October 9, 2013
Today, the International Skyrunning Association is proud to announce the final of the Vertical World Circuit will take place in Hong Kong on December 1st at “The Race to ICC – 100 – SHKP Vertical Run for the Chest”.
The International Commerce Centre tower, the chosen venue, is the highest on the circuit: 484 metres tall with no less than 2,120 steps! Elite skyscraper racers will compete here for the final points in the eight-race circuit which will award the VWC champion titles and prizes. Teams and individual local runners will also climb the tower, the proceeds of which will go to child and youth services charities.
Reigning VWC Champions Thomas Dold from Germany and Australia’s Suzy Walsham will defend their titles here together with top-ranked runners from around the world. Both athletes are multiple winners of the Empire States Building Run-Up, the most famous skyscraper race.
Currently leading the men’s ranking however are Mark Bourne from Australia, followed by Piotr Lobodzinski and Belgian Omar Bekkali, while the women’s ranking is comfortably led by Suzy Walsham with four straight wins out of five races. Melissa Moon from New Zealand is in second position and Italy’s Valentina Belotti, third.
The VWC was launched in 2009 with the aim of linking the most iconic towers across the globe and to develop this new sport – also with a view to IOC recognition.
The project isn’t just about the circuit however. These iconic towers and élite athletes can help to create awareness of the benefits of stair climbing to people living in the city, whose major health problems today are overweight, diabetes and heart problems.
Exclusive scientific research on the subject carried out by the International Skyrunning Federation since 2007 has proven that that walking uphill consumes up to ten times more calories than the same exercise on the flat! Just a few flights of stairs a day are an extremely effective tool in any fitness or weight loss programme. Climbing stairs on a 51-53 % incline is without a doubt a very demanding activity, but within the reach of people of every age.
A team of professionals on the organisers’ Expert Advisory Panel comprise: International Skyrunning Federation Vice President and Executive Director Lauri van Houten, Hong Kong Association of Sports Medicine and Sports Science President Gary Mak, Hong Kong Baptist University Department of Physical Education Associate Professor Lobo Louie and board member of The Community Chest of Hong Kong Lionel Lam.
In choosing Hong Kong as the 2013 VWC final venue, the ISF is confident that the event will be a resounding success. The participation of the world’s top athletes – who will race up the 2,120 stairs in record time – will focus the attention of the public and media alike on SHKP’s spectacular International Commerce Centre tower on December 1s .
For updates and news visit the VWC official website www.verticalrunning.org
Race website: www.verticalrunhk.com