The Swissotel Vertical Marathon 2013 race saw over two thousand early risers on a sunny Sunday morning, queuing eagerly at the start line outside Swissotel Singapore. 1,366 steps that make up the 73-storey building awaited the racers dressed in red Mizuno participant tees, ending with a beautiful view at the rooftop helipad.
Racers flagged off in groups of six in intervals of 30, in order to prevent congestion in the race. The elite athletes started first, setting up the racing mood and speeding off as soon as the race horn boomed.
Climbing 1366 stairs is no simple task, and the stairs seemed endless at times. But motivators and volunteers were strategically spread out in almost every level to cheer the racers who were tired. Some sporting hotel guests even squeezed in beside the cheerleaders to encourage and spur on the climbers, making the race that much easier to finish.
When the climbing ended at the Swissotel helipad, adorable students from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School hooked the finisher medal over racers’ necks, bringing smiles and cheers all around.
Athletes from Australia took the top podium spots for this year’s vertical marathon. Mark Bourne came in first in the male category, finishing in 6 minutes and 51 seconds. Suzy Walsham took the top spot for the female category. Her time of 7 minutes 58 seconds was just shy of her course record of 7:51 set last year.
As the Swissotel Vertical Marathon is part of the Vertical World Circuit, with stair races held in some of the world’s most emblematic skyscrapers, both winners received a Vertical World Circuit prize of round-trip airfare to the final in Hong Kong on December 1st, together with tickets and entry to the invite-only Empire State Building Run-Up awarded by the organisers.
Race finishers took their time to soak in the view of the magnificent Singaporean horizon as they enjoyed the refreshments provided from sponsor booths. They soon found themselves thanking the inventors of the elevator, as they took one down after the race.
There were also prizes to be given for the most creatively dressed participants. Runners were pleasantly surprised to spot Pikachu, Spiderman and even a team of Avengers!
I am excited for the next Swissotel Vertical Marathon in 2014. Crossing the finishing line to a gorgeous view of the Singapore cityscape is definitely a great experience! This race is a must-go in my calendar next year.