Poland’s Piotr Lobodzinski is fast climbing the Vertical World Circuit ranking with his win at Sunday's China World Summit Wing Hotel Vertical Run. He raced the 2,041 steps of the 82-floors of Beijing's tallest skyscraper in 10'01", six seconds short of the record time set here by German Thomas Dold in the first edition of the race last year. Dold came second yesterday in 10'10". Belgian Omar Bekkali who is leading the Circuit ranking, was third in 11'11".
For the ladies it was super-strong Australian Suzy Walsham summiting first in 11'50" – just four seconds off her own 2013 record. She placed fifth overall (including the men’s category). Walsham, three-time VWC Champion and five-times winner of New York’s Empire State Building Run-Up, leads the ranking with three clear wins in New York, Paris and Beijing. China’s Xue Gan was second 13'37" and third lady, Ethiopian Haymanot Seyd Ali, 14'07".
Walsham commented, "It was a tough race with so many elite athletes performing so well but I pushed myself towards the end and I wanted to win this race again that is one of the most talked about on the circuit. It feels wonderful to share this accomplishment with so many runners from across the globe."
In fact, 1,000 runners took part this year, a 40% increase on last year’s competitors. Lobodzinski added, "It was amazing to compete with so many athletes and crossing the finish line atop Beijing's highest building is an incredible feeling. I feel on top of the world."
The China World Summit Wing Hotel Vertical Run is the fifth race in the eight-race circuit which stretches across the world from America to the heart of Europe and Asia. The next VWC stage will be in São Paolo, Brazil onOctober 18, then back to Asia for Shanghai on October 26 and the grand finale on December 7 in Hong Kong.
The VWC world champion titles are awarded on the score of four out of eight races, with 20% extra points awarded at the final.
Another world champion title for Dold is far off on the horizon, but theoretically he could still win if he places first in Brazil, Shanghai and Hong Kong – a formidabile challenge - but with no less than four VWC titles and seven New York wins under his belt, he could be the man!