1 March 2017

2017 VWC launches at Dubai Holding SkyRun

Elite line-up for Dubai Holding SkyRun 2017, Lobodzinski, Walsham, Bonacina, Swabikova, Manzi, Cardona. © ISF

Elite line-up for Dubai Holding SkyRun 2017, Lobodzinski, Walsham, Bonacina, Svabikova, Manzi, Cardona. ©ISF

The 2017 Vertical World Circuit launches this year with the Dubai Holding SkyRun on Friday, March 3rd in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A joint venture between the International Skyrunning Federation and Dubai Holding brings the Vertical World Circuit for the second time to the Middle East.

After Dubai, the 10-race calendar stretches across the globe touching in iconic cities from London to Paris, to New York, Sydney and across Asia where Manila, Beijing, Shanghai, Osaka and Hong Kong will host the tour.

The 15th edition of the Dubai Holding SkyRun will take place in the Jumeirah Emirates Towers where top ranked international VWC athletes, together with the World Champions, Piotr Lobodzinski and Suzy Walsham, will line up to race for precious ranking points in the circuit together with hundreds of local runners and corporate teams. Joining Lobodzinski from Poland and Walsham from Australia are Italians Cristina Bonacina and Emanuele Manzi, Lenka Svabikova from the Czech Republic and Spaniard Ignacio Cardona.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers, site of the Dubai Holding SkyRun

Jumeirah Emirates Towers, site of the Dubai Holding SkyRun

The challenge lies in climbing the 1,334 steps of the building’s 52 floors in the fastest possible time. The records were set here last year by Lobodzinski and Walsham in 7’18” and 8’38 respectively and all seven elite runners competing in the VWC finished below the previous record times.

Lobodzinski commented, “I am very excited about the upcoming first race in Vertical World Circuit 2017. The new season looks very interesting and I hope to defend my champion title. My form before Dubai seems to be very good so I’m looking to repeat last year’s victory in Emirates Towers. This is one of the best organized races with strong elite runners, so I can’t wait to start.”

Suzy Walsham, said, “I am excited to return to UAE for the Dubai Holding Sky Run as I really enjoyed the race last year. Training has been going well and I am looking forward to the challenge of climbing up the 1,334 steps of Jumeirah Emirates Towers.”

The prestigious event is the oldest vertical run in the UAE which boasts a 4 star ranking by the Dubai Sports Council, of which it is an official race.

Commenting on this year’s race, Cedric Betis, Chairman of Dubai Holding Wellness Committee, said: “2017 is a significant year for Dubai Holding as we celebrate two exceptional milestones; the 15th anniversary of Dubai’s flagship vertical race, as well as the 10th anniversary of the region’s first-of-its-kind corporate wellness programme. We are honoured to be opening the Vertical World Circuit, and we are anticipating another year of new course record. Dubai Holding SkyRun received an overwhelming response and the event was sold out in few weeks.”

He added: “We look forward to building on our progress from the past 10 years and we are proud to continue our contribution to our leadership’s vision of creating a happier, healthier and more active nation.”

Marino Giacometti, President, International Skyrunning Federation, centre, at the 2016 Dubai Holding SkyRun presentation. (c) ISF

Centre, Marino Giacometti, ISF President and Cedric Betis, Chairman of Dubai Holding Wellness, centre right, 2016 Dubai Holding SkyRun presentation. © ISF

Marino Giacometti, International Skyrunning Federation President, states, “The health benefits of stair climbing are well proven, in particular as a weight-loss instrument for non-runners. In fact, walking uphill, compared to the same exercise on level ground, consumes up to 10 times more calories!

2017 Vertical World Circuit Official Races

  1. DUBAI: Dubai Holding SkyRun – March 3
  2. LONDON: Shelter Vertical Rush – March 9
  3. PARIS: VertiGO – May 18
  4. NEW YORK: T2T Tower Climb – June 4
  5. MANILA: Kerry Sports Manila Vertical Run – July 2
  6. BEIJING: China World Summit Wing Hotel Vertical Run – August 26
  7. SYDNEY: Sydney Tower Stair Challenge – August 27
  8. SHANGHAI: SHKP Vertical Run for Charity – Race to Shanghai IFC – October 22
  9. OSAKA: Harukas Skyrun – November 12
  10. HONG KONG: SHKP Vertical Run for Charity – Race to Hong Kong ICC – December 3

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Race information

About International Skyrunning Federation
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 with the Vertical World Circuit.

Since 2007, the ISF has carried out medical research in this field. Heart rate, vertical speed and lactic acid accumulation were among the parameters monitored.

Comparing these with record times established in skyscraper races, health risks associated with stair climbing were ruled out.

About Dubai Holding Corporate Wellness Programme
The race is a key element of the Dubai Holding Corporate Wellness Programme, which is celebrating its 10th year in 2017. Since its establishment in 2007, the multi-disciplinary programme, aimed at Dubai Holding employees, their families, and the wider community, has been a recipient of various local awards and recognitions.

All funds raised by Dubai Holding SkyRun will be donated to its long-term partner, Al Jalila Foundation, in aid of its obesity research in the UAE.