Tower running is a sport which involves running up tall man-made
structures. Usually the races take place on the internal staircases of
skyscrapers, but the term can cover any foot race which involves a
course that ascends a man-made structure.
Tower running races often take place at the world's tallest
Taipei 101 (Taipei), Menara Tower (Kuala
Willis Tower (Chicago),
CN Tower (Toronto), Eiffel Tower
Eureka Tower (Melbourne),
Swissotel (Singapore), Tower 42
Empire State Building
Empire State Building (New York), the Bitexco Financial
Tower (Ho Chi Minh City), and the
Colpatria Tower (Colombia). Races
are held in either time trial or mass-start format and attract elite
athletes from various sports often with large sums of prize
The results of more than 160 races on all continents are evaluated
each year for the Towerrunning World Cup. The most important - about
15 so called "Masters Races" - have a predefined factor of 1.5 to 4,
whereas all other races are given 0.5 or 1 depending on class and
internationality of the participants.
2015 saw the inaugural World Championship in Doha, Qatar, with Suzy
Walsham (AUS) and Piotr Łobodziński (POL) crowned champions. The
2018 World Championship is due to be held on 5th May at
Taipei 101 in
4 External links
The first recorded stair race was held on
Bastille Day (14 July) 1903
in Paris. Organised by a publication called Revue Sportive, the event
took place on the steps of the famous
Rue Foyatier in the 18th
arrondissement of the city.
In 1905 the first known tower race was held at the Eiffel Tower. It
took place on Sunday 26 November and was organised by a publication
called Les Sports. The magazine’s aim was to pit champions and elite
athletes from various sporting traditions against each other in the
ultimate test of fitness. Runners, cyclists, footballers plus amateurs
were all among the 283 people who took part in the first ever tower
The event was repeated again in 1906, but following that race it would
be 109 years before stair climbing returned to the
Eiffel Tower again,
with the first edition of La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel in 2015.
In 1968, the sport made its debut in the United Kingdom. Teams from
University of London
University of London and the
University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh went
head-to-head at the
BT Tower in London, with the Edinburgh team taking
victory. That inter-university event was repeated in 1969 and 1970,
after which there were years of inactivity for the sport in the UK.
Tower running made its debut in the
United States in 1978, when Fred
Lebow organised the first
Empire State Building
Empire State Building Run Up (ESBRU). The
ESBRU event has run every year since, and is the longest continuously
running tower running event in the world.
Several more races popped up in the USA and around the world
throughout the 1980s and the sport has been slowly growing since.
Leading international stair runners include:
Piotr Łobodziński (POL), current world champion
Christian Riedl (GER)
Frank Nicolas Carreno (COL)
Stefan Stefina (SVK)
Mark Bourne (AUS)
Shaun Stephens-Whale (CAN)
Sproule Love (USA), cross-country skier.
Justin Stewart (USA), Track athlete and fitness instructor.
Thomas Dold (GER), world champion running backwards.
Marco De Gasperi
Marco De Gasperi (ITA), world champion mountain running.
Matthias Jahn (GER), European x-country runner.
Javier Santiago (MEX)
Suzy Walsham (AUS), reigning world champion, world number one, former
Commonwealth Games 1,500m finalist.
Zuzana Krchova (CZE)
Lenka Svabikova (CZE)
Alice McNamara (AUS)
Cindy Harris (USA)
Kristin Frey (USA)
Andrea Mayr (AUT), mountain running champion.
What is tower running and why are loads of people racing up
skyscrapers? (The Irish Examiner)
A step up – what is it like tower-running up a 35-storey building?
The very tall buildings where people run up the stairs for fun – and
you can too (Yahoo News)
Vertical World Circuit website
Stair Life - USA stair climbing website
Cross country running
Mountain bike orienteering
Road bicycle racing
Mountain bike racing
Sled dog racing
Open water swimming
Sports car racing
Touring car racing
Stock car racing
Drag boat racing
Jet sprint boat racing
Inshore powerboat racing
Offshore powerboat racing
Radio-controlled car racing
Slot car racing