News

November 5 - 50FlightFight - Prudential Center - Boston   
Report by Charles Bower:

On Saturday November 5, the day before the annual race at the Sears (Willis) Tower in Chicago, over 1,000 athletes from both the local area and from around the world descended on Boston’s Prudential Tower for a race celebrating the sports retailer Under Armour’s opening of a flagship store in the attached Prudential Center Mall.  The Prudential Tower is a 52 story building topped with a restaurant on the 52nd floor and a public observation deck on the 50th floor, and is second only to the 60 floor John Hancock building as the tallest in Boston.  It is  Boston’s only member of the World Federation of Great Towers, but had not hosted a stair race for several years.  After an initial untimed ceremonial run of about 150 meters through front door and over a red carpet through the mall, the course consists of a narrow enough stairway to permit use of both rails, rotating left, with two flights per floor.  The timed portion of the race began in the elevator lobby on the first floor and concluded in the 50th floor observatory, representing an approximately 192m ascent.

 The registration was announced only weeks before the event.  An event scheduled for the same day at the nearby John Hancock building was postponed as a result.  Unique to the event, especially for US stairclimbs, was free registration, absence of other donation or fundraising requirements, and, most significantly, a $5,000 prize for the overall winner, and $10,000 prize for the fastest Massachusetts first responder for use at their firehouse or police station.   Unfortunately, there was only one overall prize, and there were no gender specific prizes.  In spite of the event being free, swag included a UA technical event shirt, finishers medal, and event photos.  The event also required the top two competitors to race head to head in a second round for the grand prize. The top male finishers were from outside the USA: From Poland, Defending World Champion Piotr Lobodzinski  and completed the first round in 4:59, beating his own time by one second and finishing the final round in 4:58, taking the prize of $5,000.  Canadian Shaun Stephens-Whale took second with a time of 5:25 in the initial round and 5:22 in the final round.   Visiting from Columbia, Frank Carreno turned in a time of 5:27 for third place.   Frank then proceeded to win the Willis Tower the next morning with a time of approximately 13 minutes.  As of this writing, the exact time has not been determined due to timekeeping issues.  Sproule Love was the top US participant, finishing fourth with a time of 5:49. The women’s division winners were all from Massachusetts: Leah Eickhoff was first with a time of 7:07, Liliana Harrington was second with a time of 7:14, and Blair Robinson was third with a time of 8:06.  Brian Baxter of West Roxbury Massachusetts won the public safety division with a final time of 7:16, winning $10,000 for his department.

It was a fun event overall, although the final round was held in the evening.  While that gave the competitors ample time to recover, many of us were already at the airport on the way home or to Chicago for Willis.  Also, there weren’t any other awards or award ceremony, as many just completed their waves and left.  Since it was a celebration of the opening of the store, this author doubts it will be an annual event.  If they do it again,  I hope they consider a female award category.



December 20 - Announcement of Latina Vertical Sprint on Jan 22, 2017 

The first Towerrunning Trial 60 race in 2017 will be held at La Torre Pontina in Latina on Sunday 22 January 2017. Latina Vertical Sprint will see athletes climb 727 stairs and 128 meters to finish at the open deck on the 38th floor. This is also the first Towerrunning Tour event of the new season.

Latina Vertical Sprint is pleased to announce travel packages for 3 athletes comprising 200 Euro travel reimbursement and 1 night accommodation including a dinner. The race winners will get a prize cheque worth 100 Euro. Travel packages will be awarded to TWA registered athletes with TOP 50 ranking using the official TWA elite application system.

Interested athletes can apply from December 21 until December 28, 2016, 10 pm Central European Time
by emailing president@towerrunning.com and sport@towerrunning.com.

Press Release ()



December 16 - International Stair Running Championships -Milad Tower - Tehran  

Report by Rolf Majcen:

There was blue sky and white mountains nearby Teheran on 16th December 2016, when the first edition of International Stair Climbing Competitionrunning up the 1693 stairs of the Milad Tower took place. Mount Damawand (5610 m), the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East as well as the highest volcano in Asia, showed itself from the most beautiful side, even it was about 80 kilometers of air distance away. The air in Teheran was very clean after rain and some snowfall the night before. Teheran itself is a big city at 1.200 meters see level. From the Milad Tower, the view over the city and to the mountains is spectacular, no wonder, the impressive Tower itself stands on a hill at an attitude of 1.547 meters above sea-level!

The stair climbing race in the sixth tallest tower of the world was a great event and perfectly organized. The 301 meter upstairs route was perfectly marked and all the participants were very friendly welcomed by the race staff members. The VISA for entry to Iran was perfectly prepared by the race organization and very easy to pick up at Teheran airport. Drivers from the organization staff picked up athletes from about 60 kilometers away based TehranImam Khomeini International Airport and brought them to a guest house just a minute beside the 435 meter high Milad Tower and did everything to make them feel happy, relaxed and feeling safely. The race itself was won by strong and experienced Persian marathon runner Ahmad Asadi in 10,45 minutes. First runner up was Persian Iman Kooshi (10,57 minutes), second runner up Austrian Rolf Majcen (11,31 minutes), who, in his 139th stair climbing competition, felt the lack of acclimatization in the high altitude. The victory ceremony was an impressive one, as stair climbing ompetition in Milad Tower is of huge importance for the Persian Sport. All international athletes all over the world are very warm hearted welcomed for the next edition in 2017.

Pictures by:
1 Ahmad Asadi
2 Mohammad Mohsenifar
3 Shahin Nobari
4 Rolf Majcen



December 8 - Race Report – Pan-American Towerrunning Championships - Bogota       Gallery

December 8th (Inmaculada Concepción) is a public holiday in Colombia. It is also the date of Ascenso Torre Colpatria, a big event  which serves as a fundraiser for Operacion Sónrisa and in its 12th edition is one of the most important stair races worldwide. This year Ascenso Torre Colpatria was the logical choice to serve as the venue for the inaugural Pan-American Towerrunning Championships The big challenge for the international top athletes there is to beat the national elite used to the 2600m altitude ! The building to climb 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.

Big prerace favourite in his hometown was Frank Nicolas Carreno. In 2015 the Colombian athlete had already placed 6th at the World Chanpionships in Doha and  2016 he had a successful first full international season on the Towerrunning Tour peaked by wins in Mexico City, at Taipei 101 Run Up and SkyRise Chicago and is in 4th position in the world ranking. Besides other Colombians athletes from Canada, Mexico and the United States were his challengers, among them world ranked 10th Mexican Gustavo Isaac Mendoza. More open seemed to be the female race. The strongest challenger of the Colombian athletes seemed to be Cindy Harris (USA), who in November won for the 11th time in Chicago with a new course record proving her excellent shape, but unfortunately was stopped on the way to Bogota by disturbances in the US air traffic..

Despite massive pressure as the declared race favourite and in the  building owned by his main sponsor, Frank Nicolas Carreno triumphed for the 3rd time in a row at Torre Colpatria. After the race he talked about problems around floor 15, but with force of will was able to overcome them and in 5:03,61 crowned himself the first Pan-American champion in Towerrunning. On the medal places two other Colombians, 2nd Nicolas Herrera (5:09,23) and 3rd Oscar Moreno (5:31,54). A small surprise was the 4th place of  Mexican Alexis Trujillo, a newcomer to stair races, while his higher estimated compatriote Gustavo Isaac Mendoza didn´t have his best day. Female champion became 2012 winner and course record holder Liliana Moreno returning to Colpatria after a two year suspension. With 6:19,87 she was more than 20 seconds faster than the current Colombian mountain running champion Ginary Camargo (6:41,88) in her first stair race. On 3rd place Angie Orjuela (6:49,57), the best Colombian in the Rio Olympic marathon recently, completed a Colombian medal sweep.

Perfectly organized by Correcaminos de Colombia and the national athletic association Ascenso Torre Colpatria, combining sports on world class level and charity, was a great event for the elite racers as well as 2600 other participants and a worthy venue for the inaugural Pan-American Towerrunning Championships.



December 8 - Top5 – Ascenso Torre Colpatria - Bogota 
1st Pan-American Towerrunning Championships

1 Liliana Moreno (COL) 6:19,87
2 Ginary Camargo (COL) 6:41,88
3 Angie Orjuela (COL) 6:49,57
4 Martha Ronceria (COL) 6:57,95
5 Nidia Jasmin Vargas Sosa (COL) 7:25,65

1 Frank Nicolas Carreño (COL) 5:03,61
2 Nicolas Herrera (COL) 5:09,23
3 Oscar Moreno (COL) 5:31,54
4 Alexis Trujillo (MEX) 5:39,42
5 Franklin Sainz (COL) 5:48,74



November 20 - Race Report – Swissotel Vertical Marathon - Swissotel The Stamford 

More than 2,200 runners lined up on Sunday to compete in Asia’s pioneering stair race, the Swissotel Vertical Marathon, climbing 73 floors, 1,336 steps and 226m to the helipad of the Swissotel The Stamford Hotel.  The Towerrunning 160 Tour race attracted many of the world’s top stair runners, but it was Towerrunning World Association ranking leaders Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) and Suzy Walsham (AUS) who came out victorious, defending their titles from 2015.

While the Sunrise Team Challenge started at 6:30am, it was another two hours before the elites set off individually in intervals of ten seconds, running the short distance to the staircase before starting their ascent.  The men’s race was hotly contested with four of the world’s top five men competing, but Lobodzinski proved too strong, winning in a strong 6:55 to break seven minutes for the first time.  “I am very happy with my race today and to get a personal best time after racing here in 2013 and 2015.  It was great to defend my title” said Lobodzinski.  Italy’s Emanuele Manzi also did a personal best time to finish second in 7:14, while Czech Republic’s Tomas Macecek finished third in 7:25.  Christian Riedl (GER) was expected to dual with Lobodzinski, but after struggling with illness all week ran a gallant fourth in 7:29.

In the women’s race, it was a sentimental win for Walsham, who started her stellar stair climbing career at this race back in 2006.  She has won every Women’s Open category since, and while not a course record this time, her time was still an impressive 8:04, almost thirty seconds faster than her first attempt ten years ago.  “This race holds many special memories for me and was the inspiration for me to start stair racing.  I was thrilled to win again and was happy with my race.  I can’t believe I have now been doing this for ten years!” smiled Walsham.  Singapore-based Belgium Vanja Cnops continued her consistent performance at the event and placed second overall in 9:23, while Zuzana Krchova (CZE) came in third in 9:37.

The Towerrunning Tour tour now looks forward to the inaugural Pan-American Championships in Bogota, Colombia on December 8, followed by the 2016 Tour Final in Shenzhen on January 14, 2017.

 



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