The International Skyrunning Federation is pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 Vertical World Circuit with the highest race on the calendar, the LOTTE WORLD TOWER INTERNATIONAL SKY RUN, on May 13 in Seoul, South Korea.
As the highest skyscraper on the circuit and the tallest building in South Korea, the LOTTE WORLD TOWER tops out at 555m – more than half a kilometre above the city streets.
Some 1,500 runners will participate in the race which climbs up 123 floors and counts 2,917 steps. The records to beat were set by Australians Mark Bourne in 15’44” and Suzy Walsham in 18’47”.
Walsham, the world’s number one female stair climber and six-time VWC Champion, commented, “I am looking forward to the first race of the 2018 Vertical World Circuit in Seoul. It will be a long, tough race, but my training is going well and I am ready to race!”
Bourne stated, “After last year’s win, I’ve been looking forward to returning to Seoul for the Lotte World Tower Sky Run. A strong run and hopefully a record would be great! As always, there will be tough competition to push me the whole way.”
From Poland, Piotr Lobodzinski, four-time VWC Champion, is back for the challenge. “I couldn’t wait to run again in Seoul in the Lotte Tower. It is one of the longest races on the entire calendar. After my second place in 2017 I want a rematch. My shape looks very good so I will come to Korea confident and hungry for success,” he exclaimed.
No less than 16 top ranked elite athletes from across the world will participate, including 2017 top three men’s winners, Mark Bourne, Piotr Lobodzinski and Japan’s Ryoji Watanabe, joined by Liang Liang He from China and Oma Bekkali from Belgium.
The women’s field is led by Suzy Walsham and fellow Australian Alice McNamara, Cristina Bonacina from Italy, Dominika Wisnievska-Ulfik from Poland, Gretta Beckett from Ireland and Yuko Tateishi from Japan. After the introduction of this unique sport to South Korea last year, local runners are getting a taste for skyscraper racing and many will be aiming to challenge the international elites and take a shot at the podium.
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.
The race was inaugurated last year as a Vertical World Circuit Exhibition race and this second edition will be an official race valid for the final ranking.
The nine-race 2018 Vertical World Circuit has introduced 25% extra bonus points in three races and 50% extra points at the Grand Finale where the VWC Champions will be crowned and the end of season bonus prizes awarded.