Towerrunning – Bartosz Świątkowski celebrates first season victory, 2012

This is an official press release.

The Schlossberg-Stiege in Graz with its stone stairs on the Kriegssteig, a flat part through the Bürgerbastei fringed by flowers and shrubs and the steep final stairs below the Uhrturm is one of the most beautiful venues for a Towerrunning World Cup race. The last two editions of the Schlossberg-Stiegenlauf were dominated by Norbert Lechner. It is his favourite race, a special day for him every year. This time the 2010 and 2011 champion knew, that it would be more challenging for him to win there, since a strong-occupied field with international participants was registered for the climb. Especially the Towerrunning elite from Poland wanted to attack Lechner’s track record of 1:53.3 and take home some valuable World Cup points.

Norbert Lechner gave all he could. He climbed the 421 stairs between the old-town of Graz and the Uhrturm in 1:53.7 minutes and thereby almost reached his 2011 record time. Then everyone’s eyes were on Piotr Lobodzinski, current number 2 in the World Cup ranking. His attempt to beat the time of Austria’s leading stair climber failed. Lobodzinski’s time of 1:54.6 was only good enough for the third place today – 0.1 seconds ahead of orienteering athlete Robert Merl. This moment must have been incredible for Lechner. It was his first time to beat Piotr Lobodzinski in a Towerrunning World Cup race. But he rejoiced too soon. Bartosz Swiatkowski undercut the time of Lechner and took revenge for the defeat of compatriot Lobodzinski. In 1:52.8 minutes he mastered the challenging track and set a new course record.

The World Cup ranking is becoming closer and closer: Due to the void results rule Piotr Lobodzinski was not able to improve his score and remains at 959.0 points. Bartosz Swiatkowski improved his score to 851.0 points so the runners on rank 2 to 7 are only separated by 108 points. With his second place Norbert Lechner cracked the 700 points-mark, overtook Justin Stewart and is now ranked 9th.

The women’s competition ended with a victory of Eva-Maria Neubauer, while top favourite Katarina Schwartz from Slovakia had to be pleased with rank 4. Although missing the podium she overtook Xinxin Xia in the World Cup and is now ranked 10th.

As all Austrian World Cup events the race also counted towards the Towerrunning Austria series, where Katarina Schwartz expanded her lead. Norbert Lechner as the best Austrian athlete in Graz scored 80 points and maintained his chance to win the national Towerrunning title.



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