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.

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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.

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