Soh Wai Ching
My name is Soh Wai Ching. I am a professional athlete, specialize in towerrunning / stair climbing sport. I am the youngest in the family. I started playing Chinese Chess since the age of 6 and I loved it so much. In my secondary school time, I started long distance running by joining my secondary school (SMK Ideal Heights) cross country at the age of 13 (Form 1). I did it once a year and eventually I followed my sister to take part in road running competitions in Kuala Lumpur.
I enjoyed playing Chess still but right after secondary school, at the age of 18 (year 2012), I ventured into long distance running. I then decided to pursue Bachelor’s Degree of Sports Science (Major in Exercise Science) in University of Malaya (UM) after my high school due to the interest in long distance running sport. Eventually, I got accepted into UM and I am so grateful on being able to apply what I am going to learn into the sport.
I actively took part in long distance running event almost on a weekly basis from distance of 5km up to 25km and at the same time I was chosen to represent my university of University Games: SUKMUM (UM Inter College Games), MASUM (Inter Local University Games), SUKIPT (Institution of Higher Learning Games), SIPMA (Inter Malaysian Educational Institution Sport Games), BIG (Biennial Intervarsity Games), and AUG (ASEAN University Games). Sir Mo Farah (Great Britain) is my idol that I look up to and I always wanted to be like him, winning the Double Gold for both 5000m and 10000m. Eventually I did it in my final year in MASUM 2018 whereby I won Double Gold in both 5000m and 10000m events.
During my undergraduate time, I qualified to represent Malaysia twice in AUG 2016 Singapore and AUG 2018 Myanmar by becoming the fastest runner for 10000m in 2016 and second fastest runner for both 5000m and 10000m in 2018. My goals at that time were to represent Malaysia for both 5000m and 10000m and I successfully achieved it by qualified to AUG. I also aim to challenge the National Record of Malaysia for both 5000m – 14:06.84 min (5th Aug 1994) and 10000m – 29:30.19 min (27th Aug 1994), both own by Ramachandran Murusamy.
I then ventured into towerrunning sport at the age of 23 (year 2017) because of my friend, Jeffrey Ross challenged me to take part in KL Tower International Towerthon Challenge (KLTITC) 2017. I then accepted his challenge and I wanted to apply what I have learned from my degree into this sport. By analyzing the specific needs of the sport, I then designed a training program for myself and execute it by climbing up repetitively at a 20 floors condominium nearby my house.
A day before the KL Tower International Towerthon Challenge 2017, I found out that there are many towerrunning competitions around the world and there is a World Ranking for that (www.towerrunning.com). I told myself that I will start to travel oversea and challenge the world class towerrunners after I win the competition on the next day. After a month of training for towerrunning sport, on 14th May 2017, I emerged as the Best Malaysian in KL Tower International Towerthon Challenge. Therefore, I decided to travel and compete with the best in the world to explore my potential in this sport.
My aim was to achieve World No. 1 within 3 years time but due the pandemic strike in Mar 2020, the World Ranking froze. Once it’s back in Apr 2022, I immediately climbed to the World No. 1 Ranking. At least, I still achieve it even though it took me almost five years’ time. I am now holding the World No. 1 title ever since. My purpose in life is to actively involve in towerrunning sport, to maintain the World No. 1 title for 10 Years (until Mar 2032) and to attempt for the course records of all the competitions that I am going to take part.
My Greatest Achievements
Empire State Building Run Up (ESBRU) is one of the longest annual towerrunning competition since 1978. I became the First Asian Winner of it by winning the 2021 edition also their 43rd Edition. In 2022, I defended my title and remained the only Asian Winner of ESBRU and win it for two consecutive times.
In 2020, right before the pandemic, I managed to beat Piotr Lobodzinski (Former World No. 1 Towerrunner) from Poland at Vertical Run Almas Tower by 2 seconds clocking a time of 7:59 min running up a total of 70 Floors, 1450 Steps, 245m Elevation Gained. It was one of my goal when I first met him in Beijing Vertical Run in Aug 2017 and I lost to him by a huge margin. I told myself that I will give myself 3 years time to eventually get to his level and to beat him in towerrunning sport. I am so glad it did happened right before the pandemic.
During the pandemic, when there’s no competitions, no sporting events at all, I went on and attempt a Guinness World Record in conjunction with Guinness World Records Day on 18th Nov 2020 to attempt “Greatest vertical height stair climbing in one hour (Male)” at Four Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. It took me 3 months time on securing the permission from the building, planning and preparation work, in corporate sports science knowledge by collaborating with National Sports Institute (ISN), doing assessment, physiology test conducting by the sport scientist, sending out invitation to sport journalist, inviting them to multiple press conference leading up to the record breaking day and last but not least to secure sponsors for supporting this project.
On 18th Nov 2020, I successfully attempted it and eventually becoming one of the Guinness World Record Holder and I even got featured on the headline of Malaysia’s most widely read English language newspaper – The Star. I am forever grateful with this adventure, this 3 months journey of accomplishing this project alongside with the support of my mentor at that time, Mr. Ravinder Singh. He helped me a lot on this as we have to go through many meetings, interviews, securing permissions to proceed with the world record attempt as planned.
Since 1st Dec 2020 up until 21st May 2022, I successfully achieved a 19 Consecutive Wins in all the Towerrunning competitions and suffered a lost (2nd place) in Bieg Na Szczyt 2022 (Towerrunning European Championship) at Warsaw, Poland. However, I got back up and win every towerrunning competitions that I took part since then and even successfully make a huge improvement from 7:36.08 min down to 7:24.01 min and won the Bieg Na Szczyt 2023 (200 Points Factor in Towerrunning Tour) on 18th March 2023.
I went on and improved the 19 Consecutive Wins to 21 Consecutive Wins in all the Towerrunning competitions since June 2022 and I suffered another lost in Australia 108 Stair Challenge on 7th May 2023. Since then, I kept going strong and winning every competitions that I took part and my upcoming competitions will be in Frasers Tower Vertical Challenge in Singapore on 24th Aug 2023.
101 Competitions, 68 Wins, 43 CR, 23 Countries, 76 Buildings & Towers (14th May 2017 – 23rd Aug 2023)