PIOTR ŁOBODZIŃSKI WINS SECOND EDITION OF THE EXCEPTIONAL ASCENT RACE LA VERTICALE DE LA TOUR EIFFEL
17 March 2016, Paris, France - La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel, a 279 meter vertical- or ascent race in France's most famous landmark, the in 1889-completed Eiffel Tower was won today by Piotr Łobodziński from Poland. Piotr completed the 1,665 steps against-the-clock ascent race in a time of 7:48.77, improving last year's result by two seconds.
The vertical race is sensational because, in contrast to other international stair-climb races, this race takes place in an open environment with breathtaking views of the city of light; Paris as a bonus.
The second edition of the vertical race, organized by the 'Société d'Exploitation of Tour Eiffel' and EcoTrail organisation marks the first in a series of EcoTrail de Paris events. EcoTrail de Paris was born out of the organisers' desire to create a cross-country race in an urban environment. The ninth edition of the EcoTrail de Paris continues this Saturday with various contests including trail races varying in distance from 18 to 80-kilometer.
Close to 100 runners completed the iconic race from the square under the French tower to the top: 40 international elite athletes, selected by an international committee of running experts, as well as 50 amateur athletes, selected via a lottery draw, were announced at a press conference last December. The remaining ten athletes were selected by the EcoTrail organisation using a wild card system.
One of them, Frenchman Benoît Fontaine attempted to summit the highest mountain in Europe, the Mt. Blanc, before competing in La Vertical but, unfortunately, due to weather circumstances he had to abort the ascent.
The 1,665 steps against-the-clock ascent race of the famous Parisian monument proofed to be a real sporting challenge. Conditions for the race were good, clear skies and a fresh breeze. Polish Piotr Łobodziński finished the race in 7:48 ahead of Christian Riedl (7:54) from Germany and Mark Bourne (8:11) from Australia.
Piotr said after the race: "I am feeling great! I defended last year's title and managed to defeat Christian Riedl. Five days ago I competed against Christian at the European Championship in Warsaw, and he beat me there. But today I have been able to take revanche and am very satisfied with my result. Furthermore, I have been able to improve the course record, last year my time was 7:50, this year 7:48. The organisers have already invited me to defend my title, and I hope that next year I can do it even faster, in 7:45 perhaps if the weather conditions are favourable, and I am as fit as today".
The fastest lady was Suzy Walsham from Australia. She completed the race in 9:48. She finished ahead of Dominika Wisniewska-Ulfik (10:32) and Stéphanie Hucko (10:59).
Suzy: "This race is one of the hardest that I do so I am very pleased to win. I am a little bit disappointed that I did not go faster than last year, but I am very hard on myself and just happy to defend my title and the win is the most important. I will be back next year; it is such an amazing race, and it is one of the most unique races one can do. This race is just different. I do a lot of building races around the world, but then you are inside an office building. Here there are some unique challenges with being outside and it is just such an amazing and recognisable tower".
EcoTrail Organiser Jean-Charles Perrin: "I am delighted! It is one year of work, a lot of energy has gone in, a lot of people were involved, we had partners to convince, technical challenges to overwin but it is all worth it when seeing everyone happy today. These athletes compete in a lot of different buildings, and when they say 'Hey guys this race is phenomenal and unique, then that is a big compliment for us. But considering that we have a lot of events planned for Saturday and Sunday my mind is not completely focussed on celebrating tonight's positive outcome. I do think that we did a pretty good job".
Last year's inauguration edition saw 61 participants from 16 countries. Registrations were up by 30 percent for this edition, more than 450 runners from 23 countries pre-registered to obtain one of the 100 slots available. The race was broadcasted live across Europe on Eurosport. Pictures and video footage of the event can be found here:
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Find the list with the full results of all athletes in the attached PDF document.
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About EcoTrail® Paris
EcoTrail est un concept d'événements de course nature organisée à proximité directe des grandes villes et leur banlieue et dont l'ambition est d'offrir au plus grand nombre l'opportunité de (re)découvrir le patrimoine naturel et culturel de leur territoire tout en s'adonnant à une activité sportive en plein air.
EcoTrail is a concept of trail running events organized in close proximity to major cities and their suburds and whose ambition is to offer to many as possible to (re) discover the natural and cultural heritage of their territory while participating to outdoor sports activities.