Rondo 1 Run Up – trial run before the World Championships

Published: Fri, 02/23/2024 - 10:05

On 16 March, Warsaw’s Rondo 1 office building will host the iconic Rondo 1 Run Up. In the 12thedition, the participants will once again run up to the 37th floor of the skyscraper. The start list includes almost all of the world’s top towerrunners, for whom the Warsaw run will be a big test before the World Championships in Taipei in May.

For years, the Warsaw competition at Rondo 1 has been popular among the world’s top athletes in towerrunning, from Europe and beyond. This season, the run fits perfectly into the cycle of preparation for the Towerrunning World Championships, which will be held in the capital of Taiwan on 4 May 2024.

The figures speak for themselves. Nine out of 10 top-ranked competitors have declared their intention to take part in the Rondo 1 Run Up. Among women, the six best runners in the world are on the start list. This will be a real test of strength before the World Championships.

Piotr Jakóbik, spokesman for the competition

The exceptionally strong lineup was also noted by Michael Reichetzeder, founder and sports director of the Towerrunning World Association:

We are looking forward to the next edition of the event held in Rondo 1. From the sports point of view, it is going to be this year’s most important stair run competition in Europe. Among the most elite athletes, there are representatives of 16 countries, including practically all leaders of the world ranking. Moreover, the winner is going to be determined by the total score of two runs, which is a very similar format to the one that awaits the runners at the World Championships.

Michael Reichetzeder, sports director of the Towerrunning World Association

The ranking leader or the old fox?

We can expect a fascinating competition between two grandmasters of towerrunning. In Warsaw, Wai Ching Soh from Malaysia will face Piotr Łobodziński, a 38-year-old from Bielsk Podlaski, Poland, who may no longer dominate the towerrunning rankings but whose physical condition is still excellent, allowing him to compete against the best athletes in the world. This season, he has one paramount goal: to defend his title as the world champion.


My number one goal for this season is obviously the World Championships.The Rondo 1 Run Up fits well in my preparation agenda, so the competition is going to be, for me as for many others, I am certain, an obligatory stop on the way to Taiwan. Last year, I came in second, and this year I hope for a successful rematch.

Piotr Łobodziński

Wai Ching Soh, the current leader in the Towerrunning World Association’s ranking, also expressed his ambitious goals before the Rondo 1 Run Up.

Last year, I did win, but I was not entirely content with myself. My goal was to beat the course record of 3:27, but I did not make it. I hope to beat the record this time, but I also need to remember to save my strength for the final run. I hope that my current physical condition will allow me to do that.

Wai Ching Soh


Without a doubt, other top runners are also hungry for a win. Fabio Ruga (Italy) has already triumphed in Warsaw twice, and thrives on the staircase of Rondo 1. The start list also includes Ryoji Watanabe (Japan), who came in 4th in last year’s competition. Top Polish towerrunners also hope for a good result, including Paweł Ruszała, Mateusz Marunowski, Kacper Mrowiec and Daniel Koszykowski. 

Europe versus Asia

The competition among women is going to be equally interesting. Last year’s Rondo 1 Run Up winner, Valentina Belotti (Italy), will face the current leader of the world ranking, Verena Schmitz (Germany). 

The 2023 season was very successful for me. Now I am additionally motivated and excited about the run at Rondo 1. It is going to be my first run this year. I feel that my condition is fine, and I will do everything I can to reach the podium of the competition again.

Verena Schmitz


Two of the strongest Polish female athletes, Iwona Wicha and Klaudia Krajewska, have announced they are going to take part as well. The competition will also be fierce among the participants from Asia, especially with Yuko Tateishi (Japan) and Qinghua Le (China). For Qinghua Le, this will be her first run at Rondo 1 

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