Some of the world’s best vertical runners will be hitting the stairs on Sunday for the Taipei 101 Run Up, where over four thousand participants have registered to conquer the 2,046 steps of the world’s fifth tallest skyscraper.
The Taipei 101 Run Up has been selected as an official race for the 2015 Vertical World Circuit (VWC), the world’s premier skyscraper racing circuit, uniting some of the world’s most iconic skyscraper races. Runners participating in the VWC are assigned points based on their results. The male and female competitors with the highest scores are awarded cash prizes and the prestigious VWC Champion title at the grand finale.
Heading the men’s elite race is reigning VWC champion Piotr Lobodzinski of Poland. Lobodzinski was last year’s king of stair climbing, and this year’s winner of London’s Shelter Vertical Rush, the second VWC circuit race after New York’s Empire State Building Run-Up.
Among the elite athletes on Lobodzinski’s heels is a strong contingent of European athletes -Austria’s Norbert Lechner, Petr Novotny of Czech Republic and Emanuelle Manzi of Italy.
The women’s race, meanwhile, has Lenka Svabikova of Czech Republic assuming the mantle of pre-race favourite.
Her main competition should come from Ruth Charlotte Croft of New Zealand and Poland’s Dominika Wiśniewska-Ulfik.
“The Taipei 101 Run Up is the largest race in terms of participation on the Vertical World Circuit,” said David Shin, representative of the International Skyrunning Federation, the Federation governing the sport of skyscraper racing.
“The quality of the international elite field is a sign of how well regarded it is, and I am sure they will put on a great show for everyone and show what top-end vertical running is all about.” He added.
Last year’s winners were Australian Mark Bourne and Italy’s Valentina Bellotti in 10’54” and 13’22” respectively. Will records fall? Watch this space for Sunday’s results.