconds. He broke his own record of 4 mins and 23 second to win the title for the second consecutive year. Hannah Wabera from Kenya won the first position in the individual women participant category by clocking a finish time of 5 mins and 37 seconds. Including the athletes of the team competition more than 250 participants enjoyed a great race documenting the growing status of the Towerrunning sport in India.

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