After the successful Seoul launch, the second leg of the 2018 Vertical World Circuit heads for Paris on Thursday, May 24 to hit the heights of the city’s tallest building, the Tour First.
Nearly 2,000 participants will race up the 954 steps and 48 floors in the VertiGo. Among them, 19 elite runners from Belgium, China, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Russia and Spain will participate in the nine-race circuit to score ranking points.
Heading the men’s field is Italian Emanuele Manzi, 2016 race winner, fourth on the 2017 VWC ranking. “After my 2016 victory I’m very pleased to return to Paris,” he said. “I’m feeling in good shape and after the effort of reaching the finish line, I can’t wait to enjoy the incomparable views of the city!”
Manzi will be challenged by Belgian Omar Bekkali who placed fourth here last year and by Liang Liang He from China, who is currently ranked seventh. The men’s record to beat was set last year by VWC Champion Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland in 4’42”.
Favourite for the top slot in the women’s field is Italian Valentina Belotti who has been absent from elite skyscraper racing for some years but will definitely represent a force to be reckoned with. Pushing the pace will be Natalia Sedykh from Russia who ranked third on the 2017 VWC Ranking and, back for more, Italy’s Cristina Bonacina, runner-up last year together with Emmanuelle Blanck from France, who placed third. The extremely fast women’s race record set in 2014 by six-time VWC champion Suzy Walsham from Australia in 5’43” could well remain unchallenged however.
Bonacina commented, “It’s my third time here and it’s always as emotional as the first – being in Paris, the city of love, to run a vertical race in one breath!”.
For the fifth consecutive, year VertiGo is an official Vertical World Circuit race and, once again, the summit of Tour First will be a glittering beacon for thousands of runners taking on the challenge and raising money for the PL4Y International, organisers of the event. The élite wave is at 8pm where precious ranking points are at stake and the Vertical World Circuit trophies will be awarded to the winners.
Antoine Biard, PLAY International Communication Manager stated, “VertiGo First Tower is France’s first vertical race. VertiGo enables businesses and the general public to get involved in a cause for solidarity and to contribute to organising educational action. Solidarity at the summit is more than a slogan: with VertiGo, it ihas a social impact. The first races helped us raise more than €810,000 with which we developed the Playdagogy programme on different themes: social cohesion, nutrition, disabilities. Finally, we are very proud to welcome the 19 international athletes from Vertical World Circuit!”