7 March 2017

Korea to host world’s highest skyscraper race

Lotte World Tower, Seoul, site of the VWC Exhibition Race. © Korean Cultural Hub

Lotte World Tower, Seoul, site of the VWC Exhibition Race. © Korean Cultural Hub

The International Skyrunning Federation is pleased to announce an important addition to the 2017 Vertical World Circuit. The highest skyscraper race ever held will take place in South Korea’s tallest building, LOTTE WORLD TOWER, on April 23 as an Official Vertical World Circuit Exhibition race.

The “LOTTE WORLD TOWER INTERNATIONAL SKYRUN” is the country’s first and only international stair climbing race. Top ranked runners, including current and past world champions, will be joined by hundreds of participants up for the extreme challenge of ascending the 2,917 steps and 123 floors of the building in the fastest time possible. Topping out at 555m, it is the fifth tallest in the world.

This severe test should not be taken lightly. The number of steps amount to 30% more than New York’s T2T Tower Climb which counts 2,226 steps and is currently the highest building on the 2017 Vertical World Circuit valid for ranking points.

Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which governs the sport, had this to say: “We’re very excited to have the LOTTE WORLD TOWER INTERNATIONAL SKYRUN as an Exhibition Race on the Vertical World Circuit. To date, the maximum ascent speed registered in races between 50 and 80 floors high is over 2,000 metres per hour – more than three steps per second! It’s unlikely that this speed can be maintained for the 2,917 steps of the Lotte World Tower.

We predict the finishing times will be approximately 16’30” for first man and 19’ for first woman, but the length of the course plus the heat factor of running up the stairs inside the building will take their toll on everyone. With the best in the world competing, we’ll see on race day!”

2017_VWC_Seoul_Poster-01_lowThe top ranked athletes lining up for this extraordinary event are reigning VWC champions: Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland and Suzy Walsham from Australia, joined by Australians, former world champion Mark Bourne and Darren Wilson, Alice McNamara and Cindy Reid, together with Emanuele Manzi from Italy and Yuri Yoshizumi from Japan.

David Shin, ISF representative for Asia-Pacific, will be overseeing the race. He commented, “Being one of the tallest buildings in the world, we are proud to have the inaugural LOTTE WORLD TOWER INTERNATIONAL SKYRUN as an Exhibition Race on the Vertical World Circuit and to bring the world’s best stair climbers to compete here. We are eager to see how fast the elite runners will finish the race.”

Park Hyun-chul, CEO of Lotte corporation, said, “The total amount of the participation fee will be donated to the ‘Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation’ to support deficit home sports child talent upbringing. I hope that many people can participate and share meaningful effort and sense of accomplishment.”

To reward their efforts, a total of US$10,000 prize money will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers, one of the largest on the circuit.

Registration is now open so now is your chance to reach for the sky!

Official Event Website

The LOTTE WORLD TOWER INTERNATIONAL SKYRUN has been selected as an official 2017 Vertical World Circuit (VWC) Exhibition Race.

The Vertical World Circuit is sanctioned by the International Skyrunning Federation, governing body of the sport. Ten races span the globe touching on iconic cities from Dubai, to London, Paris and New York before heading East to Manila, Beijing, Sydney and Shanghai, concluding with the grand finale in Hong Kong where the VWC Champions will be crowned on December 3.