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.