Vertical challenge: 2,041 steps in skyscraper run

Updated: 2015-09-22 17:19

By Jiang Wanjuan(

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Vertical challenge: 2,041 steps in skyscraper run

Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland is the first man to finish the vertical race, during the 2015 Vertical World Circuit's Beijing leg at the China World Summit Wing in Beijing on Sept 19, 2015. [Photo provided to]

Some 800 runners from more than 20 countries climbed the 82-story China World Summit Wing in Beijing's CBD area on Saturday as part of the 2015 Vertical World Circuit.

Organized by the International Skyrunning Federation, the annual event is part of a circuit in some of the world's most iconic skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building in New York City and the Taipei 101 in Taipei. The Beijing race is the sixth leg of this year's event.

Most amateur runners finished climbing the 2,041 stairs in 15 to 30 minutes. The fastest male runner, Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland, took only 9 minutes, 53 seconds, successfully defending his title from last year.

The fastest female runner, Suzy Walsham from Australia, finished the race in 11 minutes, 52 seconds.

Lobodzinski thinks vertical running is a fun sport and that everybody should try it.

"It's impossible to run a marathon without special training, but most amateur runners can finish the vertical run in about 20 minutes," he said before the race. "But it is more intense and exhausting than a flat race. For example, when you run a half marathon, you can keep your pace, but here we usually run a maximum 10 to 11 minutes. After crossing the finishing line, it is impossible to stand, you have to sit or lay down for a few minutes."

Female champion Walsham's advice for first time runners is to take it easy and start slowly.

"A lot of people get excited and they sprint off, but if you hit that wall, there's no going back," she said. "It's not like a flat race, you can slow down and sort of get your breath back. You never get your breath back. So start out slow, and try to stay focused."

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