Beijing Vertical Run – Hundreds Breathless at the Top
Beijing has 24 skyscrapers, but fortunately, people don’t have to walk up – or even run up – to the top floors. On September 3, 2016, however, Beijing hosted about 700 athletes from 24 countries who were there for one particular skyscraper. Beijing was one of the stops for the Vertical World Circuit, now in its eighth year, and the China World Summit Wing Hotel opened its staircases for those brave enough to run up every step – 82 floors, 2,041 steps.
Runners started in the lobby on the main floor and had to make it up to the helipad on the roof as fast as they could. The 82 floors were most quickly conquered by the Pole Piotr Lobodzinski, who made it to the top just 7 seconds shy of 10 minutes. Suzy Walsham recorded the best time among the women runners with 11 minutes and 55 seconds.
The Vertical World Circuit started in 2008 and has now grown into a global phenomenon. In 2016, nine cities hosted an edition of the vertical run, with a tenth city hosting an exhibition race. Participating athletes visited skyscrapers all over the world, climbing landmarks such as the new World Trade Center in New York City, the Jumeirah Emirates Building in Dubai, and the ICC Tower in Hong Kong (the city with the most skyscrapers in the world to choose from).
Although climbing 82 floors in less than 10 minutes is an impressive athletic performance, the organization assures you that candidates take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes to climb the stairs. So even if you find yourself out of breath after just one flight of stairs, it’s not too late to train for the 2017 edition of the Vertical World Circuit. The only question that remains is whether or not you’re allowed to take the elevator down after you finish.