WITC at Bieg na Szczyt 2014

WITC at Bieg na Szczyt, 15th March 2014

On Saturday 15th March WITC reached new heights as it took on a somewhat unusual event – the Bieg na Szczyt tower run at Rondo 1, Warsaw. Participants had to run up the 37 (yes THIRTY-SEVEN!) floors of the building. Spaces are limited in this event but 7 WITC’ers were eager (or naive) enough to sign up before registration closed after just half an hour.

It's a long way up...

It’s a long way up…

And so, on Saturday morning, Andy Mossop, Maciek Szymanski, Alan Parsons, Juan Murphy, Tristan Sakura, Xiaopeng Shen & Jorge Del Rio arrived at the bottom of this huge building to take on the 37 floors. There had been much talk of tactics in the run up to the event, whether to use both railings, both hands or just one side and one hand. Andy and Maciek had done the event the previous year but for the rest of the competitors this was completely new territory. There was a great atmosphere on the day with lots of TV crews and photographers, there was also an event for firemen & women (running up the steps in full gear!) while furthermore the race was part of the Towerrunning World Cup, with the cream of the world tower running elite also coming to Warsaw to take on WITC, um I mean the tower 😉

Juan was the first WITC’er to start while Jorge was the last to attack the steps around 2 hours later. In between the others all made their way up the crazy course: Alan, Kasia, Tristan, who even slowed Maciek up on the stairs just enough so that he wasn’t the fastest WITC’er, Andy and Shen. Every one of them admitted it was one of the toughest events they’d ever done! But that just made the feeling of reaching the top all the more rewarding :)


“…there’s a lot of crazy people out there who enjoy a horrendous challenge…”

Andy Mossop: “I lied to some others from WITC and told them that this is a really fun event that you have to try. It’s so much fun that the places go within under an hour. It’s not fun at all, it’s just that there’s a lot of crazy people out there who enjoy a horrendous challenge. So I guess I deserved to get my ass kicked this time. My heart rate was up to 200 bpm in record time and averaged at 193, so I can’t say I wasn’t trying, it’s just really tough! Despite all that, even though I coughed for hours at the end, even though it doesn’t feel like my beloved running, I’ll probably do it again next year and hopefully with a group of unsuspecting friends or nutters.”



Photo courtesy of Szymon Starnawski

Jorge full of concentration before the start. Photo courtesy of Szymon Starnawski

Jorge Del Rio: My vision of the Rondo ONZ 1 race is that it’s a challenge. One of the problems I’ve had since starting running, one year ago, has been the ‘what-else’ syndrome. Once you run 10 km, 21 km and even a marathon it’s not easy to find new motivation. In this regard, this tower event is a totally different race. For me it was the most explosive activity I’ve ever done. I think my heart rate was through the roof the whole time. But it was over soon, and the feeling of being at the top of the building saying – I climbed it in this time! – is priceless. I will do it again, at least once, and then I look for another challenge. Perhaps a higher building… 😉

It was actually quite hard not to sprint the first few floors with the adrenaline going and the desire to finish as quickly as possible

Tristan Sakura: “I basically speed-walked the whole way, using the 2-hands on the same railing technique, trying to keep a constant pace the whole way. I knew that running up stairs makes me tired after 4 or 5 flights, so I didn’t want to go too fast at the start. However, it was actually quite hard not to sprint the first few floors with the adrenaline going and the desire to finish as quickly as possible. Plus I wanted to look good for the camera on the 10th floor. I was able to keep a pretty good pace the whole time to finish at 5:33, kicking Andy’s ass in the process (although Maciek passed me around the 20th floor). Luckily i didn’t feel like puking at all, but 7 hours after the race, I’m still coughing! Overall it was a fun “run”, a very intense few minutes!”


While finishing in itself was a very impressive feat, WITC also put in some incredible times, with both Alan and Maciek finishing in the top 50 (which includes the elite athletes!) – you can view the full results here.

View the full club photo album of the event here


Three coughs for WITC

Three coughs for WITC!




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