Poland’s Piotr Lobodzinski and Japan’s Yuri Yoshizumi won the second edition of the Harukas Skyrun on Sunday, November 12, setting the overall fastest times up the 59 floors and 1,610 steps of the Abeno Harukas – Japan’s tallest skyscraper where 1,300 runners competed.
Winning the event secured Lobodzinski’s overall victory on the 2017 Vertical World Circuit. He finished in a time of 8′34″ nailing the VWC champion title which he will take home at the finals in Hong Kong on December 3.
“This is my second time in Osaka, so I’m very happy to have come here and win this great race in such a beautiful city,” commented Lobodzinski. “Now after the race, I’m feeling perfect because of this one race. I’ve also won the Vertical World Circuit 2017 and defended my title for the third time in a row.”
Mark Bourne of Australia was the only contender who could have challenged Lobodzinki’s title. By just thirteen seconds he placed second, clocking 8′47″. Japan’s Ryoji Watanabe was an excellent third in 8’54”.
“I’m happy to finish in second place, but I didn’t have the best feeling. But it’s still good to come in second,” said Bourne.
In the women’s category, local hero Yuri Yoshizumi climbed to her first VWC win of the year, finishing in 10’14”, beating Poland’s Iwona Wicha by 1 minute and 13 seconds.
“I am so happy to win in my hometown here in Osaka,” said Yoshizumi. “It was a tough race and I had to push myself hard today. To win the Harukas Skyrun for the second time is a great honour.”
Natalia Sedykh of Russia finished third in 11’47”.
Japan’s only international stair climbing race was selected as Official Race on the 2017 Vertical World Circuit (VWC), the world’s premier skyscraper racing circuit, uniting some of the world’s most iconic skyscraper races, including the T2T Tower Climb on One World Trade Center in New York City. The Vertical World Circuit is sanctioned by the International Skyrunning Federation, governing body of the sport.
The 2017 Vertical World Circuit now heads for the Grand Finale of the 10-race tour where the world champions will be crowned and the end of season bonus pool will be distributed on December 3 in Hong Kong at the “SHKP Vertical Run for Charity: Race to Hong Kong ICC”.
1. Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) – 8’34”
2. Mark Bourne (AUS) – 8’47”
3. Ryoji Watanabe (JPN) – 8’54”
1. Yuri Yoshizumi (JPN) – 10’14”
2. Iwona Wicha (POL) – 11’27”
3. Natalia Sedykh (RUS) – 11’47”
*The VWC world champion titles are based on the score of five out of ten races, with 20% extra points awarded at the grand finale.