Part 4 Begin…
2nd Edition of Varso Tower Run 2023
*120 Points Race in Towerrunning Tour 2023 Calendar
*Tallest Building in European Union
Title: Wai Ching achieved his goal time of Sub 7 minutes (6:48.36 min) winning 2nd place at Varso Tower Run 2023 (Event Link: https://wbiegnijnavarso.pl/).
Ryoji Watanabe from Japan won the 1st palce beating Wai Ching by 3 seconds with a time of 6:45.54 min and claimed the Course Record beating Piotr Lobodzinski’s last year course record time of 7:27 min.
Venue: Varso Tower, Warsaw, Poland
Time: 1.45pm local time Flag Off (GMT+2)
Date: 16th Sept 2023
Course Profile: Run Up (53 Floors, 1382 Steps, 230m EG)
No of Edition: 2nd
Elite Men: 7 out of Top 10 Towerrunners came and took part in this event!
Previous Edition Winner: Piotr Lobodzinski – 7:27 min
Photo Albums & Drive Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12K-hyknEs_nXJx0LW_xXdOG2h2SIs7At
Almost 800 participants turned out for this competition for a cause on doing the fundraising for the Polska Akcja Humantarna (Total Fundaising Amount achieved – 40,000 pln, equivalent to about RM 43,000).
It’s considered the second largest towerrunning competition in Poland after the Bieg Na Szczyt Rondo 1 happened on 18th March this year (Point Factor of 200 points).
This is the 2nd Edition of Varso Tower Run after they first did it last year on the 6th of Oct 2022. Both Wai Ching and Ryoji Watanabe and othe strong European athletes couldn’t make it due to being invited to take part in the Empire State Building Run Up on the 8th of Oct 2022. Local representative, Piotr Lobodzinski won it with a time of 7 minutes 27 seconds and set the course record for this competition.
This year, there’s a total of 7 from the current Top 10 Ranking Men Towerrunners attended this event and it’s considered one of the strongest lineups so far in 2023 towerrunning competition. The open and team categories were being flag off as early as 9.30am in the morning, while the Men’s Elite and Women’s Elite were being flag off at last, served as the highlight of the competition.
Men Elite flagged off at 1.45pm while Women Elite flagged off at 2pm. Wai Ching lead the men elite category as he is the current leader in the World Ranking, then followed by Ryoji Watanabe from Japan with a 30-seconds interval between each elite, and followed by Piotr Lobodzinski, the local favourite, also the Course Record Holder of this competition.
Wai Ching’s goal is to attempt for the course record and aim to run a Sub 7 minutes for this course. He started at 1.45pm and sprinted a few floors up then maintained at 130 beats per minute pace set. The course for Varso Tower consists of 3 refugee floors whereby there were a total of 3 flat running parts (2nd Floor, 47th Floor, 48th Floor) on each of it with up to 40m the longest. You may check the video here: https://youtu.be/v_SzW8uc0Vg?si=xE2ewoNczw8-QLm0
On 15th Floor, something happened. As you can see on the above photo, the one above his shoe socks. That’s the timing chip given by the organizer to strap it on the shoelace or ankle. Wai Ching was not wearing a shoe, so he has to tie it around the ankle.
Wai Ching tied it on his left ankle and run with it. The ankle chip tape broke up during the turn when he was climbing up and Wai Ching have no choice but to bend down his body to pick it up and hold it on his right hand while continuing the climb. He passed the first checkpoint at 19th Floor with a time of 2:17.87 min (click in the name in the result link to see the split time).
19th Floor Splits
Wai Ching (Malaysia) – 2:17.87 min
Ryoji Watanabe (Japan) – 2:18.08 min
Chubinashvili Irakli (Georgia) – 2:20.03 min
Piotr Lobodzinski (Poland) – 2:23.12 min
Pawel (Poland) – 2:28.42 min
He kept going with the pace he set and continued up to 40th floor only he started to feel the tiredness. Wai Ching started to lose the beat, not being able to follow the pace set but he kept going as he knew that there will be other changes at 47th Floor. Once he got to 47th Floor, he then went on and ran hard to the next stairs, which consists of 3 flights of 17, 16, 16 steps from 47th Floor to 48th Floor.
These three flights of stairs were turning clockwise, Wai Ching have to switch his hand from right to left to carry the chip as he need to use his right hand on the rail affecting his rhythm. Once he got to 48th floor, there’s another change for him from clockwise stairs back to anti-clockwise stairs this time and left only 19 flights to go.
He then has to switch his hand from carrying the chip from left hand to right hand as this time he need to use his left hand to pull the railing. He gave his best effort by putting in the final push all the way up to the finishing floor. He was struggling at that time but that’s the best he could do, and he clocked a time of 6:48.36 min. He knew that the next time he come back to this event, he is capable of running a Sub 6:40 min as he wasn’t able to use both of his hand to pull the rail for his climb.
Overall, it was a great performance and he satisfied with it even though things happened, and he have no choice but to find a way to fix it. He was thinking the race ended the moment his ankle timing chip strap broken at 15th floor as he won’t be able to continue the climb but without a thought, he said no way he will give up at this point due to his issue and so he picked up the chip and run together with one hand using the rail, the other holding the chip. Wai Ching was actually thinking of putting it in his pocket but that might be affecting the chip from being detected at the finishing line. Therefore, he chose to carry it with other hand and continue the climb.
It’s unlucky to Wai Ching but that’s life. We cannot control what goes wrong in life or what went wrong but what we can do is to act fast, recognize the problem, find a solution, and continue by not giving up. Once you gave up, that’s it. There won’t be a second chance for you to re-run the race. Wai Ching knew it and understood it clearly that his only option is to pick it up and continue the climb.
Even though Wai Ching lost to Ryoji Watanabe by 3 seconds, but he is confident on running a much faster time next year when he come back to this. He will aim for a Sub 6:40 min or possibly a Sub 6:30 min on this event next year.
Thank you to each and every one of the supporters in Warsaw, Poland and thank you to friends and fans around the world for supporting Wai Ching. Last but not least, Wai Ching would like to thank his sponsors: Petaling Jaya City Council, Manuka Wellbeing Malaysia, Saucony Malaysia, Mitoceps Malaysia and thanks to Malaysia Embassy in Warsaw as well.
#MasTowerRunner #Towerrunning #MalaysiaBerjaya #ManukeWellBeingMY #PJCityCouncil #PetalingJaya #Mitoceps #EdifierMY #SauconyMalaysia
#MalaysiaBerjaya #GreatestOfAllTime #MasTowerRunner #Towerrunning #StairClimbing #EuropeanUnionTallestBuilding
Video of his finishing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/121xrd7TPAqE55xrgE9eaIo472Fnzf_SI/view?usp=drivesdk
End of Part 4…
Beginning of Part 5 will talk about his upcoming training preparation to take part in “巅峰贵州“索菲特第五届国际垂直马拉松, a towerrunning competition happening in Guizhou at Sofitel Hotel on 23rd Sept at Guizhou, China.