Last Sunday, August 14, 2016, the Kerry Sports Manila Vertical Run held its inaugural event here in the Philippines. This event is one of the official races of the Vertical World Circuit that is now on its eighth year. Held at Kerry Sports in Shangri La at The Fort, the event had a total of more than 500 participants from 27 countries, with different ages and levels of fitness. They all dared to take on the challenge of conquering 59 floors consisting of 1,353 steps with 250m elevation.
Piotr Lobodzinski was the first to complete the race with an impressive time of six minutes and 20 seconds. The 31-year old from Warsaw, Poland was awarded as the champion in the multi-national elite men’s category. Australian Mark Bourne crossed the finish line shortly 22 seconds later. Then Ignacio Cardona, from Spain, came in third place with a time of seven minutes and twelve seconds.
For the multi-national elite women’s category, it was Suzy Walsham of Australia who bagged the first place. The reigning Vertical World Circuit Champion had a finish time of seven minutes and 39 seconds. Alice McNamara, from Germany, came in second with a time of eight minutes and 21 seconds. Finally, Christina Bonacina of Italy bagged the third place with a finish time of nine minutes and 24 seconds.
The run started at the lobby of Shangri La at The Fort. After the elite athletes have started, the rest of the participants were then released in smaller groups of twelve to fifteen runners, with flag-offs at three-minute intervals. There was also a team challenge and a fun climb category.
The finish line was at the 59th floor of the hotel, where the runners were awarded with a medal and a stunning view of the Manila skyline, being on top of one of the tallest buildings in the metro. Apart from the top three elite men and women, the top three finishers per age group were also recognized and given prizes during the awarding ceremony.
For a lot of the participants, the Vertical Run was more challenging compared to the usual running events as stair-running forces one to work against gravity. According to studies, stair-running also allows the body to use muscle stabilizers, such as the gluteus medius, which are not normally utilized during regular runs. Because of the plyometric motion of stair-running and because it helps build strength and power, it is a great workout and cross-training for runners.
“Definitely, we will have the 2nd edition next year”, these are the words of John Rice, Shangri-La at The Fort’s general manager when asked if there will be vertical run for the year 2017.
By Eva Marie Soquena
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See you all next year!!!