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Athletes conquer Beijing's 82-story skyscraper in vertical run | Updated: 2014-09-12 08:44

Athletes conquer Beijing's 82-story skyscraper in vertical run

Last year's winner, Suzy Walsham, defends her title with a time of 11 minutes and 50 seconds during the vertical run at China World Summit Wing Hotel, Sept 7, 2014. [Photo provided to]

Hundreds of runners from over 30 countries took the stairs and conquered the 82-story CBD skyscraper in Beijing on Sunday, Sept 7, 2014, by running up 2,041 steps to the rooftop finish line.

The vertical run, held at the 330-meter tall China World Summit Wing Hotel, was an official race for the 2014 Vertical World Circuit, which is held in some of the world's most iconic skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building in New York City.

Athletes conquer Beijing's 82-story skyscraper in vertical run

Beijing CBD skyscraper to hold the 2014 Vertical Run 

Athletes conquer Beijing's 82-story skyscraper in vertical run

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Poland's Piotr Lobodzinski and Australia's Suzy Walsham stole the show, winning the title for men and women.

Lobodzinski crossed the finish line in 10 minutes and 1 second, although he did not break last year's 9 minutes and 55 seconds record set by Thomas Dold of Germany. Dold came in second place this year, nine seconds later than Lobodzinski.

"It was amazing to compete with so many athletes and crossing the finish line atop Beijing's highest building is an incredible feeling," Lobodzinski said in a press release. "I feel on top of the world."

In the women's race, last year's winner, Walsham, defended her title with a time of 11 minutes and 50 seconds.

"It was a tough race with so many elite athletes performing so well, but I pushed myself towards the end and I wanted to win this race again," Walsham commented. "It feels wonderful to share this accomplishment with so many elite runners from across the globe."

The building's rooftop, where the race finished, offers bird's eye views across the city of Beijing, including the Forbidden City and other travel attractions.

Stair climbing, first known as "vertical races" in the 1970s, is now a global sport, although still relatively new to many. Stair climbing has quickly caught on among fitness enthusiasts attracted not only to the physical demands of this gruelling sport, but also to the novelty of competing in unique urban settings - the world's modern and popular skyscrapers.

Other cities joining the 2014 Vertical World Circuit are New York, Taipei, Paris, Benidorm, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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