Towerrunning – Bieg na Szczyt Rondo 1, May 19th, 2012

This is an official press release.

The third May weekend was a very bustling weekend for tower runners worldwide, since 9 climbs in 7 nations have been held within 3 days. While some of Asia’s best stair climbers competed at the legendary International Towerthon in Kuala Lumpur and the US elites gathered World Cup points at Bennington Monument, the hotspot of the European Towerrunning scene has been in Warsaw. The second edition of Bieg na Szczyt Rondo 1 was not only Poland’s most important Towerrun, but also the second European Towerrunning World Cup Masters Race in 2012. Therefore additionally to many of the leading athletes from Eastern Europe some other international elite climbers travelled to Warsaw to compete in an extraordinary race.

Similar to the modus, that will be used for Towerrunning European Championships in Frankfurt on June 3rd, the race was held in two consecutive rounds. The first climb was done by all competitors in an individual time trial format and afterwards the best 12 male and female runners competed in a mass start final with a starting grid based on the qualifying results. Each climb included 770 exhausting stairs and short, sinuous flat parts after the start and on the top floor. Especially in the narrow finish chicane easily some tenths of a second could be lost when missing the best race line.

And these tenths were decisive especially in the first climb. The three fastest climbers finished the race with almost the same time – only separated by 0.55 seconds. Viktor Novotny (CZE) was a hair’s breadth ahead of Piotr Szmyt (POL) and Fabio Ruga (ITA). Five seconds behind this trio Piotr Lobodzinski, the leading Polish elite tower runner coming back after an injury break, finished the first round fifth and thereby was not able to gain a position in the front row for the final.

In the final round the foreign athletes seemed to be able to profit by their experience in mass start races and therefore dominated the competition. After already achieving three podium ranks in the current season Fabio Ruga now celebrated his first victory in 2012 with a final climb time of 3:39,5 – more than 16 seconds faster than in the qualifying round. Last year’s World Cup bronze medallist Tomas Celko (SVK) came in second, only 3.4 seconds behind the Italian winner. The third place went to Viktor Novotny from Czech Republic. Best athlete from Poland was Piotr Lobodzinski on fourth position missing the podium by only 2.1 seconds. The new Polish Towerrunning shooting star and winner of the Rondo 1 premiere race in 2011 Bartosz Swiatkowski had to be satisfied with 6th rank.

By winning the race in Warsaw and therefore scoring another 120 World Cup points Fabio Ruga took the lead in the world ranking for the first time in his career – closely followed by Justin Stewart (USA) and Thomas Dold (GER), who will have the chance to recapture the top position next week at his home race in Berlin.

The successful Saturday for the Italian stair climbing team was completed by 2011 World Cup champion Cristina Bonacina, who after being clearly beaten by the home athletes in the first round managed to lead the final til floor 35. Then Anna Ficner from Poland was able to overtake Bonacina and to win the race before the Italian, who nevertheless was pleased with her race and rank 2. Even a bit more pleased of course was 27 year old Ficner, who celebrated her fourth victory in a World Cup race and her first Masters Race triumph after defeating the tower in a time of 5:08.6 minutes.

It was an impressive moment, when after the Towerrunning award ceremony music has faded and Anna Ficner received her trophy the national anthem of Poland sounded through the imposing lobby of ONZ Rondo 1 tower. The picture of the deeply moved Polish winner on the podium seems to symbolize the enormous rise of the stair climbing sport in Poland. It wouldn’t be surprising, if one of the Polish athletes will gather a European Championships medal in Frankfurt.

All in all more than 500 mainly Polish runners accepted the challenge to climb Rondo 1 tower at this well-organized race. Besides inviting and supporting international elite athletes and setting up a highly professional race the event organizers from Sports Evolution agency were able to rise more than 4,000 € donations for SOS children villages so the charity aspect also played an important role at “Bieg na Szczyt Rondo 1”.

After the next Masters Race in Berlin in two weeks the international elites will meet again in Frankfurt to celebrate another great stair climbing festival. Then the first Towerrunning European Championships will be held and 9,000 € prize money wait to be won by Europe’s best stair climbers. Almost all European elite athletes already registered for the event and Race-Director Michael Lederer and his team look forward to a spectacular event with three thrilling rounds, a media-friendly competition mode and technical features setting a new standard in the Towerrunning sport. Also the charity aspect then will be in the focus again, since similar to the race in Warsaw a major part of the revenues of SkyRun MesseTurm Frankfurt will be donated to ARQUE, an organization supporting children with Spina bifida and their families.

Further information:

Bieg na Szczyt Rondo 2012, Sebastian Wurster


Towerrunning – Basel, 21st April 2012

This an official press release.


21st April, 2012

World Cup Results and Press Release

It was a select field that has met up to participate in Towerrunning Basel 2012. 565 athletes from 12 countries completed the race including a 200 meters pre-run and 31 floors in the Messeturm, the highest building in Switzerland. Among them elite stair climbers from Europe, Australia, China and the United States competed for valuable points for the Towerrunning World Cup and the Vertical World Circuit.

Man of the day was German athlete Christian Riedl. He defeated the 542 stairs in 2:36.0 min. and thus broke the course record of Tomas Celko (SVK), winner of the previous two editions, by 1.3 seconds. Celko (2:43.2) at the end had to be satisfied with third place, since Italian Fabio Ruga with a time of 2:39.0 also placed before him. On fourth rank Bartosz Swiatkowski (POL) celebrated the best Masters Race result in his Towerrunning career.

In the women’s competition Marie Fee Breyer with a time of 3:26,6 laid the foundation for a possible German double victory. After neither last year’s World Cup champion Cristina Bonacina (ITA, 6th rank) nor the current World Cup leader Kristin Frey (USA, 3rd rank) could undercut the time of Breyer, her hopes for the third consecutive Basel triumph rose. But then Suzanne Walsham (AUS) managed to clock an incredible 3:11,4. This amazing time was not only 21 seconds faster than Breyer’s climb, but also smashed the track record by more than 15 seconds. After winning in London and finishing 2nd at the Empire State Building Run-Up Walsham celebrated her third podium finish in the current season, making her one of the top favourites for winning the Towerrunning World Cup.

The special international class of the again outstandingly organized race with a prize money fund of more than 2.000 € becomes clear when looking at the results sheets: In the men’s race the top 8 runners came from eight different nations and at the women’s podium runners from three continents were represented.

Besides the event for international elite athletes separate races for kids, teams and fire-fighters were held. Worthy of mention in this connection is the performance of Spaniard David Robles Tapia, who not only achieved a brilliant 5th rank in the individual competition, but also won the fire-fighters’ team event with his colleagues from the “Bomberos Ayuntamiento Zaragoza”. 108 fire crews with complete turnout gear (in the elite category even with breathing apparatus) assembled at the start line in front of the Messeturm, which led to plenty of action and overtaking in the narrow staircase of the tower.

After taking the stairs in Basel the European Towerrunning scene picks up steam. In May national stair climbing series in Czech Republic (Run Up Series) and Austria (Towerrunning Austria) will be launched and the Masters Races in Warsaw (May 19th) and Berlin (May 27th) will attract a lot of international stair climbers. On 3 June the MesseTurm in Frankfurt will host the first Towerrunning European Championships.

Further information:

Please see:

Towerrunning – Vertical Marathon Dubai, April 13th, 2012

This is an official press release

Vertical Marathon Dubai

April 13th, 2012

World Cup Results and Press Release

It is one of the most absorbing Towerrunning events of the season. The magic skyline and special spirit of the Arabic desert metropolis Dubai combined with the challenge of mastering 1334 stairs in Jumeirah Emirates Tower at 35 °C ambient air temperature explain the special fascination of Vertical Marathon Dubai.

The 2012 edition of the race has been selected as a factor 1.5 Towerrunning World Cup Masters Races due to its organizational quality and distinguished internationality of the participants fields in previous seasons so up to 240 big points for the world ranking could be snatched.

2011 Dubai runner up Norbert Lechner (AUT) seized the opportunity, climbed a splendid 8:47 and thereby celebrated his first victory in a World Cup Masters Race. It was Lechner’s 12th World Cup podium finish and his 5th overall win. With his 379.0 points from races in Sao Paulo, New York, London and Dubai Lechner climbed up to position 8 in the world ranking.

After narrowly missing the top 3 in 2010 and 2011 William Higgo (RSA) finished the race on second position – 34 seconds behind Lechner. Third rank went to Hallvard Borsheim (NOR).

An abundantly clear victory was celebrated by Martha Rise (NOR, 10:24) in the women’s race. Amanda Nimon Peters (AUS) and Emily Meredith (USA) completed the podium.

The top 7 of both genders came from 13 different countries and the top 30 male and female finishers represented 20 nations from six continents. These figures again underline the extraordinary internationality of the event. Furthermore the race in Dubai was the first stair climb in the World Cup history with none of the top 30 ranks being occupied by the host nation.

Next week the Towerrunning scene will focus on the first European Masters Race in Messeturm Basel (SUI) serving as another major position-fixing for Towerrunning European Championships in Frankfurt and for the World Cup ranking.

Towerrunning European Championships: June 3rd, 2012

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.

Full information: