We mentioned it in the Race Prelude and we reiterate it again. 73 stories. 226 metres. 1,336 steps. The fastest time clocked? 7min 16sec by Matthias Jahn, a German firefighter, who’s also the reigning 2010 Stair Run Champion at the World Firefighters games and winner of the recent MesseTurm Vertical Race in Frankfurt, Germany.
Based on his timing, Jahn averaged around a metre every 1.9 seconds. One can only imagine the lactic acid build-up in his legs at that startling pace. His efforts though, still fell short of the current record set by a fellow German compatriot in 2009 – Thomas Dold with a time of 6min 51sec. It’s a commendable feat nonetheless. We are still in awe.
The Swissôtel Vertical Marathon made its 24th appearance this year with a participant count of 2,100. For those who constantly whine about the lack of quality races in Singapore, you should learn that the Swissôtel Vertical Marathon is part of the prestigious Vertical World Circuit®, covering cities such as New York, Basel, London, Milan, Taipei, Berlin, Singapore and lastly, Sao Paulo. (Singapore’s the seventh leg.)
“Staging the Swissôtel Vertical Marathon for almost a quarter of a century now is our way of contributing positively to the community and remaining steadfast in our efforts to champion worthy causes and inspire a culture of sports excellence in Singapore and around the world.” says Aiden McAuley, Managing Director, Swissôtel The Stamford & Fairmont Singapore.
That’s right. The race wasn’t so much a race per se – although it’s the main driver – but a conduit to recognise those who run their own, where life is the ultimate journey.
In line with Swissôtel The Stamford’s mission of giving back to the community, this year’s Vertical Marathon raised S$40,000 for The Spastic Children’s Association of Singapore (SCAS) – an impressive figure relative to the number of registrants. Established in 1957, SCAS provides special education, rehabilitation services, vocational training and gainful employment for children and adults with cerebral palsy in Singapore.
As we were scouring the grounds, we bumped into a gentleman whose tenacity amidst his current plight was nothing short of a galvanised standstill moment.
“Actually, I lost my lower limb due to a road accident. That was about the year 2002. So after I was admitted for two months, I came back from the hospital and tried to surf internet and all that. So that’s where I got the motivation that people are worse than me but people can do a lot of wonders and all that so even if they can do, so why can’t we,” expresses Abdul Alim, 38, Freelance Computer Technician. “As an above knee amputee, you need mind coordination. So whenever I run, my knee has to come forward compared to below knee amputees. There will be a lot of challenges.”
We salute Alim. And he’s not alone. There were others such as Dwayne Fernandes (double leg amputee), Alvina Neo (diagnosed with Spina Bifida), and Adam Kamis (right arm amputee with a paralysed left arm).
Overall, the vibe of the race could be considered unmatched. There was the panoramic view most would die for; the congratulatory entourage that lined themselves on the way down from the top; the timed dispersion of runners up a narrow stairway to prevent what some would call a phalanx; and complimentary pictures snapped at the FINISH point. The Swiss ambassador was at the helipad too to lend his support.
“Quite impossible but I did it so it’s an achievement.” comments Mary Lim, 28, Finance Executive.
So say we!
- Matthias Jahn – 07min 16sec
- Manzi Emanuele – 07min 19sec
- Omar Bekkali – 07min 38sec
- Walsham Suzanne – 08min 23sec
- Valentina Belotti – 08min 43sec
- Melissa Moon – 09min 01sec
MEN’S UNDER 20
- Lim Jing Hong Aldrich – 08min 52sec
- Rai Prakash – 09min 03sec
- Mertens Robert Adam – 09min 26sec
WOMEN’S UNDER 20
- Sim Simone – 12min 00sec
- Grant Alana – 13min 47sec
- Chia Denise – 15min 21sec
MEN’S 20 – 29
- Rai Kumar Nabin – 08min 09sec
- Limbu Manbahadur – 08min 17sec
- Linkan Kirati Linkan – 08min 26sec
WOMEN’S 20 – 29
- Evangelist Julia – 10min 50sec
- Tan Sok Hue Sumiko – 11min 13sec
- Chia Pamela – 11min 54sec
MEN’S 30 – 39
- Rai Kumar Rabindra – 08min 37sec
- Ngo Andrew – 08min 55sec
- Davey Adam – 08min 56sec
WOMEN’S 30 – 39
- Campbell Kathryn – 11min 04sec
- Chew Sek Ling – 11min 24sec
- Poon Grace – 12min 16sec
MEN’S 40 – 49
- Matsui Iron Dai – 09min 11sec
- Knott Chris – 09min 17sec
- Burch Drew Bradley – 09min 48sec
WOMEN’S 40 – 49
- Ramos Roda – 11min 20sec
- Lo Sin Inn Celine – 12min 04sec
- Fehrmann Imke – 12min 18sec
MEN’S ABOVE 50
- Snoad Jeremy – 09min 31sec
- Wong Steven – 09min 58sec
- Wong Siew Ming – 10min 16sec
WOMEN’S ABOVE 50
- Yong Pauline – 11min 31sec
- Tay Hwee Choo – 12min 33sec
- Yim Pui Fun – 12min 39sec
NATION FIGHTERS CHALLENGE
- Lim Zhi Hong Morgan – 09min 40sec
- Tan Jia Nian – 09min 43sec
- Hock Leong Quek – 10min 09sec
- Pair 22 (Sng Alice/Chin Koon Ruey) – 11min 06sec
- Pair 119 (Lin Zhiyun/Tham Edmund) – 11min 09sec
- Pair 19 (Chew Desmond/Cheong Hana) – 11min 52sec