Another weekend – another race. And again a first… this time a stair race.
Stair or Tower Running has gotten quite a big following in the US and with the multitude of tall buildings in HK it seems somewhat obvious to host also such an event in the 852.
The race – 82 floors, from Floor 8 to 100 up the ICC, with 484m Hong Kong’s tallest building and the seven highest in the world. It was the first time Hong Kong would host a race in the Vertical World Curcuit – the elite running series of tower runners, that also includes the famous race up the Empire State building in NYC. Featuring 2120 steps however, it would be significantly longer than its equivalent in the States.
For once the starting time was very kind – my slot was allocated for 10.15. On the gun we started off, up the crueling concrete steps. Most runners sprinted away, but the right tactic was more Pole, Pole (Swahili for slowly, slowly) – a steady pace, two steps at a time. It was really a slow grind – by floor 30 I had all those guys, that sprinted away, overtaken again. By floor 40 my legs started to hurt, by floor 60 I was ready to stop…. On, on, on…. I knew my friends Heiko and Georg had just started five minutes behind me. No way I would let them overtake me. So on I went. Breathing hard, counting down the numbers – 78-79-80… just a tiny little bit longer. The last ten floors were the easiest, I was beyond the pain, too bad the race didnt go on even further… I crossed the finish on the Sky observatory just about 21 minutes after the start.. not really the time I wished for, but guess going to a music festival and dancing like mad to Franz Ferdinand the day before didnt really help.
And the winner? Mark Bourne from Australia crowned himself world chamption by taking an impressive 12:04 min to climb to the top – thats just less than 11 minutes slower than the lift.