3 March 2015

Top skyscraper racers ascend London’s Tower 42

London Vertical Rush winners Svabikova and Lobodzinski heading for Shanghai. (c)

London Vertical Rush winners Svabikova and Lobodzinski heading for Shanghai. (c)


Piotr Lobodzinski, currently the world’s top skyscraper racer, together with Lenka Svabikova today won the 7th edition of the Shelter Vertical Rush held on Tower 42, in London’s financial district.

The race marks the second stage of the eight-race Vertical World Circuit where the best runners compete for the prestigious world titles and cash prizes – awarded at the Hong Kong final in December.

Today’s race saw 1,000+ runners taking part to raise money for Shelter, the housing and homeless charity. To date, nearly 7,000 runners have taken part for the cause, racing up the building’s 932 steps to the summit of the City’s third tallest building.

The fastest time was just 4’12” for Poland’s Piotr Lobodzinski, standing VWC champion, while Lenka Svabikova from the Czech Republic finished in 5’39” – both short of the records established in 2012 by German Thomas Dold and Australian Suzy Walsham in 3’58” and 5’01” respectively. Second man was Italy’s Fabio Ruga in 4’28” and third, Spaniard David Robles in 4’33”.

2015 Vertical Rush winner Piotr Lobodzinski. (c)

2015 Vertical Rush winner Piotr Lobodzinski. (c)

Lobodzinski raced the 183m course at an incredible speed of 2.5 metres/second, but was unhappy with his performance. “I’m a little disappointed”, he said.” I had hoped to be closer to 4-minutes and the course record. But I am also happy to win! The staircase was not comfortable for me, it was quite wide and therefore it was only possible to use the inside rail. I prefer a right-handed rail, so the left is a little disadvantage. On the finish line I wasn’t exhausted, so I think I was a little conservative. It’s beautiful weather and I had a great opportunity to see a wonderful vista at the top… now I’ll go for a 20 km run and some sight seeing.”

First lady Lenka Svabikova, finished an incredible 13th overall. For her, the handrail was on her preferred side. “It’s my first time in London. Tower 42 is a great building and I like the fact that stairs turn to the left. It’s an advantage for me! At the summit, I had incredible views of London. I’m satisfied with my time… it’s a building I would love to run up again.”

2015 Vertical Rush winner Lenka Svabikova. (c)

2015 Vertical Rush winner Lenka Svabikova. (c)

The International Skyrunning Federation, governing body of the sport, has, over the years, carried out medical research on skyscraper racing. The burning question everybody wants to know is, “how many calories will I consume?”
The good news is supplied by Dr Sergio Giulio Roi, medical director of the federation. “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!”

After New York and London, join us for the third stage of the VWC in Tapei on May 3rd and back in Europe for the Vertigo in Paris on May 29th. It’s then back to Asia with Beijing, on to Brazil, Shanghai and the grand finale, which will take place in Hong Kong on December 7.

Provisional results
1. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) – 4’12”
2. Fabio Ruga (ITA) – 4’28”
3. David Robles Tapia (ESP) – 4’33”
4. Ralf Hascher (GER) – 4’44”
5. Mark Sims (GBR) – 4’49”

1. Lenka Svabikova (CZE) – 5’39”
2. Anna McKinven (GBR) – 6’18”
3. Cristina Bonacina (ITA) – 6’35”
4. Tammy McPherson (GBR) – 6’47”
5. Victoria Pollard (GBR) – 7’08”

2015 VWC Ranking after the 2nd VWC leg

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