The conditions were just right for the participants of the Kerry Sports Manila Vertical Run on the fifth leg of the Vertical World Circuit, Sunday, July 9. More than 700 local and overseas participants took to the stairs at Shangri-La at the Fort, to dash up 250 meters to the building’s penthouse making it the highest race in the country.
VWC World Champions, Poland’s Piotr Lobodzinski and Australia’s Suzy Walsham stole the show, each pocketing the US$1,500 first prize in the men’s and women’s elite races, respectively.
Lobodzinski crossed the finish line in a time of 6’19”, breaking the course record he set in 2016. Second place in the men’s event went to Mark Bourne of Australia, who could not keep up with Lobodzinski towards the last half of the climb. He closed ten seconds later in 6’29”. Third place went to Omar Bekkali of Belgium in a 6’54”.
“This is a great race for me. It was a fantastic day and very well organised. I will definitely come back next year to defend my title,” said Lobodzinski.
In the women’s race, Walsham finished comfortably in a time of 7’39” equaling her own course record time set in 2016. She was followed by Natalia Sedykh from Russia and Emmanuelle Blanck from France, who finished in 9’3” and 9’56” respectively.
Walsham looked strong and determined as she opened the gap from the very start. The former Australia national middle distance champion did not look back as she claimed the grand prize at the summit.
The 2017 Vertical World Circuit ranking remains unchanged with Lobodzinski leading, followed by Germany’s Thomas Dold while Belgian Omar Bekkali rises to third. Similarly, Walsham continues to lead the women’s ranking, followed by Italian Cristina Bonacina with Emmanuelle Blanck now taking the third slot.
David Shin, Sporting Republic race organiser commented, “We are extremely proud to once again bring an international event to the Philippines. This is a great opportunity to promote Manila and the Philippines as an international destination for sports,” he said. “It is exciting to be part of a race that focuses on the runner’s experience, especially those that come in from overseas.”
Governed by the International Skyrunning Federation, the event was selected as an Official Race of the 2017 Vertical World Circuit (VWC), the world’s premier skyscraper racing circuit, uniting some of the world’s most iconic skyscraper races, including the One World Trade Center in New York City.
The 2017 ten-race Vertical World Circuit heads for the sixth stage in Beijng on August 26 with the China World Summit Wing Hotel Vertical Run
Kerry Sports Manila Vertical Run results
1. Piotr Lobodziński (POL) – 6:19
2. Mark Bourne, (AUS) – 6:29
3. Omar Bekkali (BEL) – 6:54
1. Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 7:39
2. Natalia Sedykh (RUS – 9:03
3. Emmanuelle Blanck (FRA) – 9:56