British Athletes Win 2nd Edition of the HCMC SKYRUN

Hundreds of athletes competed in the HCMC SKYRUN at Bitexco Financial Tower on Sunday, 30th October 2017. Local and international runners alike took to the stairs and conquered the skyscraper by running up 1,002 steps to the finish line at the Saigon Skydeck on the 49th floor.

Robert Sesemann of Great Britain won the male division, setting the overall fastest time up Ho Chi Minh City’s tallest building in 6 minutes and 49 seconds.

Local hero Minh Tan Nguyen of Vietnam placed second, 3 seconds behind, clocking 6 minutes and 52 seconds. Florian Deichmann from Germany came third.

In the female division, Sophie Clarke, also from Great Britain climbed to victory, finishing in 7 minutes 22 seconds, beating Vietnam’s Chi Nguyen by 24 seconds.

“It was tough, it was original and it was totally worth doing,” said Clarke. “I was so lucky to discover this memorable event and totally amazed to win it. It was my first time going to the top of Bitexco tower to look out over Ho Chi Minh City, and what a memorable way to do it! I’d recommend this event to anyone.”

Lily Saad from Canada came third in a time of 8 minutes and 10 seconds.

“The event went off as expected, a success and a positive experience for our sky runners,” said David Shin of race organisers Sporting Republic. “We saw locals and foreigners alike take part in the 1,002 step challenge and cross Ho Chi Minh City’s highest finish line.”

Stair climbing, first known as “vertical races” in the 1970s, is now a global sport with stair climbing clubs hailing from the US, Canada, Europe and Asia as well as professional athletes who train year-round to be the first to reach the top of the world’s tallest buildings. Although still a relatively new sport, stair climbing has quickly caught on with fitness enthusiasts attracted not only by the physical demands of this grueling sport but by also the novelty of competing in unique urban settings – the world’s tallest structures, some of the tallest of which are located here in Asia.