Passionate Start of the 2023 Shanghai Tower Vertical Marathon

Shanghai, China, Nov. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On November 19th, led by Olympic champion and renowned table tennis player Wang Liqin, along with several other well-known athletes, over 2,000 participants gathered at the Shanghai Tower, China's tallest building, to take part in the world's highest vertical marathon. They enthusiastically embraced the joy brought by this trendy sport, aiming to conquer the peak of Shanghai together.


The event was guided by Shanghai Chengtou Group and the Municipal Sports Federation, hosted by Shanghai Tower , supported by the Samaranch Foundation for Sports Development and the Lujiazui Management Bureau. The competition received certification as a major international and domestic sports event from the Municipal Sports Bureau.

The event's ambassador, International Olympic Committee Vice President Juan Antonio Samaranch, sent a congratulatory video message, expressing his regret for not being able to be present at the event and wishing every athlete to enjoy the excitement of vertical marathon. He said, "When you stand on the starting line, you are already a winner." Juan Antonio Samaranch has been the ambassador of the Shanghai Tower  Vertical Marathon for the past five years since 2018. This time, he gladly accepted the invitation to continue serving as the event's ambassador for another five years.


Leading the way were Olympic champion and famous table tennis player Wang Liqin, and renowned football player Li Yan. The event offered a total of 2,000 spots for participants and included three categories: individual full marathon, team relay marathon, and individual fun run. The participants came from 25 countries worldwide, including Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, with many top international vertical marathon athletes ranking in the top ten globally. The athletes passionately started their run, experiencing the pulse of the Shanghai Tower  up close, ultimately aiming to conquer the peak of Shanghai. Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland, who won the inaugural Shanghai Tower  Vertical Marathon in 2017, claimed the men's championship by reaching the top in 18 minutes and 4 seconds. The women's championship went to Valentina Belotti from Italy, who completed the race in 21 minutes and 1 second. The top three teams in the relay race were Blue Flame Orange Light, Guardian Vanguard, and Xinsu Run Team 1.


To motivate and encourage the active participation of Chinese athletes, the event also included the selection of "Outstanding Chinese Athletes," aiming to attract more exceptional Chinese athletes to participate in this sport. Zeng Wenbo in the men's category and Jian Muhua in the women's category were awarded as "Outstanding Chinese Athletes." They achieved 4th place in the men's category and 6th place in the women's category, indicating significant improvements in Chinese athletes' performance compared to previous years.

Vertical marathon is a special type of marathon event that has been held in various locations worldwide in recent years. Its popularity and coverage have been increasing, making it an internationally popular fitness activity that transcends age, gender, and limitations of venue, time, and weather. The Shanghai Tower  Vertical Marathon was established in 2017 as an independent branded event created by the Shanghai Tower . Its scale and international influence have been growing each year, and it has received three authoritative certifications. It is recognized as the highest level "TowerRunning240" event by the Tower Running World Association (TWA) in terms of event points. It also holds the records for the highest race in TWA history and the highest building in which the TWA event has been held. It is the largest-scale, highest-point-scoring, and highest-building-hosted top-level event worldwide. Since 2018, the vertical marathon event has been repeatedly certified as a major international and domestic event by the Shanghai Sports Bureau.

As a new form of sports, vertical marathon represents the power of upward climb, openness, vitality, and the vivid embodiment of the spirit of sports. In the future, the Shanghai Tower will continue to improve the event's organization and level, showcasing a higher level and more international standard of competition. It will provide full support for the development of the sports industry, contribute to the construction of a sports powerhouse, demonstrate the city's culture and soft power, and actively contribute to Shanghai's goal of becoming a global sports city and China's vision of becoming a sports powerhouse by 2035.


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