DATE: SUNDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2009
TIME : 7.00AM
VENUE : SWISSÔTEL THE STAMFORD, SINGAPORE
CHALLENGE : 73Storey 1336 Flight of Stairs
Into its 20th year now, the Swissotel Vertical Marathon saw many enthusiasts lining up to take the challenge of climbing one of the tallest hotel in South East Asia.
Climbing up 73 storeys with 1,336 steps within minutes may sound like a daunting task for many but over the years there had been a growing numbers participant this year is not exception a record 1,600 participants competed to complete the challenge this year.
This year an all new Lovebirds’ Challenge was introduce where couple will compete and reach to the finish line hand-in-hand. Their timing would be based on the lower of both timings.
For the third time, I had decided to sign up for this challenge. Hopefully I am able to beat my PB of 13.5mins.
Flag-off time varied depending on their category. The Men’s Open Category was schedule to be flagged at 10:10am. Many participants waited eagerly on the ground floor for their category to be flagged.
This year was a little special unlike the previous years. Firstly, the new event tee, like the previous years Polo tee were given out but this time around the event tee were from Mizuno, therefore it had been change to a round neck tee of dry fit material.
While waiting for the Men’s Open category to start, we meet up with our friends, Haslinda and Raihan who is participating in the Lovebirds’ Challenge.
We also meet up with the One Arm Runner, Adam Kamis who is also waiting to race up the 73 storey.
10:10 Am. We gather at the starting point, we were sent out in batches of 5 with a minute’s interval. We make our way to the stairs, where our challenge awaits us. Everyone started sprinting up the stairs. As we got higher, the air seems to get thinner and it gets a little difficult to breathe. Everything seem to be spinning after the 45th storey and everyone is force to grabbed hold of the slippery sweaty side railing.
At 60th storey many participant stop for a breather, I personally stop and commented to myself “This seems like a good idea 3 months ago”. I did not train for this event as I was focusing my effort for the coming Singapore Marathon.
SCDF Medical staffs were on standby at almost every floor to not only provide medical aid but also in cheering the participant to push on and reach the top.
Finally, at the 72nd storey, 1 more till I reach the end of this challenge. There was a holdup on the last few floors as there were many participants who slowed down before exiting to the roof.
Medal was distributed to all participants upon crossing the finishing line. I was a little unhappy as I was not able to beat my personal best. I finish 15m44 but this sure taught me a lesson to not underestimate a Vertical Marathon event. Well, Hopefully I can beat my PB next year.
But all eyes were on the Men’s Open category, where German Thomas Dold was out to defend his title. He conquered the 73 storeys with a time of 6 minutes 46 seconds, a new world record and six seconds better than his 2008 timing.
Defending champion in the women’s open category, Suzanne Walshman, also came out tops with her time of 8 minutes 29 seconds.
Both champions will once again represent Singapore at the Empire State Building Run in February 2010.
See you guys next year.
Check your Result: http://www.swissotelverticalmarathon.com/results/index_vm2009.html
Official Photo: http://www.snapshots.com.sg/en-US/race/viewrace/id-35
Power Song: Empire State Of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys) by Jay-Z
Our Next Run: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2009 – 42km (wish us luck)