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 – Masters Race in Vienna, 19th October 2012

This is an official press release.

A remarkable comeback and another Polish triumph 

The second Masters Race in Vienna was remarkable in many ways. There were rumours the day before, but still it was a great surprise when Andrea Mayr appeared at the Twin Tower. This very versatile athlete has a past in duathlon and 3000 m hurdles and she is current Austrian marathon record holder and Olympian in this discipline. At her best is Andrea when it is going up, having won many mountain runs all over the world and she is current World Mountain Running Champion. Besides all the sports she has finished medical studies and is now working full time in a hospital.

And in our sport Andrea has a 100% record – she dominated every stair race she competed in and holds the course record at all these events – among them multiple times the Empire State Building Run Up, the Taipei 101 Run Up and the Donauturm Treppenlauf to name a few.

At the Twin Tower after a four year-break Andrea Mayr was untouchable again. And with her time of 3:29,1 she even was 0.4 seconds faster than another former ESBRU winner, the event’s sports director Rudolf Reitberger (AUT), who had talked her into her first stair race in Linz ten years ago. The battle for the second rank was won by Carina Lilge Leutner (another former Austrian marathon record holder) with a two-second margin beating her own daughter Lisa Leutner.

In the finish area a quickly recovered Andrea Mayr could watch the race of the male elite climbers. There the Polish athletes again demonstrated their outstanding class. Already after 12 of 35 floors Piotr Lobodzinski and Bartosz Swiatkowski were 6.9 respectively 8.3 seconds faster than later third-place finisher Norbert Lechner (AUT). After 1:59.4 Swiatkowski completed intermediate 2 at floor 25 – 2.7 seconds faster than Lobodzinski. Also in the last section he set the best time. With an unbelievable 3:00,4 Bartosz Swiatkowski won before his compatriot Piotr Lobodzinski. The Austrian trio Norbert Lechner, Markus Zahlbruckner and Klaus Hausleitner showed an intensive fight for the bronze rank. Hausleitner started fast with the third-best time after 12 floors, but then lost time in the second and third section so he ended up fifth. After being on rank 5 at the second intermediate Markus Zahlbruckner clocked the second-best time in the last section and almost caught up Norbert Lechner, who narrowly defended the third overall rank.

The culmination was reached when the four last starters all lay on the ground together in total exhaustion! Bartosz gave everything he had and just in time got the okay from the medical crew to participate in the award ceremony where he delighted the crowd with his Usain Bolt imitation.

Bartosz Swiatkowski now is fourth in the World Cup ranking with 911.0 points. Piotr Lobodzinski again shortened the gap to Thomas Dold and consolidated his second position (1001.0 points). Norbert Lechner remains on rank 9 (755.5. points). Katarina Schwartz made it up into the women’s top 10 again (506.7 points, rank 9).

A fantastic weekend for Austria’s stair climbers was completed by Austrian Rolf Majcen as the winner of the first Towerrunning World Cup race in China. He conquered the 100 floors of the SWFC Observatory Sky Marathon in 18 minutes and 55 seconds. About 300 participants climbed 2,754 steps to arrive at the sightseeing hall of the Shanghai World Financial Centre 474 m above the city of Shanghai. The event was the longest one-tower indoor stair climb in the World Cup history.

With his third overall rank and best Austrian performance in Business Park Vienna Norbert Lechner took the lead in the national Towerrunning Austria series. With 440 points he now almost secured his first national title. Behind Lechner Rudolf Reitberger (369), sprint specialist Gabriel Strommer (350), Markus Zahlbruckner (320) and Rolf Majcen (320) fight for the medals. All members of the leading quintet are also ranked among the current World Cup top 30. With 9th-placed Lechner, Reitberger on rank 19, Majcen on rank 20, Zahlbruckner on rank 23 and Strommer on rank 30 the Austrian team is well represented in the World Cup table. Behind Germany, the United States, Italy and Poland the red-white-red flag of Austria can be found on the 5th position in the Nations Cup.

With 346 points Katarina Schwartz remains the leader of the Towerrunning Austria series after becoming 5th in Business Park Vienna, but the ranking is getting closer. Sandra Daschner (307) and Carina Lilge-Leutner (297) reduced the gap with their better scores in Vienna. Now everything is open. According to the void results rule all three athletes can take the lead at the next event in Judenburg on their own.

While the Austrian series will end with the final races next week, still great highlights wait for the World Cup athletes. In Chicago the next Masters Race will be held on November 4th (Sky Rise Chicago). Further Masters Races in November are the Eureka Climb in Melbourne and the Swissotel Vertical Marathon in Singapore. On December 8th the extraordinary Carrera Ascenso in the altitude of Bogota again holds the official Towerrunning World Cup 2012 Final. Most of the leading athletes in the actual ranking have already confirmed their attendance.




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 – IZD-Stiegenhauslauf Vienna, 12th September 2012

This is an official press release.

IZD-Stiegenhauslauf Vienna
September 12th, 2012
Breaking News

Norbert Lechner has won the 2012 edition of the World Cup factor 1.0 Towerrun in IZD Tower Vienna with a time of 3:15.8 minutes. Also second and third ranks were occupied by Austrian athletes. Runner-up Markus Zahlbruckner clocked a time of 3:24.4 minutes and third-placed Rudolf Reitberger finished the race in 3:26.0 minutes. Enrico Gäbe (GER), winner of the 2011 edition, missed the podium with a time of 3:28.0.

Women’s race was won by Katarina Schwartz (SVK) in 4:36.4 minutes.

The race in IZD tower leading over 648 stairs and 35 floors is one of seven stair climbing events in Vienna. Only the city of Chicago hosts more Towerruns than Austria’s capital.

Official results:
Additional information:

Towerrunning – Mark Bourne celebrates Taipei 101 triumph – Dold beaten again

This is official press release.

Just a week after the European Championship in Frankfurt the next World Cup Masters Race inTaiwanawaited the international stair climbers. At Taipei 101 Run Up more than 4,000 athletes from 19 countries climbed the world’s second tallest skyscraper. It could have been, however, even considerably more participants: An earthquake in the seismically active region few hours before the event had decimated the start field by deterring more than 1,000 registered runners from participation. Apparently, the imagination of a seismic event during climbing the stairwell of the highest tower in Far East, seemed to be very uncomfortable even for the earthquake-experienced people inTaiwan. Actually theTaipei101 tower is equipped with a special mechanical system to compensate seismic activities and belongs to the safest buildings in the world in this regard.

A “sporting earthquake” then was the result of the race: After a dramatic competition at the very steep and with 390 meters of altitude exceptionally long Taipei 101 Run Up the outstanding favourite, World Cup and World Circuit winner and newly crowned European Champion Thomas Dold (Germany) was narrowly beaten by Australian Mark Bourne, who climbed the “one-o-one” in 11 minutes and 26 seconds. Dold needed 4 seconds longer for the 2,046 stairs and was thus more than half a minute slower than his personal record from 2008, when he finished the race in under 11 minutes (10:53) for the only time. The third place went to French athlete Clement Dumont, followed by Taiwanese Chen Fucai. U.S. Tower Runner Jesse Berg finished on rank 5. Austrian Norbert Lechner was well pleased with the 11th Rank at hisTaipei101 premiere.

The women’s race was dominated by the European Championships bronze medallist Valentina Belotti (Italy, 13:21), who already triumphed in the previous year as a newcomer inTaipei101. She won the race with a crystal clear advance of more than a minute, followed by Melissa Moon (New Zealand, 14:24) and Kristin Frey (USA, 14:32), who thus regained their meanwhile lost World Cup lead.

Thomas Dold, who now wants to „take a break and have some regenerative weeks” after strenuous competitions in the past few weeks again expressed his special respect for the race inTaipei: „The track is unusually long and provides no moment to breathe. While inNew York,Berlinand at other tracks the stairs are often interrupted by short flat parts, here it goes upwards permanently.” Thomas Dold won only three of his eight races inTaiwan. Only at two other towers worldwide (BaselandBogota) his victory percentage is lower.

It was Dold’s second defeat within one week after finishing second behind Christian Riedl at SkyRun MesseTurm Frankfurt, which was part of the European Championships tournament. Nevertheless by gaining another 170 points for rank 2 and the absence of his persecutors Christian Riedl and Fabio Ruga Dold was able to considerably expand his World Cup lead.

Award CeremonyTaipei101 Run Up (Top 5):

Lechner in Taipei

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.