The annual signature sporting event, Swissôtel Vertical Marathon, held at the 226-metre tall Swissôtel The Stamford, showcased world-class competition at its peak on Sunday morning. A record- breaking 2,324 participants from countries around the world, including international elite runners Mark Bourne, Darren Wilson and Suzanne Walsham from Australia, Emanuele Manzi from Italy, Vanja Cnops from Belgium and Lenka Svabikova from Czech Republic, as well as local inspirational runners Mohd Shariff Abdullah, Alvina Neo and Ezzy Wang who overcame their physical disabilities, blazed up one of the tallest hotels in Southeast Asia across 15 race categories.
Governed by the strict guidelines and framework set out by the Towerrunning World Association, which provides sports jurisdiction over international sporting events, the Swissôtel Vertical Marathon now positions Singapore alongside countries such as USA, Netherlands and Australia as a participating venue of the Towerrunning Premium Race event, which includes competitive stair- climbing up Sydney Tower in Australia, the Willis Tower in Chicago and the World Trade Center in Netherlands.
Mark Bourne from Australia took home his second Swissôtel Vertical Marathon winning title with a record timing of 6 minutes 46 seconds. Not only does he break his own record from the 2013 Swissôtel Vertical Marathon, his timing this year now puts him on par with the current world record set by Germany’s Thomas Dold in 2009. It is the fastest timing set in the 27-year history of the Swissôtel Vertical Marathon.
9th-time winner of the Swissôtel Vertical Marathon Women’s Open Category, Suzanne Walsham, clinched her 9th medal with her uncontested timing of 8 minutes 2 seconds, just about 4 seconds shy of her results achieved in 2013. Vanja Cnops from Belgium meanwhile took the 2nd spot in the Women’s Open Category once again with a timing of 9 minutes 24 seconds while Czech Republic’s Lenka Svabikova comes in very closely at 9 minutes 26 seconds.
Participants of the Sunrise Challenge also enjoyed a most wonderful sight at the helipad of Swissôtel The Stamford this morning as 27-year old Mr Adam Goh, got down on one knee as soon as he crossed the finish line with his 25-year old girlfriend, Ms Vicky Neo, for a beautiful wedding proposal. Minutes before, 25-year old Mr Goh Bing Yu similarly proposed to his girlfriend, Ms Chua Juan Juan, also 25 years old, on the helipad after crossing the finish line together.
The oldest participant at this year’s vertical race is 78-year old Mr Teo Hock Chuan whose birthday falls today and was celebrated with a birthday cake specially prepared by the hotel, while the youngest stair runner is 12-year old, Mr Choo Yi Xiang.
As a lead-up to Singapore’s 50th year of independence in 2015, the amount raised will be matched dollar for dollar by the Government under the Care & Share Movement, a national fund-raising and volunteerism movement for the social service sector led by Community Chest, who supports Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School as one of its beneficiaries.