VWC World Champions Piotr Lobodzinski and Suzy Walsham smash standing records at Dubai Holding Skyrun, Friday, April 8. VWC ranking leaders are Lobodzinski and Svabikova
Celebrating the 14th edition of the Dubai Holding Skyrun, the International Skyrunning Federation and Dubai Holding partnered to hold the second stage of the Vertical World Circuit on the Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Friday, April 8. For the first time in the Middle East, the tower is the third highest on the circuit.
Reigning VWC World Champions Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland and Australian Suzy Walsham powered up the 52 floors and 1,334 steps to set new records in 7’18” and 8’38” respectively. All seven elite runners competing in the VWC finished below the previous record times.
The Dubai Holding Skyrun is not just about being first at the top but represents a joint effort to raise funds in aid of obesity research by Al Jalila Foundation supported by Dubai Sports Council. The race saw 362 runners, including corporate teams, rise to the challenge.
What goes up, must come down and that includes the runners’ heart rate frequency and production of lactic acid. Marino Giacometti, ISF President explains: “In such an extreme uphill performance (50% incline), the heart is pushed to it’s maximum capacity and lactic acid production increases achieving the body’s maximum performance. If monitored, this data is a great tool to maximise peak performance – whatever the sport. In fact, stair climbing represents an ideal weight loss instrument for non-runners”.
Despite the incredible athletic results today, Lobodzinski had hoped to finish below the 7’ marker he had set in the press conference. “I had Ignacio Cardona on my heels till the 13th floor. After that, I didn’t hear him behind me so I wasn’t feeling pushed and took it more slowly. I’m really happy with the win and hope to come back next year,” he said. Italian Emanuele Manzi was second in 7’36 and Spaniard Ignacio Cardona closed in 7’51”.
Ladies’ winner Suzy Walsham commented, “It’s my first time here in Dubai. There are so many amazing buildings here and this is a great place to start. I had a bit of a problem with my calf last night but once I got into the stairs I got into a great rhythm and it was a pretty solid run all the way up.” Second woman to the top was Poland’s Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik in 9’22” and Lenka Svabikova from the Czech Republic, third, in 9’49”.
The previous records stood at 7’56” by Paul Faulkner and 11’50” by Emily Rentsch.
The VWC ranking after two races is lead by Piotr Lobodzinski and Lenka Svabikova. The ranking is based on the best results of five out of nine races.
After London and Dubai, the VWC now heads for Paris on May 20 with the VertiGo and on to Manila, Sydney, Beijing and Shanghai, concluding with the Grand Finale in Hong Kong where the VWC World Champions will be crowned in December.
High altitude, whether in the mountains or the city, is the arena of the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF), which governs, promotes and sanctions skyrunning (high altitude mountain running) and skyscraper racing worldwide.
The Dubai Holding Corporate Wellness Programme is an award-winning multi-disciplinary programme that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of employees and impact the wider community through balanced nutrition, physical activity, stress management and general health. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, part of Dubai Holding’s hospitality arm Jumeirah Group, has been organising the race annually for over a decade, in partnership with Talise Fitness.
All funds raised through participation fees will contribute to Obesity Research in the UAE by Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research.
Vertical World Circuit current ranking
Dubai Holding Skyrun website: www.skyrun.ae