Australian skyscraper racer Suzy Walsham takes her fourth world title at the grand finale of the Vertical World Circuit at the Race to Hong Kong ICC on Sunday, December 7. Poland’s Piotr Lobodzinski took the men’s title, thanks to his ranking points scored in the previous circuit races. Race winners were Walsham and fellow Australian, Darren Wilson - for the first time on top of the podium. Both runners broke the standing race records.
This spectacular and extremely challenging race, now in its third year, climbs 2,120 steps up 82 floors to the summit of Hong Kong’s highest building, the International Commerce Centre. For the last two years, the race has represented the grand finale of the eight-race global circuit spanning three continents.
A stacked field counting some of the world’s most competitive skyscraper racers together with more than 1,100 runners toed the start line of the ICC tower. Winner Darren Wilson sliced 7 seconds off the record, closing in 11’57”. 2013 VWC Champion and race winner, Mark Bourne, was second here today and Lobodzinski, third. However, with the points scored in today’s final, he maintains his ranking leadership – and takes the world title.
In the women’s field, Walsham was supreme and remained unchallenged with five straight wins, beating her own record from last year by 44”. She closed in 13’48”. Second and third places went to China’s Gan Xue and Hui Ji Zhang.
Runners participating in the VWC are assigned points based on the four best results in the eight-race circuit. The final VWC prize of HKD 100,000 was awarded to the circuit’s top three ranked men and women.
Teams and individual local runners also participated to help raise funds for child and youth services charities.
The eight-race Vertical World Circuit stretches across the globe, zig-zagging from New York to Taipei, from Paris and Benidorm in Europe, to Beijing and Brazil, before returning to the Far East in Shanghai and concluding with the grand finale in Hong Kong.
High altitude, whether in the mountains or the city, is the playground of the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF), which governs, promotes and sanctions skyrunning (high altitude mountain running) and skyscraper racing worldwide. This was the third edition of the race, which became affiliated with the ISF in 2013. ISF President, Marino Giacometti, after climbing the 2,120 steps himself, commented, “It was a really tough race compared to Taipei 101 which is a similar height. The ICC counts the most steps on the circuit.” He added, “I was impressed by the excellent organization and attention to detail on all levels – we’re very proud to have this race represent the VWC final.”
2014 VWC final ranking
1. Piotr Lobodzinksi (POL) - 400 points
2. Darren Wilson (AUS) – 358 points
3. Omar Bekkali (BEL)- 320 points
1. Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 520 points
2. Cristina Bonacina (ITA) – 320 points
3. Gan Xue (CHN) – 280 points
(Full ranking here)
Race results 2014 Race to Hong Kong ICC
1. Suzy Walsham (AUS) – 13’48”
2. Xue Gan (CHN) - 15’08”
3. Hui Ji Zhang (CHN) - 17’19”
1. Darren Wilson (AUS) – 11’57”
2. Mark Bourne (AUS) - 12’20”
3. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) – 12’26
4. Omar Bekkali (BEL) – 12’54”
5. Eirik Haugsnes (NOR) – 13’35”
Follow us on Facebook for news and updates
Race website: www.shkpverticalrun.com
- Skyscraper racers head for VWC grand finale
- Walsham and Bourne fly in Shanghai
- Victory goes to Lobodzinski and Hahner in Brazil's Corrida Vertical
- Western China’s tallest tower race - Dold and Xue winners
- Walsham and Lobodzinski winners in Beijing
- Beijing is back - China World Summit Wing
- Men’s record falls in Benidorm - siblings Llorens winners
- VertiGO victory for Walsham and Lobodzinski - records tumble
- Ready for VertiGO?
- Taipei 101 – Bourne and Belotti repeat last year’s win
- VWC heads for Taipei
- Walsham takes fifth NY win - Norwegian Ludvigsen wins men's title
- 2014 VWC announced
- Australians Walsham and Bourne are VWC World Champions
- Countdown to VWC final on Hong Kong’s ICC Tower
- Suzy Walsham & Mark Bourne winners in Singapore
- Vertical World Circuit heads for Singapore
- VWC final announced on Hong Kong’s ICC Tower
- World Champions win 2nd Hanoi Vertical Run
- Star-studded Hanoi Vertical Run
- Dold and Walsham triumph on Beijing’s tallest tower
- World class line-up for Beijing’s first tower race
- Bourne and Belotti winners at Taipei
- Walsham and Lobodzinski Basel winners
- VWC - New York victory is all-Australian
- New York kicks off 2013 Vertical World Circuit