29 November 2015

Hong Kong hosts Vertical World Circuit Grand Finale

2014 ICC race start

2014 ICC race start


30 November, 2015

For the third consecutive year, on December 6, the Vertical World Circuit will hold the finals of the eight-race tour on Hong Kong’s highest building, the iconic International Commerce Centre towering 484m above the South China Sea.

It’s natural that one of the world’s most vertical cities should host the cirucit’s Grand Finale, where 1,600 runners from 36 countries will gather for the “SHKP Vertical Run for Charity: Race to Hong Kong ICC”. As the finals of the VWC, elite athletes will compete for the World Champion title and the HKD $ 100,000 prize money at stake, racing up the building’s 2,120 steps and 82 floors.

Reigning VWC Champions, Poland’s Piotr Lobodzinski and Australian Suzy Walsham will be back to claim their titles. However, it was Walsham and fellow Australian Darren Wilson, who won the race here last year. Both set new records: 11’57” and 13’48”.

Suzy Walsham on her way up ICC, 2014

Suzy Walsham on her way up ICC, 2014

The men’s competition is fierce with Wilson and Mark Bourne, also from Australia, competing. Bourne was second last year and is currently second on the ranking at the semi-finals. Joining the 20-strong elite field will also be Italian Emanuele Manzi, ranked 3rd , David Robles Tapia from Spain, 4th, Norbert Lechner from Austria, 5th. Competing in the women’s field are, Italian Cristina Bonacina, 2nd, Australian Cindy Reid, 3rd, Lenka Svabikova, 4th and Gan Xue, 5th, last year’s runner-up and China’s national mountain running champion.

Lobodzinski is on a winning streak this year, racking up five wins out of the circuit’s seven races held to date. The VWC ranking is based on four out of eight races with an extra 20% awarded at the finals.
Whoever wins on race day, both Lobodzinski and Walsham, after five wins each, already have the titles in their pockets, but will race here to claim their crowns.

“I am really looking forward to returning to Hong Kong ICC and contesting another VWC final. It’s such a tough race but I enjoy the challenge and hope for a good performance to finish off the year,” said Walsham, while Lobodzinski comments, “This year has been perfect for me and I have won every race on stairs I took part in. Despite being third in Hong Kong for the last two years, after a long season I hope to continue my great form.”


Teams and individual local runners will also climb the tower, the proceeds of which will go to child and youth services charities.

Representing International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the Vertical World Circuit and the event, will be Marino Giacometti, ISF President, and Lauri van Houten, VP, who will present the trophies to the winners.

SHKP Vertical Run for Charity: Race to Hong Kong ICC became affiliated with the ISF in 2013. After climbing the 2,120 steps himself last year, Marino Giacometti commented, “It was a really tough race compared to Taipei 101 which is a similar height. The ICC counts the most steps on the circuit.” He added, “I was impressed by the excellent organization and attention to detail on all levels – we’re very proud to have this race represent the VWC final!”

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2015 VWC current ranking