Vertical World Circuit superstars Suzy Walsham and Piotr Lobodzinski are crowned champions at the Grand Finale on Hong Kong’s highest building, the iconic International Commerce Centre. The two reigning champions were unbeatable after scoring five out of the necessary four wins of the eight-race circuit.
Australians Darren Wilson and Suzy Walsham were the race winners however, crossing the line in 11’52” and 14’14” respectively. The standing records were set in 2014 by Wilson 11’57” and Walsham in 13’48”.
Today, 1,600 runners from 36 countries toed the line at the “SHKP Vertical Run for Charity: Race to Hong Kong ICC”, racing up the building’s 2,120 steps and 82 race floors, the highest on the circuit.
Unquestionably the queen of vertical running, Suzy Walsham started racing towers in 2006. She’s racked up 62 races – and won 52 of them! Commenting on today’s race she said, “Obviously I’m thrilled. I had an interrupted preparation, but to win in Hong Kong for the third time and the Vertical World Circuit four times in a row is thrilling. I’ve done a lot of races since 2012 and it’s something I’ve focussed on these last years. Who knows, maybe next year it’ll be number five!”
Lobodzinski stated, “It was really nice to win the title again. This year has been incredible for me – so many races, so many wins. Today just third place for me, but I’ll be back next year. I’m very happy to win the Vertical World Circuit.”
HKD $ 100,000 prize money was awarded to the top three men’s and women’s ranked athletes, as well as HKD $ 60,000 race prize money.
Teams and individual local runners also raced up the 484m tower, the proceeds of which will go to child and youth services charities.
Sun Hung Kai Properties, a leading property developer in Hong Kong, opened a new chapter in the city’s stair-climbing history when it staged the first vertical run 2012 at their landmark International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong’s tallest building.
For the third consecutive year, SHKP has partnered with the Vertical World Circuit. The entries, which have increased by more than 500%, underline the success of the collaboration and the growing popularity of skyscraper racing. Some 93% of the runners were local residents and men outnumbered women four to one. Different race categories in addition to the Elite included: Individual, Team Relay and Fun Climb. The youngest was ten and the oldest sixty-eight!
Doing the honours on stage was Patrick Chan, SHKP Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer and, representing International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the Vertical World Circuit, was Marino Giacometti, ISF President, who presented the trophies to the champions. Giacometti, together with SHKP executives, also took part in the challenge.
The Vertical World Circuit has been in existence since 2009 and this year counted eight races stretching across the globe from New York to London, from Tapei to Paris and Sydney before returning to Asia for Beijing and the SHKP Shanghai and Hong Kong races.
Race website: www.shkpverticalrun.com
2015 VWC final ranking (updating)
Provisional race results
1. Darren Wilson (AUS) – 11’52”
2. Mark Bourne (AUS) – 12’00”
3. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) – 12’06”
1. Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 14’14”
2. Gan Xue (CHN) – 16’18”
3. Lenka Svabikova (CZE) – 16’45”
2015 Vertical World Circuit – provisional final ranking
1. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) – 400 points
2. Mark Bourne (AUS) – 381.6 points
3. Emanuele Manzi (ITA) – 320.4 points
1. Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 420 points
2. Lenka Svabikova (CZE) – 365.6 points
3. Cristina Bonacina (ITA) – 321.6 points