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Thomas Dold, winner in the Professional’s category, celebrating after the race. (Qassim Rahmatullah)
Doha: Germany’s Thomas Dold upheld his winning title at the annual Torch-Doha Hotel Staircase Run yesterday.
The world’s record holding champion of ‘backward running’ climbed a total of 1,304 steps across 51 floors of the Torch in a compelling six minutes 31 seconds.
Some 240 local and international runners, including the Minister of Justice H E Hasan bin Abdullah Al Ghanem participated in the race.
“I really enjoyed taking part in the race, it’s an excellent sport. I advise employees to start taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator,” the Minister said after the event.
“This run has the potential to become world-class,” Dold, who won in the professional category, said. He is world leader in the sport of professional tower running and won his seventh consecutive race to the top of the Empire State Building in New York last year.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling, reaching the top,” Dold said at the end of the race.
Jiri Vysteijn, a Czech expatriate, won the race in the men’s category in seven minutes 48 seconds, while Elizabeth Cothran Isom became the fastest runner in the women’s category by finishing the race in nine minutes 25 seconds.
“This is not my first staircase run, I participated in the inaugural event in 2012, so I knew what to expect this year,” Vysteijn said.
Among other participants was Chris Arthey, a British amputee. Arthey and his wife lost their left legs in a car accident in 2008.
The winners were awarded a selection of prizes including a variety of vouchers for the Torch-Doha Hotel.
The run came four days after Qatar’s second National Sports Day and the ‘Light the Torch’ challenge. Over 50 Aspire Active members took turns cycling 30 stationary bicycles placed outside the Torch-Doha Hotel in an attempt to “pedal power” enough energy to power the outdoor lighting system of the hotel. It took approximately 30 minutes for the entire facade to be fully lit.
First, Jiri Vysteijn, 748; second, Richard Kimani, 8.27 and third, Ben Simpson, 8.39.
First, Elizabeth Cothran Isom, 9.25; second, Arnlaug Wangensteen, 9:29 and third, Raimey Adelle Olthius, 10:35.
First, Thomas Dold, 6:31; second, Omar Bekkali, 6:52 and third, Rolf Majcen, 7:12.