Towerrunning – SkyRise Chicago 2012

This is an official press release.

SkyRise Chicago
November 4th, 2012
Jesse Berg and Kristin Frey win SkyRise Chicago

SkyRise Chicago means climbing the highest building in the Western Hemisphere. 2109 stairs lead to the SkyDeck of Willis Tower 443 m above the “windy city”.

 More than 2,200 stair climbers from seven nations lined up at the start to take part in this last 2012 North American World Cup Masters Race.

Fastest on top was Chicagoan Jesse Berg claiming this 3rd win after 2006 and 2010. With 13:59 he was clearly ahead of John „Oz” Osborn (14:16) and Josh Emery (14:18). Kevin Crossman placed 4th in 14:27. Next came Alexander Workman (15:13) narrowly beating Austrian Norbert Lechner, whose 15:16 placed him 6th. Javier Santiago from Mexico finished 11th.

Among the Top10 overall fastest climbers of the day there were two female athletes. With a personal best of 14:57 current World Cup 2nd Kristin Frey from Schaumburg (USA) finally made friends with the tower she often called „the beast” before. Last year’s winner Cindy Harris from Indianapolis climbed 15:26 for the 2nd place. Minutes after her race she stunned the spectators by making handstand on the glass balcony of the skydeck. Third rank went to Sherrie Breese (16:32). Roxanne Sanchez and Karen Geninatti followed on ranks 4 and 5.

SkyRise Chicago is a charity event supporting the RIC (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). Some of the RIC patients were among the participants, too. The 31-year-old amputee Zac Vawter has made history by climbing the 103 floors with a bionic leg controlled by his mind. He defeated the tower in about 45 minutes. Besides the stair climb there was the option to master the equivalent race distance and elevation on stationary hand-cycles in the lobby of Willis Tower.

In the World Cup rankings Jesse Berg remains on rank 8 (834.0 points), but was able to close the gap towards the medal ranks. Towerrunning Austria champion Norbert Lechner is 9th with 781.0 points. Kevin Crossman is now ranked 11th, while John “Oz” Osborn made it up into the top 30 again. Kristin Frey consolidated her second rank behind Suzanne Walsham (AUS) in women’s World Cup ranking. Cindy Harris is 4th and made up some ground on Cristina Bonacina, who currently holds the bronze medal rank.

Further Towerrunning highlights in November will be the Eureka Climb in Melbourne (November 18th) and the Swissotel Vertical Marathon in Singapore (November 25th). On December 8th the World Cup final will again take place in Bogota (COL).

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012

SkyRise Chicago 2012




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.

Towerrunning – Turmlauf Hall, 23rd September 2012

This is an official press release.

Turmlauf Hall 
September 23rd, 2012
Pavel Holec and Marie-Fee Breyer winners of Turmlauf Hall

avel Holec (CZE) and Marie-Fee Breyer (GER) are the proud winners of Raiffeisen Turmlauf Hall 2012. Holec from Czech Hore-Dole team celebrated his first victory in the 2012 stair climbing season by clocking a time of 3:32.8. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) came in with the second-best time (3:34.6). Felix Leitner (AUT) completed the top 3 in 3:41.4. With Tomas Zahradka (6th) and Tomas Kopecky (10th) two more Hore-Dole runners made it up into the top ten.

Marie-Fee Breyer who already won the last three editions of the Turmlauf confidently defended her title in 4:09.8 – again more than 4 seconds faster than her so far personal best from 2011. Behind her Julia Weiss (AUT) secured the second rank in 4:13.0 before Magdalena Fankhauser (AUT, 4:36.9). The traditionally strong occupied factor 1.0 race attracted climbers from seven countries.

Raiffeisen Turmlauf Hall combines more than 400 meters outdoor track through the Salinenpark, the courtyard of Hassegg castle and a tunnel with indoor parts leading through narrow stairwells in the Medienturm and Münzerturm, which have to be mastered up- and downstairs. Especially the wooden and metal spiral staircases in the Münzerturm belong to the most challenging tracks in the World Cup calendar.

For his second place Piotr Lobodzinski received 68.0 World Cup points increasing his score to 959.0 points. With his already 6th podium rank in 2012 he overtook Tomas Celko (SVK, 3rd with 936.0) and Christian Riedl (GER, 4th with 901.2) in the overall standings and is now ranked 2nd behind clear leader Thomas Dold (GER, 1158.0). Marie-Fee Breyer, who already celebrated two Masters Race podium ranks in Basel and Frankfurt, remains on position 8 in the women’s ranking, but now closed the gap to the opponents in front of her. The ranking is still led by Suzanne Walsham (AUS, 1220.0).

Both Tyrolean races Stepp the Trepp Fügen and Turmlauf Hall are united in the Stiegl Cup, which was awarded to Margarethe Mazzagg (AUT) and Rene Delmas (AUT) for the best combined time. The well organized race providing live video broadcast from the stairwell, various side program and special competitions for fire-fighters and children also counts towards the Towerrunning Austria series, where after 9 of 13 races Rolf Majcen (AUT) and Katarina Schwartz (SVK) stay in the lead. On October 6th the next stop of Towerrunning Austria will be in Graz (Schlossberg Stiegenlauf).

Further information:

Complete results:


Towerrunning – Piotr Łobodziński & Suzanne Walsham: A double Masters triumph

This is an official press release.

Five stair climbs with a total of 3,569 stairs at two events in two countires within 24 hours – that are the remarkable figures describing the last weekend of some brave Towerrunning athletes. Two of them did not even accept this special challenge to climb as well the Masters Race in Prague (Praha Run Up) as the one in Vienna (Millennium Tower Run Up), but also won both races: Singapore living Australian Suzanne Walsham and Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland. Also Lobodzinskis compatriot Bartosz Swiatkowski managed to achieve two podium ranks with his second place in Prague and the Bronze rank in Millennium Tower Extreme (Triple) Climb. He later on called this experience “a new dimension of pain”.

For several years the Run-Up Series in Czech Republic organized by Chris Delattre is an established name in the international Towerrunning scene. The events of this series offer several race options with varying degrees of difficulty. The elite race in which after a flat prerun of about 100 meters participants had to climb the stairwell to the very top of City Empiria Tower consists of a qualifying round for all runners followed by a final where the fastest 8 women and 22 men ran the 520 stairs a second time.

Despite rainy weather there was a great atmosphere at the event place between a shopping center and the tower. Athletes and spectators enjoyed a varied side program and saw high-class Towerrunning competition. In the qualifying heat the top favorites held back and saved their valuable energy for the finals. Later on when the top 30 lined up at the start again, they mercilessly showed their class. Suzy Walsham won clearly ahead of Suzana Krchova (CZE) and Lenka Svabikova (CZE). Also in men’s final there was nothing to win for Czech athletes – the Polish team apparently was too strong for the local climbers. The only question was, who of them will take the victory and the 120 World Cup points.

In the end the duel culminated in a split-second decision. Piotr Lobodzinski virtually overtook his compatriot with a stronger finish on the last flight of stairs. Probably with the last step he was able to beat the time of Bartosz Swiatkowski and celebrated his second 2012 Towerrunning victory with a paper-thin margin of 0.05 seconds. Pavel Ondrasek secured the third podium rank for Czech Republic.

One day later at Millennium Tower Run Up Vienna, the climbers had the choice of climbing the 843 stairs once (Light Climb) or three times (Extreme Climb). Both Prague winners decided to go the extreme way and both celebrated another undisputed victory. After the second climb even another Polish one-two-finish was in the air, but then in the third round Tomas Celko from Slovakia overtook Swiatkowski and secured the silver rank. Another competitor with five climbs in Prague and Vienna, Enrico Gäbe from Germany, was very pleased with 6th position after finishing 7th in Prague.

Having clocked the third best time in the first round, Omar Bekkali (BEL) retired from the race. Due to a controversial interpretation of the local event rules his time was not considered for the Light Climb so local hero Norbert Lechner won this competition, although he narrowly failed to achieve his target time of four minutes for the 843 stairs in his training stairwell.

In women’s race behind Suzanne Walsham US climber Kristin Frey and Carina Lilge-Leutner from Austria completed the medal ranks. In her blog runner-up Kristin Frey, who has been in the lead after the first round and then was overtaken by Walsham with a 19 seconds faster second climb, describes her
experience in Vienna and found impressive words for her third climb in the highest skyscraper in the Danube metropolis: “Anyways, I could feel the fatigue on the 3rd climb. My arms were finally starting to pick up the slack when my legs were starting to give out, glad all my hard work to get rid of the chicken wings seemed to be beneficial! I was elated with finishing second and my increasingly faster times. I really did all that I could, I probably could’ve pushed harder but I think mentally I was torn because I knew there was nothing I could do to catch her and just pushed myself to that comfortably hard spot. I didn’t go over the edge; I was teetering somewhat close to it though.”

World Cup champion Cristina Bonacina preferred the Light Climb and won the race with the fourth-best overall climb time. Among the ten fastest women athletes from seven nations were represented. While the women’s competition still was in its final throes, Piotr Lobodzinski already celebrated his victory on the outlook terrace of the Millennium Tower high above the Danube and enjoyed the fantastic view over the Danube City and the Danube Tower, where a revival of the legendary Donauturm-Treppenlauf is scheduled for November 17th.

As the icing on the cake besides the two Towerrunning Masters victories Lobodzinski two weeks ago also triumphed at Red Bull 400, a challenging race on the ski jumping hill in Bad Mitterndorf. After more than 100 skyscrapers, towers and outdoor stairs have been climbed despite his long injury lay-off in spring Lobodzinski now is ranked fourth in the World Cup rankings behind the German leaders Thomas Dold (1158.0 points) and Christian Riedl (901.2) and the three times World Cup bronze medalist Tomas Celko (856.0) from Slovakia. Bartosz Swiatkowski (711.0) is on 8th place, but with just six of eight considerable results he also has close contact to the podium ranks.

In the women’s ranking the lead changed again: Suzanne Walsham with 1220.0 points now is 100 points ahead of Kristin Frey. Cristina Bonacina was able to consolidate her third rank (Italy, 833.8). The Nations Cup is still led by Germany, followed by the USA stair climbing team and Italy.

With the wins of Lobodzinski, the podium ranks of Swiatkowski and another second place by Emilia Lany in the Millennium Tower Light Climb the Polish team massively improved its score and is now ranked fourth.

The next Towerrunning highlights are already coming closer: In Austria the national series Towerrunning
Austria stays in Vienna for the IZD Stiegenhauslauf in September 12th. The Czech Run Up series has its
next stops in Olomouc on September 14th and Ostrava on September 27th. Further international races will
be held in Hanoi on September 30th, in Twin Tower Vienna on October 19th and in Chicago (SkyRise
Chicago) on November 4th. Thus the hunt for World Cup points becomes intense. The great goal is to be
among the top three in the ranking after the race in Chicago – these athletes will be invited to the World
Cup Final at Ascenso Torre Colpatria in Bogota on December 8th where the World Cup champions will be
crowned after one of the most difficult and exhausting events worldwide.

Further information, results and gallery:

Complete Race report of Kristin Frey:

Event websites Prague and Vienna:

Towerrunning family welcomes new event in Santa Fe

This is an official press release.

Last weekend it was time again to welcome a new member in the Towerrunning family. The Carrera Vertical Nivea Q10 celebrated its premiere at Hotel Distrito Capital in Santa Fe, the business district of Mexico City. 28 floors and 560 steps had to be mastered by the participants. Similar to the World Cup final in Bogota, the unusual height of 2660 meters above sea level made the event even more challenging.

Sergio Rodriguez Duran was the fastest athlete of the day in 3:52 min and therefore celebrated his first victory at a World Cup race. Sandra Nunez, World Cup silver medallist of 2010, took the chance at her home event and won the women’s race by clocking a time of 4:32.

The only small drop of bitterness was the low number of only 42 athletes climbing Hotel Distrito Capital. Nevertheless the professionally organized event gave a certain impetus to the Towerrunning sport in Central America, so we look forward to see other new tower runs in this region entering the World Cup calendar.

The Carrera Vertical in Mexico City is only one of various examples underlining a positive trend in the Towerrunning Sport. The international stair climbing scene is prospering and month after month new races are established. Looking at the event statistics, this development becomes clear. In the 2008 season 109 races were carried out in 20 countries. Since the introduction of Towerrunning World Cup in 2009, this value has increased steadily. In 2011, more than 100,000 athletes from 55 nations met at 170 events in 26 countries. And the first four months of the current season make us expecting a further increase of these numbers. So far 88 races – 19 more than at the same time last year – attracted about 54,000 athletes to experience the vertical challenge of a tower run. As in the previous season athletes from 39 nations were able to achieve World Cup points until the end of April.

In May the selection of outdoor stair races will be enriched by a new event in Austria: The Reißeck Wadlbeißer in Kolbnitz with its 8971 stairs extends the range of European long distance races and opens the national stair racing series Towerrunning Austria.

For additional information, the current World Cup standings and season statistics, please visit