Towerrunning – action in Ostrava, Los Angeles and Hanoi

This is an official press release.

As is has been good tradition in previous seasons the last September weekend again was a highly attractive international Towerrunning weekend. Six thrilling races in five countries on three continents provided a lot of possibilities for position changes in the World Cup ranking.
On Thursday it began with the final of Czech Run Up Series in Ostrava. 465 stairs had to be mastered twice in the New Town Hall of Czech Republic’s third-largest city in the North-East of Moravia. Pavel Holec won the final round with a time of 1:52.9 minutes and therefore was crowned as Czech Champion 2012. Tomas Celko (SVK) finished second in 1:54.4 minutes, followed by Bartosz Swiatkowski (POL) in 1:56.6 minutes. Vit Vrbka became fourth overall and Czech vice-champion (1:58.9). The national Towerrunning title for female athletes went to Suzanna Krchova, who after her second rank in Prague and third rank in Olomouc now won her first event in 2012. She needed 2:26.4 minutes, before she crossed the finish line and thereby was 1.6 seconds faster than compatriot Pavla Zahalkova. The podium was completed by Lenka Svabikova celebrating her fourth top 3 rank this season. The six again wellorganized races of Czech Run Up Series 2012 saw 11 different winners. Only Sandra Schützova (CZE) managed to win twice in Zlin and Olomouc.

While the Czech finalists recovered from their strains, the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles hosted one of the most important American Towerruns. The meanwhile 19th “Stair Climb for Los Angeles” attracted more than 3,000 Towerrunning athletes conquering exactly 1,500 stairs in the 310 m high skyscraper. 2011 World Cup silver-medallist Jesse Berg (USA) celebrated a clear and undisputed victory in 9:35 minutes. 52 seconds behind him Wesley Reutimann (USA) became second. Third-placed Jeffrey Dinkin (USA) was another 35 seconds slower. Erika Aklufi (USA), who won all editions of the race since the introduction of Towerrunning World Cup in 2009 defended her title with an incredible time of 10:15 minutes. She continuously improved her time throughout the last three years and now beat the record from 2011 again by 20 seconds. Jesse Berg was the only male athlete, who reached the top of Los Angeles’ highest building faster than Aklufi. The second-placed female climber – Karen Geninatti (USA) – needed almost three minutes (!) more for the 75 stories. Weni Lee (USA) became third, whereas joint favourite Veronica Stocker (CAN) had to be pleased with rank 5.

Landmark 72 – Vietnam’s tallest building – was the venue for another international Towerrunning event being a member of Vertical World Circuit and a factor 1.5 World Cup race as well. It became a big day for Omar Bekkali (BEL), who crossed the finish line after 10:06.0 minutes and for the first time in his career won a World Cup race. Fabio Ruga (ITA) placed 2nd, narrow 3.5 seconds behind. The third rank went to Clement Dumont (FRA), who needed 10:58.2 minutes for 72 stories and 350 meters vertical distance in two different stairwells, connected by a flat  part after half of the race. With Keny Luke (IRE), Van Dau Tran (VIE) and Pedro Ribeiro (POR) on the ranks behind the podium the top 6 represented six different nationalities. Rolf Majcen (AUT) clocked 13:03.5 minutes and missed the top 10. The fastest female athlete mastering the 1,914 painful stairs was Suzanne Walsham (AUS, 11:20.9), who already celebrated her seventh victory in 2012. As a reward she not only enjoyed a fantastic view over the capital of Vietnam, but also received 1500 $ prize money and 120 valuable World Cup points. 2011 World Cup champion Cristina Bonacina (ITA) became second, although she lost more than 2 minutes against Walsham. Loan Thi Dung (VIE) completed the top 3.

By winning Vietnam Landmark 72 Hanoi Vertical Run the second Towerrunning World Cup title after 2009 is almost certain for Suzanne Walsham. With 1340.0 points she is clearly ahead of Kristin Frey (USA, 1120.0) and Cristina Bonacina (ITA, 884.0). Due to the void results rules Kristin Frey and Cristina Bonacina are not able to catch up Walsham in the ranking even by winning all remaining season races. Only Valentina Belotti (ITA, 5th with 670.0 points) still has a small theoretical chance to win the title.

Although not competing on the stairs since Taipei Run Up on June 10th Thomas Dold (GER, 1158.0) still has a comfortable lead in men’s ranking. Behind him the battle for the medals is becoming closer and closer. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) remains on second place with 959.0 points. Tomas Celko (SVK) is third with 948.0 points, followed by Christian Riedl (GER, 901.2), Fabio Ruga (ITA, 883.0) and Omar Bekkali (BEL, 862.0). Also Bartosz Światkowski (POL, 771.0) and Jesse Berg (761.6) keep contact to the medal ranks.

Upcoming highlights in the Towerrunning World Cup calendar include the Schlossberg Stiegenlauf in Graz (October 6th) as the strongest-occupied outdoor stair climb of the world, the Stiegenlauf Business Park Vienna (next Masters Race on October 19th) and the World Cup premiere in China (October 20th), where the longest one-tower indoor climb in the history of Towerrunning will be staged in the Shanghai World Financial Center. On December 8th the grand final will be staged in Colombian capital Bogota, where the decisive points will be distributed after one of the most challenging stair climbs worldwide.


Towerrunning – 500 Towerrunning World Cup Races – A review

This is an official press release.


500 Towerrunning World Cup Races – A review

On January 11th, 2009 the stair climbing sport started in a new era. After the 465 stairs of the Towerrun TuS Neukökn in Berlin (GER) had been climbed on that Sunday morning points for the Towerr

unning World Cup ranking were awarded for the first time. The winners of this inaugural World Cup race were Jan Wilker and Sylvia Jacobs (both GER). Interestingly at this time point the World Cup ranking was still a secret project of the later Sports Director Sebastian Wurster so nobody knew about the points. One week later Towerrunning President Michael Reichetzeder was informed about the idea and the possibility of a cooperation. This was the moment, when the Towerrunning World Cup definitely was born. The project was officially launched with the publication of the initial rankings after Empire State Building Run Up 2009 as the first “Masters Race”. The leaders were the same as the current ones: Thomas Dold (GER) and Suzanne Walsham (AUS). Due to the delay between the first race in Berlin and the start of the online rankings Jan Wilker and Sylvia Jacobs never were able to enjoy the feeling to see their names being published as World Cup leaders.

Why do we write these lines about the World Cup history now? The “Fight for Air Climb Tallahassee” on last Sunday was the 620th race since the introduction of the rankings in January 2009. Nothing special you may now think – just another factor 0.4 race as dozens of others. Two features made the event quite special. On one hand Troy Alston won the race with the largest margin of victory (by percentage) in the World Cup era. Second placed Steve Wilkens needed more than 63% more time than Alston for the 398 stairs. On the other hand the race was the 500th race, which counted towards the World Cup rankings (the 120 other ones were either for special professions only, had a stairs percentage of less than 50% or did not provide adequate results sheets within seven days after the race). Troy Alston and female winner Brittany Stallings therefore were the winners of an anniversary race. 500 World Cup events in 45 months – from sprint races with as few as 100 to 200 stairs over the classics in the international skyscrapers to the stairs marathons. All of them belong to the Towerrunning World Cup family. More than 100,000 athletes accepted the vertical challenge in each of the three past years by taking part in at least one of the World Cup events. Today we want to look back on the first 500 World Cup races and mention some of these 100,000 athletes, who shaped the international Towerrunning sport throughout the last four years. Who was the most successful of them? Who was able to celebrate the most victories and scored more points than all others? To answer these questions a statistic adding the World Cup points, all medal ranks and victories from January 2009 till now has been prepared by the World Cup organization on the occasion of the World Cup 500th race.

For sure it does not surprise, that Thomas Dold (GER), winner of all World Cup titles and also leader of the 2012 rankings is heading these overall statistics. He is the only one, who cracked the 4,000 points-mark so far. With 4634.0 World Cup points he is clearly ahead of Tomas Celko (SVK, 3219.0 pts) and Jesse Berg (USA, 2919.6 pts). Berg is the only US-athlete, who made it up into the top 10. Ranks 4 to 6 are occupied by Fabio Ruga (ITA), Christian Riedl (GER) and Pavel Holec (CZE). Eleven of the thirteen point-best male stair climbers in the ranking come from Europe. Thus the eternal World Cup ranking looks like a reflection of the current standings in the 2012 season.

In the women’s stair climbing scene things are completely different. Two of three World Cup titles have been won by athletes from Oceania. Only 3 of 9 possible medals went to European athletes. Also in 2012 the perspectives for the European athletes are quite gloomy. Suzanne Walsham (AUS) is clearly ahead and rank 2 is firmly under control of Kristin Frey (USA). Cristina Bonacina will definitely not be able to defend the cup in 2012. Even if she wins all remaining races, she can not score enough points to close the gap between her and Walsham. Maybe a look on the eternal World Cup rankings could bring a smile on her face in this situation. There she is still in the lead. With only 3 race victories, but 17 podium ranks and 34 top 30 positions she collected 2963,0 points and won the overall silver medal in 2009 and the title in 2011. Only the two leading male athletes Dold and Celko scored more World Cup points than Bonacina. Although currently dominating the scene due to her weak 2010 season with a long break Suzanne Walsham only is ranked 2nd in the eternal statistics (2652.0 pts). She is closely followed by the US duo Kristin Frey (2474.0 pts) and Cindy Harris (2367.0 points).

In another statistic uniting the point-best athletes of both genders, 16 of the top 50 (34 male and 16 female athletes) represent the USA, seven are from Germany and Italy each. 29 of the best 50 athletes come from European countries. Altogether the top 50 (both genders) were responsible for 280 of the 1000 victories, 187 second and 142 third places. They together scored as much as 81042.2 World Cup points.

The athletes, who celebrated the most of these 280 victories are Thomas Dold (23) and Jesse Berg (20). Cindy Harris and Kourtney Dexter won 13 races each. Jesse Berg achieved 41 podium ranks in 49 races, whereas Dold only stood on 26 award ceremony podiums. He obtained 23 first, 2 second and 1 third rank from 27 race participations. Only once he missed the top 3, when he had to retire the World Cup final race in Bogota 2010. The most award ceremony participations among the female athletes had Kristin Frey (27). Tomas Celko (15), Thomas Dold (14), Suzanne Walsham (11) and Marie-Fee Breyer (9) – the youngest stair climber among the eternal World Cup top 50 – are the athletes with the most victories abroad.

Omar Bekkali (BEL) and Valentina Belotti (ITA) are the only top 10 athletes in the eternal ranking with less than 10 podium ranks (7 each). The best placed athlete without a World Cup race victory is Daniel Ackermann (21st male, 29th overall, 1259.0 points). The most points without any podium rank were scored by Dario Fracassi (29th male, 43rd overall, 865.0 pts.).

To complete the statistics we want to move on to the Nations Cup: Which one was the most successful Towerrunning nation throughout the past 45 months? After the duels between Germany and the US team in 2009 and 2010 with one victory each the Italian team caught up the others in 2011, when the top 3 were separated by just a few points – with the better end again for Germany. Also in the eternal ranking Germany (14554.3 pts) leads with a razor-thin margin. The US team is on second rank (14520.2 pts) clearly ahead of Italy (10654.5 pts) due to the weaker results in the first two seasons. Czech Republic (7428.5 pts), Australia (7185.0 pts) and Austria (6696.2 pts) follow on ranks 4, 5 and 6.

Besides that scores, victories and medals there are other, maybe even more important figures underlining the enormous development of the Towerrunning scene during the last four years: Between 2008 and 2011 the number of stairs races worldwide increased from 109 to 170. The number of nations being represented among the top 30 of at least one race was 22 in 2008 and 55 (+150%) in 2011. While in 2008 only 2 male and no female athlete took part in more than 5 races, there were 34 male and 9 female stair climbers with at least 6 race participations in 2011. Front runners in this regard are Rolf Majcen, Pavel Holec and Jesse Berg with 53, 51 and 49 World Cup races since 2009.

Despite there are many other records and achievements not mentioned in this article the final lines of this jubilee press release shall be rather dedicated to all the other 100,000 stair climbers, who are not listed among the eternal ranking leaders or record holders. Their great passion, spirit and sportsmanship were the basis for the success of the first 500 World Cup races and hopefully also for the next 500 ones.

The eternal World Cup rankings are published on the News page

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: