For many, walking to the bus station is exhausting already; others participate in Cross- and Mountain runs. Stair runs represent another step-up.
One of the most famous stair runs is organised in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The participants have been sprinting up the Taipei 101 for several years there. It's the highest tower in the city and the seventh highest in the world. Circulatory system and muscles are extremely strained; much more than in the case for other runs. However, the more enjoyed is the view that's been acquired so hard.
Not correlating to the stair runs, but as if specifically tailored to, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke this, for stair runners motivating, sentence: „You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
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|2017 Taipei 101 RUN UP|
|Time||Mai 7th 2017|
|Repetition||Annual, on the first Sunday in Mai|
|Registration||March 31th 2017, 12.00pm (CST)|
|Location||No.7, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110|
|Event Site||Run Up Eventpage|
As an athlete you're standing at the foot of the tower, looking up the glass façade. As small as you might feel now, as uplifting will be the emotions later, on the viewing platform. At tower runs, the athletes climb up a tower or skyscraper. Like at normal runs, the time is measured with transponders. At it's origins, stair running has been a variation of athlete exercises, but meanwhile it is establishing as a sport at it's own. There are over 200 runs per year in the world, with a rising trend – only in Africa there hasn't been an official stair run yet!
The first stair run event dates back to 1905, in Paris. This run went up to the first platform of the Eiffel Tower. At the fire department stair runs are popular, too; mostly with the equipment, to simulate an emergency. Since then, there is a particular organisation, the Tower running World Association, that evaluates all of the official competitions and compiles a world ranking of the runners.
The effort to climb stairs in an ongoing course, is much higher than while jogging. Especially the abdominal and leg muscles are more affected, specifically the leg extension, the back of the thighs and the gluteal muscles. The ideal is to take two steps at once – one step would be too slow, three, too much effort. Only the balls of the foot are put on the stair, the heels don't touch. Thus, only the forefoot is pushing. The active use of arms is also very important to move energetically around the curves of the staircase, and should be practised.
The Taipei 101 was officially inaugurated on December 31th 2004, and almost one year later the first run-up was held. At the time, the Taipei 101 was the world's highest building, which made the race the hardest stair run competition worldwide. The stair steps are even higher than standard, which means additional effort and makes the run-up, even with the Taipei 101 no longer being the highest building in the world, one of the most challenging stair runs. Since the opening, the run is held every year. On the actual day, there are groups of runners starting every minute, so that the athletes don't cluster in the staircase.
As one of the highest towers in the world, the Taipei 101 wins over with its numbers. Thereby 1,6 billion Euro have been spent on the building's construction. It disposes over 61 elevators, that count, with 16,8 m/s, among the fastest worldwide. From the 92. level, a 660 tons gilded steel sphere suspends, as a vibration damper, and Taiwan's biggest shopping centre is situated at the foot of the Taipei 101. It's 101 levels have named the tower. Every 8th floor is optically and statically summarised, to form a bamboo-like structure and a design resembling to a Japanese Pagoda. At new year's eve, spectacular fireworks are launched from the eaves of the pagodas.
The run goes up to the viewing platform at the 91. floor. By this, 390 metres, incorporating 2046 stairs, are sprinted up. The best time in woman category is 12 minutes 38 seconds, and for men 10 minutes 29 seconds. The goal is reached by stepping on the viewing platform and crossing the finish line. After having battled their way through the never ending windings of the staircase for several minutes, the runners step out, into the fresh air. At the crossing of the finish line, a photo is taken automatically, so don't forget: keep smiling, even at the final spurt! Besides the unforgettable view over the whole of Taipei City, the athletes can take pictures against the picturesque setting. The fastest runners are rewarded with up to 1000 Euro prize money.
Whoever manages to accomplish the run with a parachute on their back and overruns the finish line, can also see “arrived at the top” as an intermediate stage. Ten years ago, Felix Baumgartner was the first to jump from the Taipei 101, so it's possible!
Two moments made history at the run ups. In 2012, a one-legged athlete jumped up the stairs without crutches. The next one was a 97 year- old Taiwanese soldier, who conquered the tower with oxygen supply. In the spirit of sportsmanship everyone is united, regardless of their age, physical condition or nationality. Taking part is everything!
There are many stair runs worldwide and professional „stair run-athletes“ fly to different countries to get into the overall ranking. An overview can be found on the website of the Towerrunning World Association. There are also different intentions to run. At the „WWF CN-Tower Climb for Nature“ it is for the preservation of the biodiversity and the natural habits in Canada.