Towerrunning World Cup 2013 – things you need to know

This is an official press release. 

Towerrunning appears to be a sport of the 21st century as it fits perfectly to the age of urbanization and the big city way of life. It provides a unique opportunity to make your workout in the office building during the 30-minute lunch break and you don’t even need to care about the weather conditions. These features as well as the growing need for healthy activities and new challenges have made Towerrunning increasingly popular, finishing with more than 105,000 athletes climbing the stairs all over the world in 2012. While most of the participants are amateur runners, who climb for the fitness reason – very often combined with a charity aspect, there is a growing group of elite runners. For them the race itself is becoming increasingly important – the idea of championships and titles lies in the very nature of sport. Since 2009 the Towerrunning World Cup, an international ranking system for the stair climbing sport, provides a possibility for stair runners to measure with other athletes throughout the entire season. A mathematically balanced scoring system, the consideration of many different distances from sprint races over the classics in the international skyscrapers to the stairs marathons, and the differentiated evaluation of all event modes (individual time trial, mass start, tournament systems, multi climbs, etc.) provide a fair and reasonable recognition of varied facets of the Towerrunning sport. In 2013 an revolving ranking system has been introduced, which allows a reliable comparison at every time point in the season.

At almost all stair climbing races valuable World Cup points can be collected. Central pillar of the ranking is a selection of the most spectacular and prestigious events – such as the legendary Empire State Building Run Up, the races in the metropolises of the Far East in Taipei and Singapore or the European highlights in Frankfurt or Basel – chosen because of world class participants fields, the internationality of the athletes and for their organizational quality. These so-called Masters Races get a higher weight for the ranking. The World Cup final traditionally is staged in Bogota, where year after year the best stair climbers join an extraordinary and challenging Towerrunning event.

In 2012 more than 150 races in 25 countries counted towards the World Cup rankings. German elite stair climber Thomas Dold won his fourth consecutive Towerrunning World Cup title. Piotr Łobodzinski (POL) and Christian Riedl (GER) completed the podium. Defending women’s World Cup champion is Suzanne Walsham (AUS), who clearly defeated Kristin Frey (USA) and Cristina Bonacina (ITA). The World Cup system also includes a Nations Cup ranking, which was again won by the German team.

From 2013 the World Cup ranking is organized by the newly founded Towerrunning World Association, which unites the Towerrunning Company (Towerrunning e.U.), national stair climbing associations, athletes networks as well as organizers of national and international stair climbing events and series. The World Association provides a framework for the regulation, promotion and furtherance of the Towerrunning sport and cares about the sports jurisdiction, the optimization of media coverage and media relations work and the global sports marketing.

About 200 races are expected worldwide and new countries are going to join the Towerrunning family. Besides the World Cup ranking in many countries national Towerrunning series and championships are organized by national Towerrunning associations to create an attractive surrounding for competitive stair climbing as well as for hobby runners. Everything is in place for a thrilling and spectacular season, when the battle for the coveted World Cup trophy will be opened again and ten of thousands of runners around the world will accept the unique challenge Towerrunning.

2013 Masters Races – downloadable calendar of Towerrunning events

Masters Race 2013

Masters Race 2013


Towerrunning – top 2012

Female, Male and Nation Cup finals !

Towerrunning 2012 - Female Final Top 10

Towerrunning 2012 – Female Final Top 10

Towerrunning 2012 - Male Final Top 10

Towerrunning 2012 – Male Final Top 10

Towerrunning 2012 - Nations Cup Final Top 10

Towerrunning 2012 – Nations Cup Final Top 10

Towerrunning 2012 - M16 Bogota

Towerrunning 2012 – M16 Bogota

Towerrunning World Cup Champions – Bogota 2012

This is the official press release.

December 8th is a public holiday in Colombia (Inmaculada Concepción). And this day also is a holiday for the Towerrunning sport. It is the traditional date of Carrera Ascenso Torre Colpatria, which hosts the Towerrunning World Cup final since 2010. As in the previous year many of the leading international stair climbers had been invited to the race in the heart of Colombian capital Bogota and joined the event to fight for the decisive World Cup points. Year after year the main challenge for the international athletes is to beat the Colombian runners being used to the 2600m altitude.

The venue is Torre Colpatria, a 50-story skyscraper, which is a landmark of the 8 million metropolis Bogota, illuminated every night by thirty-six color changing Xenon lights. In fact the event started the night before with fireworks and a special light show attracting thousands of people in the surrounding downtown streets.

On race morning action on stairs began as early as 8:00 am and within 3 hours about 5,000 athletes climbed up more than 900 stairs to the 48th floor after a short prerun. The elites had the privilege to ascend to the very top – the heliport of Colombia’s tallest building.

In respect to the women’s World Cup only one medal-decision was open. Behind Suzanne Walsham (AUS), who dominated the season and managed to secure her second World Cup title weeks before the final, Kristin Frey (USA) was the definite silver medallist. Cindy Harris (USA) had to finish 3rd at least in Bogota to overtake Cristina Bonacina in the fight for the bronze medal. The defending World Cup champion from Italy missed the race due to undergoing a surgery. Nevertheless it was clear, that for Harris the medal race would become a very difficult task in view of the strong Colombian field. 10 female elite athletes lined up at the start to climb Torre Colpatria in groups of two.

Surprise race winner became Blanca Liliana Moreno (COL) with a new track record for female athletes (6:14.0) beating two times previous champion Maria Eugenia Rodriguez (COL, 6:27.0) starting together with Cindy Harris in the penultimate pair and four time winner Angela Figueroa (6:38.8), who climbed with Suzanne Walsham in the last pair. Walsham narrowly missed the podium (6:47.0) and finished 6th – 28 seconds before Cindy Harris (7th, 7:15.4) so Cristina Bonacina remained on the World Cup Bronze medal rank. Although Suzanne Walsham wasn’t able to celebrate the 10th podium rank in her 10th season race, she achieved a total of 1380.0 World Cup points, which means a new points record in the Towerrunning history.

Even more exciting was the pre-race situation for the males. As World Cup leader Thomas Dold (GER) was not in Bogota Piotr Łobodzinski (POL) had the small chance to win the World Cup by winning the race in Torre Colpatria. Behind Dold and Łobodzinski not less than five further athletes were in the medal race too. Four of them participated in Bogota. Only Omar Bekkali (BEL), who was third in the ranking after his second place in Singapore two weeks before, did not join the World Cup final and therefore had to fear for his medal rank.

Finally on this sunny day track record holder Juan Pablo Rangel (COL) clocked his 4th win in a time of 4:44.1. Frank Nicolas Carreno became runner-up for the 3rd time in a row (4:58.5) and Nicolas Herrera finished third (5:11.7) so in the end again all six podium places went to the Colombian hosts and the international elite athletes must wait another year for the first top 3 result on the maybe hardest 980 stairs in the world.

Best foreign athlete became Bartosz Świątkowski (POL) on the 9th position (5:33.4). Although giving everything and being completely exhausted after the race this place did not bring him enough points to secure a World Cup medal. In the end he missed the required 5th rank by just 6 seconds so once more a few seconds in the last one of 157 races counting towards the World Cup ranking made the difference between the chance on a medal and the 6th position, which finally remained for Świątkowski – another bitter decision for the Polish Towerrunner, who already had the misfortune to lose the victory at this year’s Masters Race in Prague by 0.05 seconds (against compatriot Łobodzinski). The situation of Świątkowski strikingly reminds us of Łobodzinski’s Bogota race in 2011, where he missed the World Cup bronze medal by 6.8 seconds. This year things went better for him. Despite again being without a chance and finishing 17th in Torre Colpatria Łobodzinski could celebrate his first silver medal (1001.0 points) behind defending and new Towerrunning World Cup champion Thomas Dold.

Not only Dold, another German had a reason to celebrate too: Christian Riedl (GER) became 12th in Bogota (5:42.7). With a total of 961.2 World Cup points he finished the season on the bronze medal rank – with a razor-thin edge over Omar Bekkali (954.0) and Tomas Celko (948.0), who was not able to improve his score in Bogota with his 22nd rank. Fabio Ruga became 16th in Bogota and 7th in the World Cup ranking.

Besides the World Cup athletes and Colombian elite runners thousands of children and amateur runners accepted the challenge to climb Torre Colpatria and thereby raised funds for Operacion Sónrisa, the leading global foundation to provide surgery to children with cleft lip and palate, facial tumors or burns. It was a logistical masterpiece of the race organizers to manage an event with so many climbers and to provide fair and safe conditions for everyone. Additionally there was a lot of supporting programme for athletes, visitors and the press.

The exciting race day in Bogota was terminated in the spotlight of the media, when the coveted trophies and medals of the Towerrunning World Cup 2012 were handed out to the champions. In the end everyone agreed, that Carrera Ascenso Torre Colpatria once more was a worthy final for a great Towerrunning season – a season with almost 200 events in 27 countries attracting about 105,000 participants from 54 nations.

Bogota 2012, Towerrunning, Amateur Race

Bogota 2012, Towerrunning, Amateur Race

Bogota 2012, Towerrunning, Amateur Race

Bogota 2012, Towerrunning, Amateur Race

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota from above

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota from above

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Colpatria Tower

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Colpatria Tower

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Colpatria Tower

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Colpatria Tower

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Elite on the top

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Elite on the top

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota,

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota,

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Łobodziński and Riedl

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Łobodziński and Riedl

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Walsham Cup

Towerrunning 2012, Bogota, Walsham Cup

Wyniki / Result – Bogota 2012, Towerrunning World Cup

Congratulations for Bartosz Śwątkowski and Piotr Łobodziński !!!

Bogota 2012 results

Bogota 2012 results

press conference

2012 Towerrunning World Cup Champions

Towerrunning World Cup final – Bogota 2012

This is an official press release.

For stair climbing enthusiasts December 8th is a holiday. It is the day of one of the biggest stair climbing festival in the world – the official Towerrunning World Cup final. In Colombian capital Bogota the Carrera Ascenso Torre Colpatria provides a perfect frame to celebrate the Towerrunning sport and the World Cup champions.

The climatic conditions and the high altitude of the venue make the 980 stairs in Colombia’s highest skyscraper a special challenge. With a perfect race organization, intensive media coverage, attractive prizes as well as a special invitation program for elite the Carrera Ascenso Torre Colpatria belongs to the most coveted Towerrunning events worldwide. The race is one of only four factor 2.5 World Cup races and can be mentioned in the same breath as the legendary Empire State Building Run Up, the Taipei 101 Run Up and the SkyRun MesseTurm Frankfurt.

In 2010 and 2011 dramatic decisions took place in Bogota. Two years ago World Cup champion Thomas Dold had to retire after two thirds of the race when being completely exhausted. Last year we saw a thrilling battle of the three leading female athletes and a not less impressive medal fight in the men’s division. Despite the outstanding field occupation so far no foreign stair climber was able to beat the Colombian athletes in Bogota. This circumstance contributes to the special myth of the World Cup final.
189 towers, skyscrapers and outdoors stairs have already been climbed by Towerrunning athletes in 2012. This year again more than 100,000 participants were inspired by the fascination of stairs races. The Towerrunning World Cup unites all these races in one ranking to determine the best stair climbers throughout the entire season. While the ranking for male athletes is dominated by seven European athletes, who won stair climbs all over the world, the women’s World Cup decision already has fallen. Singapore-living Australian Suzanne Walsham finished all her races on the podium and won 8 of her 9 season events. She scored 1380,0 World Cup points and thereby set a new record. Behind her US athlete Kristin Frey secured the silver medal with 1138,0 points. Currently third-placed Italian Cristina Bonacina (884,0), who cannot take part in the Bogota final for health reasons, can be caught up by Cindy Harris (USA, 754,0). The World Cup silver medallist of 2011 needs to become third in Bogota to take over the Bronze medal rank from defending champion Bonacina.

In the men’s category the race will be even more exciting. Five of the seven leading athletes join the final race and fight for the medals. The World Cup title is almost secure for German Thomas Dold, who won all three editions of Towerrunning World Cup since its introduction in 2009. This year Dold climbed six races, won five of them – including the Empire State Building Run Up and the European Championships in Frankfurt – and scored 1158,0 points. Runner-up Piotr Lobodzinski (POL, 1001,0 points) still has a small chance to win his first World Cup title. If he manages to win the difficult race in Bogota as the first foreign athlete he would be the 2012 World Cup champion. Behind Dold and Lobodzinski five other athletes fight for the medals. Current third-placed Omar Bekkali (BEL, 954,0), who finished second in Singapore two weeks ago, is absent in Bogota and can therefore easily be overtaken by Bogota participants Tomas Celko (SVK, 948,0), Bartosz Swiatkowski (POL, 911,0), Christian Riedl (GER, 901,2) and Fabio Ruga (ITA, 883,0).

Besides the elite stair climbers thousands of children and amateur athletes line up at the start to climb the tallest skyscraper of Colombia. After the race in Bogota the World Cup trophies and medals will be awarded to the leading athletes by Towerrunning president Michael Reichetzeder. Valuable prizes (cars and cash prizes) wait for the winners of the World Cup final.

After the event in Bogota there will be no winter break. On December 9th the 2013 World Cup season starts in Chicago and Guadalajara. On December 15th a new country joins the Towerrunning family. Then the first race in Croatia will be staged. A novel ranking format will be introduced by the newly founded Towerrunning World Association to crown the champions on stairs in 2013 again.

Towerrunning, top 20, 6th December 2012

Towerrunning, top 20, 6th December 2012


Related articles

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:


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: