On the second leg of the Vertical World Circuit a record field of 1,200 runners turned out for Thursday’s Vertical Rush on London’s Tower 42 to raise money for Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.
Both the men’s and women’s race records were pulverized: an incredible Thomas Dold sliced 26” off last year’s time, closing in 3’58” – a record that will be hard to beat - or repeat, while Australia’s Suzy Walsham shaved a clear minute off the women’s record with her finishing time of 5’01”.
Dold, three-times Vertical World Circuit champion, as usual, gave his all in the competition and, on recovering his breath, commented, “It’s my first Vertical Rush – the race was well-organized. Running up the stairs is always fun and the view of London from the top is really incredible.”
The time for a coffee or a cigarette is all it takes these amazing athletes to race up the 920 steps of Tower 42, which stands at 199 metres in the city’s financial district, and is now London’s fifth tallest building.
Runners from eight countries competing in the Vertical World Circuit took part in the race. Italy’s Fabio Ruga, was hot on Dold’s heels, closing in 4’11”, a 13” improvement on the record he set last year. Slovakian Tomas Celko was third in 4’28”. In the women’s field, Italy’s Alessandra Valgoi was second in 5’05” and Cristina Bonacina, last year’s winner, 5’52”, was third.
Fabio Ruga and Cristina Bonacina, both members of the Vibram® FiveFingers® team, raced wearing the barefoot concept footwear.
The 2012 Vertical World Circuit comprises nine races stretching across the globe from New York, London and Milan to Basel and Berlin in the heart of Europe and on to Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore in the Far East. Saõ Paolo will again host the VWC final in November.
High altitude, whether in the mountains or the city, is the exclusive arena of the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF), which governs, promotes and sanctions skyrunning (high altitude mountain running) and skyscraper racing worldwide.
2012 Vertical World Circuit ranking extract
Thomas Dold (GER)– 200 points
Fabio Ruga (ITA) – 154 points
Omar Bekkali (BEL)– 136 points
Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 188 points
Cristina Bonacina (ITA) – 140 points
Mellissa Moon (NZL) – 100 points