Italian husband and wife win the second stage of the 2018 Vertical World Circuit in Paris, Thursday, May 24 at the VertiGo up the city’s tallest building, Tour First.
Emanuele Manzi and Valentina Belotti both nailed victory in the sixth edition of the race. In the individually timed race, Manzi was fastest to the top of the 48 floors and up the 954 steps closing in 5’02”. Second was Belgian Omar Bekkali in a close 5’04” and third, Spaniard Ignacio Cardona Torres in 5’13”. The men’s record of 4’42”set last year by VWC champion Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland remains intact.
Forty-year old Manzi who also won the 2016 edition, exclaimed, “I’m very happy to win for a second time here, to better my own record despite being two years older. Above all, I’m very happy that my wife Valentina won – and that she didn’t beat me!”
Belotti, 38, closed in 5’58”, 15 seconds off the record. “It was a surprise to win because I’m not really strong in such short races. You always have to run hard,” she said. “My training has been slow as I had an operation on the Achilles tendon in November. I don’t train on the stairs but in the mountains and do cycling and swimming. I’m very happy with the win of course and racing gives me the chance to travel to new places and meet new people.”
Second woman was Briton Sarah Frost in 6’53” and third, Italian Cristina Bonacina in 6’58”. Bonacina now leads the 2018 Vertical World Circuit ranking after two races while world champion Suzy Walsham is in second after her win in Seoul. Belotti ranks third.
The men’s ranking is led by Bekkali having competed in two races. He’s followed by Lobodzinski who won the first circuit race and Liang Liang He from China is in third.
The VertiGo, for the fifth consecutive year on the Vertical World Circuit, is organised by PL4Y International. More than 1,100 runners took part in various team categories in relays to raise funds for the organisation for the education and development of sport in underdeveloped countries.
Just over a week away, New York’s One World Trade Center will represent the third stage of the Circuit where the VWC champions along with the world’s top stairclimbers will participate in the T2T Tower Climb on June 3rd.
VertiGo race results
- Emanuele Manzi (ITA) – 5’02”
- Omar Bekkali (BEL) – 5’04”
- Ignacio Cardona Torres (ESP) – 5’13”
- Mark Howard (GBR) – 5’30”
- Liang Liang He (CHN) – 5’38”
- Valentina Belotti (ITA) – 5’58”
- Sarah Frost (GBR) – 6’53”
- Cristina Bonacina (ITA) – 6’58”
- Sonja Shakespeare (GBR) – 7’12”
- Maria Elisa Lopez Pimentel (MEX) – 7’26”