For some it’s pure horror, for others a special challenge: Tower Running – the vertical trend sport, where towers, skyscrapers and outdoor stairs are to be climbed. Worldwide, about 200 stair climbing events are held regularly with more than 100,000 participants in its spell. Top international runners meet up at classical landmarks such as the Empire State Building Run Up in New York or the Taipei 101 Run Up. For the elite there is a World Cup system organized by Towerrunning Office Vienna, which compares the performance throughout the entire season. Germany is also an important stopover of the stair climbing scene: 20 races from Berlin to Munich are available on the World Cup program. One of the major highlights of the season will be the 6th edition of the SkyRun MesseTurm Frankfurt on Sunday, June 3rd, 2012, which will also provide the framework for the premiere of the Towerrunning European Championships. In Frankfurt, for the first time there will be the opportunity for Europe’s stair climbing athletes to compete at an official championship. The Tower Running Championship 2012 will be organized as a joint project of the MesseTurm Frankfurt, the Association for People with Spina bifida / Rhein-Main-Nahe e.V. (ARQUE) and the Tower Running Office in Vienna as the international governing body of the stair climbing sport.
The main goal of the tournament is to crown the best all-rounder in the stairwell. Therefore runners will compete in a one-day tournament over two different distances and in different race formats. The SkyRun MesseTurm Frankfurt which is organized since 2007 will serve as the preliminary round, which takes place in the morning of the race-day as an individual time trial of elite runners and amateurs over 1202 steps and 222 meters difference in altitude. Based on this, the twelve best runners of each gender will enter the semi-finals and compete in two groups of six in a direct competition up to the 30th floor (582 steps) for a position in the final of the six best athletes. The final race in the afternoon will be climbed again in direct competition over the full distance up to the 61st floor of the MesseTurm. In the final rounds visitors will get a Formula 1 feeling in front of the MesseTurm: The runners will start the race out of a starting grid as used for automobile racing after the starting lights have turned from red to green. The race will be monitored by voluntary referees in the staircase and a group-drawing – similar to the major soccer championships – will ensure fair and equally distributed groups. Regarding regulations, technical equipment and fair play the event will set new standards in the Towerrunning sport. Also the number of stairs to be climbed will set a high standard: Throughout all three rounds a total of 2986 stressful stairs have to be overcome in the MesseTurm. Thus, the European Championships will be one of the indoor-stair-races with the most stairs ever held. As a reward not only a wonderful view over Frankfurt’s financial district is awaiting the climbers, but also a cash premium totalling up to 9,000 €. Furthermore a lot of valuable points can be collected in the fight for the coveted Towerrunning World Cup Trophy. The event in Frankfurt was selected as World Cup Masters Race and will therefore get a higher weighting factor for the World Cup Ranking.