Launching the 2016 Vertical World Circuit, some of world’s top skyscraper racers will join more than 1,000 participants in Shelter’s Vertical Rush on March 8th to the top of Tower 42 in the heart of London’s financial centre.
Celebrating eight years of activity, the 2016 Vertical World Circuit continues its upward climb launching with the 50th edition of London’s Vertical Rush on March 8. The skyscraper racing circuit will count nine races and includes three new venues: Dubai, Manila and an iconic surprise addition be announced shortly.
Reigning VWC Champion, Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland will be facing the challenge of racing up the tower’s 42 floors and 932 steps with a strong international line-up counting no less than six athletes in the top five VWC ranking. Lobodzinski comments, “I am really glad to come back to London to reach the top of Tower 42 in the Vertical Rush. My shape seems to be better than last year, so I hope to improve my 4’12” time last year and get closer to Thomas Dold’s record.”
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”.
Leading the women’s field is Lenka Swabikova from the Czech Republic who ranked 2nd in 2015. Both Lobodzinski and Swabikova are returning for a repeat performance of last year’s wins and to gain points for the 2016 VWC ranking based on the best results of five out of nine races.
A strong contender for the women’s race is represented by Italy’s Cristina Bonacina who won in 2011 and 2014. She placed 3rd overall in the 2015 VWC ranking. “I’m really pleased to return to London – it’s my 5th time! It’s a great way to start off the season. I’m aiming for a podium place and I’ll give it my all to get there!”
In the men’s race, Italian Emanuele Manzi, also ranked 3rd, will race his first Vertical Rush. He recently took 2nd place at New York’s Empire State Building Run-Up. The men’s elite field is completed with Spaniard David Robles Tapia ranked 4th and Austrian Norbert Lechner, 5th.
Tuesday’s Vertical Rush kicks off the 2016 Vertical World Circuit which will head to Dubai on April 8th, followed by Paris and on to Manila, Sydney, Beijing and Shanghai to conclude with the Grand Finale in Hong Kong on December 4.
A new race completing the nine-race circuit, will be announced shortly.
The International Skyrunning Federation, governing body of the sport, since 2007 has 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!”
And 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. Barry Rushmer, General Manager of Tower 42, said: “It is great to partner with Shelter for the eighth consecutive year and host Vertical Rush. The event has become a landmark event in the Capital’s calendar, having raised nearly £2 million to date.”
For more information visit: www.shelter.org.uk/verticalrush and follow #verticalrush on Twitter.