2 March 2015

It’s a Vertical Rush up Tower 42

World Champion Piotr Lobodzinski, Orival Martins, Cristina Bonacina, 2014 winner

World Champion Piotr Lobodzinski, Orival Martins, Cristina Bonacina, 2014 winner


Some of world’s top skyscraper racers will join more than 1,000 participants in Shelter’s Vertical Rush on March 3rd to the top of Tower 42 in the heart of London’s financial centre.

On the second leg of the 2015 Vertical World Circuit, the 2014 world champion together with past winners here will race the 920 steps of the 199-metre building, together with élite runners competing in the eight-race worldwide circuit.

2014 VWC world champion, Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland is the clear favourite to win in the men’s category, he will be challenged by past race winner Fabio Ruga from Italy, Austrian Norbert Lechner, ranked 5th and Spaniard David Robles, ranked 8th.

The women’s field is headed by last year’s Vertical Rush winner, Cristina Bonacina from Italy, who will be challenged by Lenka Švábíková, a strong tower-runner from the Czech Republic. Cristina states, “It’s always exciting to participate in London’s Vertical Rush – this is my fourth time! I won in 2011, in 2012 I was third, in 2014 I won again. I started skyscraper racing back in 2007 thanks to the Vertical World Circuit, and I haven’t looked back since. To date, I’ve participated in at total of 68 skyscraper races around the world.”

The records to beat? An incredible 3’58” set by German Thomas Dold in 2012. The women’s record set the same year by Australian Suzy Walsham stands at 5’01”.

Lining up among the élites will be 73-year old Orival Martins who has flown all the way from São Paolo, Brazil. A passionate VWC competitor, Orival is an inspiration to mature runners. “At my age I can practice a short, intense sport like this. It gives the maximum result with low impact, it doesn’t depend on the weather and any healthy personal can do it. In 11 years I’ve run more than 140,000 floors, 2 million and 300 thousand steps, half up and the other down. I run very slowly, but run a lot!”

The International Skyrunning Federation, governing body of the sport, has, over the years, carried out medical research on skyscraper racing. Dr Sergio Giulio Roi, medical director of the federation suggests: “Take the stairs two at a time. Don’t start too fast! It’s a long way up. Use the handrail to help pull your self up. Watch out though if you haven’t trained for this – your arms will hurt more than your legs!”

“Always take the lift down to avoid DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness),” he continues. The burning question everybody wants to know is, “how many calories will I burn?” Dr Roi explains. “Of course it’s all relative, the overall energy expenditure of the exercise depends on your weight. The more you weigh, the more you burn! Let’s say a person weighs 70 kg: the energy consumed in ascending the 920 steps of the tower is around 140 calories, while a person weighing 90 kg will burn just under 180 calories. If you multiply your weight by two you’ll have a rough idea of how many calories you’ll consume in the race. As it’s a such a short race, recovery is fast. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage, or a sauna afterwards!” he concludes.

Vertical-Rush-logo-2015-2And while the City goes about its daily business on Tuesday morning, the world’s top skyscraper racers together with more than 1,000 runners will battle to the top of Tower 42 to raise money for Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter’s chief executive, Campbell Robb, states: “All of the money raised by Vertical Rush will go towards offering more families the lifeline they desperately need to keep a roof over their heads.”

For more information visit: or follow #verticalrush on twitter.

VWC 2015 ranking