4 February 2015

2015 Vertical World Circuit announced

2014 ESBRU winners, Suzy Walsham & Thorbjorn Ludvigsen

2014 ESBRU winners, Suzy Walsham & Thorbjorn Ludvigsen

February 4, 2015

Celebrating seven years of activity, the 2015 Vertical World Circuit continues it’s upward climb launching with today’s Empire State Building Run-Up in New York. Headed by last year’s winners, Norwegian Thorbjørn Ludvigsen and Australian Suzy Walsham, four-time VWC Champion. Along with a number of other top athletes, they’re preparing to race the 1,576 steps and 86 flights of stairs to the famous observatory deck overlooking Manhattan’s night skyline.

vwc-logo-2015-webToday’s race kicks off the 2015 Vertical World Circuit featuring eight races zig-zagging across the globe from New York to London, from Taipei to Paris, from Beijing to Brazil, before returning to the Far East in Shanghai and closing with the grand finale in December in Hong Kong. An exhibition race in Hanoi, Vietnam, is also programmed.

The 38th edition of Empire State Building Run-Up represents a real challenge with long standing records seemingly impossible to beat: 9’33” by Australian Paul Crake in 2003 and 11’23” by Austrian Andrea Mayr in 2006.

Twenty-six year-old Thorbjørn Ludvigsen came close last year, racking up the second fastest time ever in 10’06”. Ludvigsen is an accomplished skyrunner, (high altitude mountain runner) among the best in the world, ranking with the likes of Kilian Jornet, 2014 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Off-season, his prowess on the vertical shines through in the indoor version of this sport, governed by the International Skyrunning Federation.

Australia’s Suzy Walsham, a Singapore resident, has won the New York race an amazing five times and will definitely be aiming for her 6th victory. To date, only Germany’s Thomas Dold can count seven victories in this event.

Competition in the men’s field will come from another Australian, Darren Wilson, winner of the 2014 Vertical World Circuit final “Race to Hong Kong ICC” on December 7. Wilson placed 2nd in New York last year. Another Norwegian skyrunner, Eirik Haugsnes, 5th last year, will also be battling for a top position.

Other notable contenders include American Cindy Harris who has won the event four times and placed 4th last year. Among the VWC competitors here are Italians Cristina Bonacina (ranked 2nd) and Emanuele Manzi as well as Hong Kong’s Cynthia Reid (ranked 5th).

High altitude, whether in the mountains or the city, is the arena of the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF), which governs, promotes and sanctions skyrunning (high altitude mountain running) and skyscraper racing worldwide.

The vertical running trend is taking off around the world so look out for the winners and the next stages of the exciting 2015 Vertical World Circuit.

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