Dubai: Tower running might just be the perfect sport for those looking to complete the Dubai Fitness Challenge, according to two-time Dubai Holding Sky Run winner Piotr Lobdonzinski.
“It’s a very easy sport to take up because almost all people here live or work in high rise buildings,” said the 34-year-old Pole speaking to Gulf News ahead of Friday’s stairwell race at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, which is part of the month-long challenge to complete 30 minutes of exercise for 30 days.
“You can train and compete in an air conditioned climate, all you need is shorts, t-shirt and trainers, and it doesn’t take that long, so it’s the perfect sport for those living in big cities who don’t have much time on their hands.”
Lobdonzinski won the past two editions of this event, which will see 450 people run 265-metres up 1,334 steps over 52 floors on Friday from 7am. He also holds the track record of seven minutes and 9 seconds.
“I’d compare it to rowing,” he said of its difficulty rating. “The blood lactate levels are very high and it affects all muscle groups, not just your legs. Over a flat distance you feel good for 70 per cent of the race and then struggle with the last 30 per cent, but with this it’s the opposite, after the first 30 per cent you start to suffer and then for the last 70 per cent you have to fight you mind and push hard not to give up before the finish.”
Britain’s Sarah Frost, 26, another of the elite runners, of which there will be 18 this weekend, added, “It’s also a very low impact sport because you are going against gravity so spend most of your time not actually running but walking very fast.”
Lobdonzinski agreed, “While doing it your heart rate will be very fast and you will struggle, but five minutes after finishing you will be fine again and can run again the next day because it doesn’t destroy your muscles. There’s a very quick recovery time.”
This is the 16th edition of the race and Dubai is the sixth highest building in the 11-stage Vertical World Circuit, which includes events in Seoul, Hong Kong, New York, Ho Chi Minh, Beijing, Dubai, Osaka, Shanghai, Paris, Milan and London.
Prize money of Dh15,000 will be split between the top three in men’s, women’s and team categories. Registration is still open via https://www.premieronline.com/event/dubai_holding_skyrun_2019_4624 and costs Dh250 with funds raised going to the Al Jalila Foundation to combat childhood obesity.