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MENAFN - Qatar News Agency - 30/03/2014
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(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The world's top male towerrunner, Piotr Lobodzinksi, broke the course record at the third annual Torch Staircase Run in Doha on Saturday after scaling the iconic hotel in a record time of 6 minutes and 14 seconds.



Organized by Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), the Torch Staircase Run is the only Towerrunning World Association (TWA) Grand Prix event in the regio



Khalid Abdullah Al Sulaiteen, Chief Executive Officer of AZF said: "We are proud to host this race as the first grand prix race of its kind in the Middle East.



The Torch Staircase Run is a testimony of the overall Aspire mission to engage the local community in healthy living." He added "Organizing such a unique event is an added one to the long list which Qatar proved to host and manage all kinds of international and regional sports events." The Torch Doha event was Lobodzinski's second consecutive championship victory following his first place finish on home soil in Warsaw, Poland, a fortnight ag



"I came to the Torch Staircase Run with the aim of defending my World Cup title and, having broken the course record here today in Doha, I'm confident that I can achieve this," said Lobodzinsk



"This is my second first place victory of the new season and I aim to keep up my winning streak." The 1,304-step race up the 300 meter structure saw five Towerrunning World Cup athletes, joined by nearly 350 Qatari residents, converge on Aspire Zone to conquer the iconic buildin



Female world champion Suzy Walsham maintained her position at the top of the women's category by ascending the tower in 7 minutes 42 seconds, and later marvelled at the race's unrivalled setting. "The Torch is a spectacular looking building, in fact it's the sort of building you walk past and think, 'wow, that's one I should run up'," said Walsha



"From a technical perspective the stairs are actually very high and there are lots of them per floor, so it's actually a tougher race when compared to some others." Nevertheless, the Australian athlete noted that such challenges had not deterred members of the public, especially women, from taking par



"It was really great to see so many female athletes warming up downstairs because typically you don't often find many women attracted to these sorts of events due to their intensity and difficulty." According to TWA President Sebastian Wurster, increased public engagement is a primary aim of the organizatio



"The community is a very important aspect of this sport as it's something everyone can integrate into their everyday lives, because all they have to do is take the stairs instead of the elevator and make stair running part of their daily training," he sai



The inspirational nature of the event was typified by Moussa Dahdouh, a former boxer who lost the use of his left leg in a car accident seven years ag



Now a member of the Qatar Paralympic Association, he took part in the Torch Staircase Run for the first time this year. "I was excited but nervous about the event but trained every day to be able to compete," said the 24-year old Algeria



"Despite my injury I think my fitness levels are what helped me reach the top of the Torch to see the spectacular views of Doha." General Manager of The Torch Doha Hotel, Gerhard Foltin, said: "It is great to host the Torch Staircase Run for the third time and witness a greater participation every year. We are honored to welcome elite tower runners, a large number of amateur runners and the general public attending the event toda



Today's competition also attracted many local female participant



We would like to thank Aspire Zone Foundation for organizing such a beautiful Towerrunning Grand Prix and look forward to host next year's race." The Towerrunning World Cup was inaugurated in 2009 to cater for the exponential growth of interest in this relatively new spor



As its popularity continues to increase, the TWA now recognises 200 global staircase runs every year, in which more than 100,000 people compete. Towerrunning began in the Empire State Building in New York and spread across North America before becoming a globally recognized spor



Staying true to its roots, the TWA kicked off its Grand Prix season in New York last month

 






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