The third stage of the 2017 Vertical World Circuit heads for the tallest tower in Paris on Thursday, May 18 after events in Dubai and London. The world’s top skyscraper racers will participate in the VertiGo to gain points in the ten-race circuit.
They will join nearly 2,000 participants to race up the 954 steps and 48 floors of the Tour First, an office skyscraper in the business district of the Paris metropolitan area.
The stacked men’s field foresees an exciting showdown with ranking leader and VWC world champion Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland challenged by former world champion, Thomas Dold from Germany. Lobodzinski leads the ranking with two outright wins, while Dold is in third position after only one race placing second behind Lobodzinski.
The standing record here is Lobodzinski’s of 4’43”. Among the elite participants pushing the competition are Fabio Ruga from Italy and Omar Bekkali from Morocco.
Lobodzinski stated, “I know that on Thursday evening I will have a difficult task mainly because Thomas Dold will be my opponent. He’s back after long break but showed already in London that he’s very well prepared. Maybe our confrontation will improve my course record from 2015 which is 4’43”. It will be a very interesting race and I can’t wait…”
“I’m going back to Paris VertiGO after an annual break. I’m very excited about the third VWC race of the season and hope to extend my winning streak in the circuit and in Paris where I finished as champion in all my five races – three times on the Eiffel Tower and two times on Tour First,” he added.
For Dold, it will be a new experience. “This is my first race in France and I’m looking forward to my first time in Paris. The race will be the second stair race for me after some years of focussing on managing two girls to make the Olympic marathon team. I’m not expecting a record time, but I will make it very hard for the others to win!” he exclaimed.
The women’s field is led by Lenka Svabikova from the Czech Republic who has won the race twice and is the current VWC ranking leader. She will be challenged by Italian Cristina Bonacina, ranked second. The standing race record of 5’43 set by VWC world champion Suzy Walsham from Australia remains intact.
“It will be my third time in Paris and I’m looking forward not just to the race, but to visit the city as well.” Svabikova commented. “After two months of almost no training I don’t expect my best time here, but of course I would like to win and to get a hat-trick, to get important points and get back the good feelings from running and racing.”
It is the fourth consecutive year that VertiGo is an official race on the Vertical World Circuit, where this year, five out of ten races count for the final ranking.
Tomorrow evening, Paris will light up its tallest tower to the rhythm of thousands of runners taking on the challenge to reach the top first and raise money for the PL4Y International, organisers of the event.
About PL4Y International
The money raised will help PL4Y International to develop its programmes across the globe. Since 1999, the NGO has used sports as powerful leverage for social change and has showed that innovation through sports favours social cohesion.