Wai Ching’s Achievements / Commitments / Contributions
1st July 2022 – 30th June 2023
1st July 2022 – 30th June 2023
Soh Wai Ching, 29 YO (28th Sept 1994) is a full-time athlete from Malaysia. He is a professional towerrunner and Rank No. 1 in the World since Apr 2022. Wai Ching’s purpose in life is to challenge the human limit on how fast a human can run up the stairs.
He is currently the only Asian Winner of Empire State Building Run Up since 1978. He won the 41st and 42nd Edition (2021 & 2022 edition) of it and he is now looking forward to come back to Empire State Building Run Up 2023 which will be on 4th Oct to defend his title and make it a hat-trick. Other than that, he successfully attempted a Guinness World Record during the pandemic time on the 18th Nov 2020 with the record title of Greatest Vertical Height Stair Climbing in One Hour (Male).
Wai Ching was in Dubai for almost a year due to the pandemic restrictions in Malaysia. He was then blessed with the sponsorship from Tan Sri Vincent Tan through Better Malaysia Foundation (BMF). BMF agreed to sponsor him a total amount of RM 111,600.00 (RM 9,300 per month). A press conference was held for him at Berjaya Times Square hotel on 28th June 2022 few days after Wai Ching came back to Malaysia.
As soon as after receiving the sponsorship from Tan Sri and Datin Seri Sunita, Wai Ching took a small part of the sponsorship money and funded his team to take part in National Vertical Marathon (NVM) in Singapore (July 2022) and the HCMC Sky Run (Oct 2022). In NVM, for Men category, Malaysia dominated 80% of the podium by placing 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th overall with Wai Ching winning the Overall Champion position, breaking the course record at the same time.
In July 2022,
Wai Ching was invited to Sunway University and UCSI University to do a sharing session on the power of self-belief and to promote the use of stairs on a daily basis. Both universities wanted to encourage their students on taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator in the campus not just for healthy lifestyle reason but to also save time when one travel only one or two floors up by stairs is actually faster than waiting and taking the elevator.
Both universities then organized a towerrunning workshop and invited Wai Ching to be the speaker and guide the students on how to climb up the stairs in the most efficient way. A small-scale competition was organized by both universities respectively and attracted up to almost 100 participants from the students and staff category.
By end of July,
Wai Ching was invited to his secondary school, SMK Ideal Heights to give a talk in the Youth Leadership Camp whereby all the youth leaders of the school were there as well. Wai Ching was invited to put on his autograph on the dashboard outside of the school library.
A month later,
Wai Ching received a call from assistant to Mayor of Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), Tuan Azhan Amir on scheduling a meet up with Wai Ching at his office and they met. Tuan Azhan wanted and the whole MBPJ agreed to support Wai Ching due to his spirit and hard work on always making sure Malaysia flag is always on the top of the podium. They appointed Wai Ching to be the PJ City Ambassador and becoming another major sponsor to Wai Ching by supporting him a total amount of RM 100,000.00 (RM 25,000.00 quarterly).
Wai Ching will then play his part by promoting PJ City (waving PJ City flag on top of the podium) everywhere around the world when he traveled and compete internationally.
Four competitions in Nine days in Four different cities in US from 30th Sept – 8th Oct 2022.
Wai Ching won all Four competitions and broken two course records (Base 2 Space and Tunnel to Towers Tampa). Wai Ching remained the only ASIAN to win the Empire State Building Run Up (ESBRU) and successfully defended his title at the same time improving his time from 10:46 to 10:44 min.
Photo: Wai Ching was invited to New York Stock Exchange to be part of the closing bell ceremony on 7th Oct 2022.
Photo: Wai Ching flying Jalur Gemilang on top of the Empire State Building after winning the competition.
Photo: Award Ceremony of Empire State Building Run Up!
Photo: Wai Ching received a congratulatory message from the King and Queen of Malaysia.
Photo: Wai Ching received a very warm welcome by MBPJ at KLIA.
30th Oct 2022 – Wai Ching lead a team to take part in HCMC Sky Run in Bitexco Financial Tower. Wai Ching supported them by using part of his sponsorship money to cover their accommodation. For this event, we took part in Team Challenge and Individual category. We ended up with the following awards: Overall Team Champion, Men 1st, Men 3rd, Women 1st.
12th Nov 2022 – Stair Climbing World Championship – Dubai Holding Sky Run 2022
Wai Ching crown the World Champion title after winning the World Championship with a New Course Record time of 6:52 min! Wai Ching then decided to go into off-season mode
3rd Dec 2022 – MBPJ Towerrunning Workshop at MBPJ Tower in conjunction with International Folklore Festival. Mayor of MBPJ, Tuan Azhan Amir also came and took part in this event and he climbed up a total of 22 floors in MBPJ Tower.
31st Dec 2022 – Wai Ching ended 2022 with 19 Wins, 1 Lost (20 Towerrunning competitions).
5th Jan – Wai Ching was invited by Prudential Malaysia to be the guest speaker right in front of 6,000 insurance agent on motivating them to strive and maximize their potential at Setia Alam Convention Centre.
6th Jan – Wai Ching was again invited by Prudential Malaysia to be the invited guest for the Onward & Upward: A Conversation with World No. 1 Towerrunner at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).
8th Jan – Wai Ching won his 1st Title of Malaysia Towerrunning National Championship at The Top Tower Run, Komtar Tower, Penang, Malaysia. Wai Ching broke his previous course record from 7:39 min to 7:18.9 min.
12th Jan 2023 – Wai Ching was invited by Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Hannah Yeoh to Menara KBS to provide her the guidance on towerrunning sport and YB did her best to climb up 17 Floors in Menara KBS together with her staff.
26th Feb 2023 – Wai Ching took part in US Towerrunning National Championship at Scale the Strat, Las Vegas, US and emerged as the Overall Champion with a time of 6:46 min, broke the course record by a quarter second!
4th Mar 2023 – Wai Ching and the Malaysia Towerrunning Association supported UCSI Tower Run at Block G, UCSI University. Wai Ching led the warm up and provide guidance to the students and staff for this competition.
18th Mar 2023 – 200 Points Factor Towerrunning Competition at Bieg Na Szczyt Rondo 1 in Warsaw, Poland. The only competition that Wai Ching suffered a lost here last year and he is back to compete it again. He won the competition in a very strong field whereby 8 from the World Top 10 is present (Photo on the left bottom).
2nd Apr 2023 – Wai Ching took part in Estonia Towerrunning National Championship at Tallinn Trepijooks, Tallinn Tower, Estonia (Photo above right).
8th Apr 2023 – Wai Ching successfully attempted a Guinness World Record – Farthest Simulated Distance Climbed on a Stair Machine in One Hour (Male) – 1.649km in One Hour!
20th Apr – 28th Apr: Two Competition in Europe
(22nd Apr – Gran Hotel Bali, Benidorm, Spain, 28th Apr – Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth, UK)
Wai Ching won the 120 Points Factor towerrunning competition in Benidorm beating Fabio Ruga from Italy by half a second and Ryoji Watanabe from Japan came in 3rd placing in this competition. On 28th Apr, Wai Ching broke the course record of Spinnaker Tower (Name of the event: Power Up The Tower) with a time of 2:18 min.
Power Up The Tower is Wai Ching’s 21st consecutive wins since June 2022 from the Tunnel to Towers Tower Climb NYC at One World Trade Centre, New York, US.
7th May: Australia Towerrunning National Championship at Australia 108 Tower, Melbourne whereby Wai Ching suffered his lost here by achieving 2nd place, 2 second behind Ryoji Watanabe from Japan and his 21st consecutive winning streaks officially ended here.
Two weeks after that, China finally opened up their border and there were two competitions continuously in both weekend and Wai Ching decided to make a trip there to compete in both competitions. This will be Wai Ching’s first time travel to China since the pandemic.
Wai Ching broke the course record for both competitions and clocked a Sub 6 min at Hilton Honors Hotel, Jiaxing Stop, and clocked a Sub 6:30 min at Modern Media Center in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China.
In June 2023, Wai Ching leveled up the game by traveling to New York to defend his title at Tunnel to Towers Tower Climb at One World Trade Center on Sunday, 4th June, then travel to Austria for the World Mountain Trail Running Championship happening on Wednesday, 7th June for the Vertical Uphill challenge and followed by two back to back towerrunning competitions in Shanghai and Wuxi respectively.
Wai Ching improved his time from 12:46 min to 12:33 min and successfully defended his title, at the same time beating Ryoji Watanabe’s time of 12:37 min, and Wai Ching is now the Fastest Asian Winner here in this competition.
In the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, Wai Ching was appointed to be the flag bearer for Malaysia Team and this is his honor on carrying Malaysia flag to the International Level. Wai Ching successfully finished the competition in Top 100 position despite the fact that mountain running is quite different than towerrunning and he didn’t prepare fully for it due to the fact that he has to prepare well for the towerrunning competitions.
A day after Wai Ching completed his vertical uphill competition in WMTRC, he then travelled to Shanghai and prepared himself for the Vertical Marathon at Jin Mao Tower, one of the three brothers in LuJiaZui district, also his checklist to climb and compete. Left photo is Wai Ching with the Jin Mao Tower, Middle two photo are the Men’s Top 5 Result and his finishing photo at the finishing line at 88th Floor.
Wai Ching’s objective coming into this competition is to attempt for the course record time of 10:22 min and he successfully broke it with a time of 10:13 min and finished with a 4:30 min right ahead of the second guy.
Right after that, Wai Ching took a high speed train to Wuxi and compete in the GuoYuan V3 Series Tour Final Vertical Marathon at Grand Hyatt Hotel. Wai Ching gave his very best and won the competition with a New Course Record time of 9:29.15 min, making his the only Sub 9:30 min of the day.
A week after that, in conjunction with Hangzhou Asian Games, the Hangzhou sports municipal council organize 2023 Hangzhou Towerrunning Race at Raffles City Tower 2. The main objective is to promote its city landmark at the same time to encourage every citizen in Hangzhou to stay active and welcome everyone to come and take part in Hangzhou Asian Games.
Wai Ching emerged as the Overall Champion in this competition and set a course record time of 8:21 min running up 60 Floors, 1647 Steps, 250m EG at Raffles Tower 2, Hangzhou, China. Wai Ching was then awarded a Gold Medal and the official mascot of Hangzhou Asian Games, “Zong Zong” 3 months ahead of the Asian Games on 23rd Sept 2023.
On 23rd June 2023, Wai Ching was invited to the program “Selamat Pagi Malaysia” on talking about the potential of getting Towerrunning sport to be introduced as the Exhibition Games ahead of Hangzhou Asian Games on Sept 2023. Wai Ching spoke and he shared with the Deputy Minister of Hangzhou sports minister after the award ceremony in Hangzhou about it and the Deputy Minister love the idea.
A day after the interview on National TV, AFFIN Group organized a Menara AFFIN @ TRX Towerthon for their staff and Malaysia Towerrunning Association (MTA) Invited Athlete. MTA proud to support the event and even recommend AFFIN Group to make it an annual event and send out the invitation to all the banks in Malaysia to take part in the next edition of towerthon.
The chairman of AFFIN Group love the idea and together with their Chief People Officer are very keen on organizing the Towerthon again next year and make it an open competition.
The next day, Wai Ching was invited to be the guest to do the flag off for the Petaling Jaya Car Free Day Run in conjunction with PJ 17th Anniversary Celebration. Right after the flag off, Wai Ching went and join the run as well.
The next day on Monday, Wai Ching then travels to Chongqing, China for a towerrunning competition happening on Wednesday at Chongqing World Financial Centre (WFC), China. The opportunity for towerrunning sport in China to grow is much higher due to many iconic buildings, towers, and they can even have a competition in the middle of the weekday.
Wai Ching won the competition and improved his time by 8 seconds to 10:41 min compared to 5 years ago when he ran up the WFC with a time of 10:49 min to run up a total of 73 Floors, 2040 Steps, 330m elevation gain. Wai Ching was then received many interviews from the journalists and they welcome Wai Ching to come back next year to attempt for the course record.
After this competition, Wai Ching then travelled to Wuxi for an upcoming competition on 2nd July at Longxi International Hotel, followed by another competition in Changsha IFS in Changsha on 8th July.
Above are the summary of Wai Ching journey from July 2022 to June 2023!
Wai Ching is now searching and looking for more sponsorships as the contract with other sponsors ended especially the DAdvance Agarwood (Jan 2023 – June 2023) and BMF (July 2022 – June 2023). Wai Ching would like to announce his upcoming sponsorship from Manuka Wellbeing MY (July – Dec 2023) and Saucony Malaysia as the Official Gear Sponsor (July – Dec 2023).
Here are the following potential sponsors to work with:
Thank you so much for reading it and supporting Wai Ching all these whiles.