Over 1,700 participants from 25 countries will climb to the top of Shanghai IFC, Sunday, October 14 on the sixth leg of the Vertical World Circuit. Among them, a world-class line-up is ready to do battle for the win and the VWC ranking points at the SHKP Vertical Run for Charity – Race to Shanghai IFC, including top ranked runners, race record holders and past winners.
The records to beat for ascending the 1,460 steps and 54 floors of the building are all-Australian by Mark Bourne in 7’42” in 2016 and Suzy Walsham, 9’08” which she set last year.
“I’m excited to be returning to Shanghai this weekend for my fifth Race to Shanghai IFC,” commented Bourne. “I’m sure it will be another great event and I hope for some valuable VWC points.” While Bourne beat VWC world champion Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland last year, Lobodzinski, ranked second, is back…and on top form.
“I am very excited before the next VWC race – Shanghai IFC. It will be a very interesting battle for the win and the ranking points. My last stair sessions went very well and I’m feeling quite confident about my shape. I think new course record is very likely!”
The current VWC ranking leader is Omar Bekkali from Belgium who will push the pace with China’s LiangLiang He ranked third and Ryoji Watanabe from Japan who placed third last year in the race and is currently ranked fourth.
The world’s number one female stair climber, Walsham, is also confident of yet another top performance. “I’ve had some time since Beijing to put together a good training block so I’m looking forward to Sunday’s race. I really like the building and I’m hoping for a strong performance.”
In the women’s field, top contenders include Italy’s Cristina Bonacina ranked third and Australian Alice McNamara, fourth. McNamara will be aiming for another podium place after her third position here last year.
With three events to go to the Grand Finale in Hong Kong, the ranking will be taking shape after Sunday’s race. The Vertical World Circuit ranking is based on the results of five out of nine races. Coming up next on the circuit are Osaka on November 4 and new addition, London, on November 24. 25% extra bonus points will be awarded in London and at the Grand Finale in Hong Kong on December 2 where an extra 50% are at stake. The occasion marks the end of the season celebrated at the SHKP Vertical Run for Charity – Race to Hong Kong ICC where the World Champions will be crowned and the VWC end of season bonus prizes totalling 106,000 HKD will be awarded.
For the fifth time the Shanghai race has featured on the Vertical World Circuit after the resounding success of the “sister” event in Hong Kong, the circuit’s final race.
Governed by the International Skyrunning Federation, the world’s premier skyscraper racing circuit unites some of the most iconic skyscraper races – including these two flagship events. ISF President Marino Giacometti commented, “We’re very proud of our successful and continued relationship with these two SHKP races which represent the essence of our sport. We’re looking forward to Sunday’s race where a record 1,700 runners will participate. The fast expanding number of top ranked Chinese athletes is a welcome sign that the sport has taken off in China and that they can compete at top level with the best from across the world.”
All eyes will be on the incredible performances these vertical running specialists will pull off Sunday where it looks like… records could fly.