At the top, no changes - Wai Ching Soh and Valentina Belotti remain the fastest in Rondo 1

Published: Mon, 03/18/2024 - 13:31

Malaysian Wai Ching Soh and Italian Valentina Belotti emerged victorious in this year's Rondo 1 Run Up in Warsaw, defending their titles from the previous year. The best among the Polish participants – Klaudia Krajewska and Piotr Łobodziński – secured third and fourth positions respectively.  
During the event, over 41,000 PLN was collected for the beneficiaries of the SOS Children's Villages Association in Poland.

As announced, almost 600 athlete lined up at the start of the XII Rondo 1 Run Up, including practically the entire elite of the male and female Towerrunning World Association rankings.

The races were traditionally kicked off by amateurs who had to conquer 38 floors of the office building at Rondo ONZ in Warsaw. Thanks to them, the race organizers annually contribute to the beneficiaries of the SOS Children's Village in Kraśnik. All proceeds from the registration fees go there, amounting to over 41,000 PLN this year. Throughout the history of the Run to the Top of Rondo 1, the total amount collected reaches 350,000 PLN!


Eventually, the athletes from the so-called sports elite, those who compete in similar stair races worldwide and vie for points in the global rankings, took action. Their challenge was even tougher because they had to conquer the 38 floors of the Rondo 1 building twice – with around a 30-minute break between the first and second ascent. This amounts to almost 1700 stairs to conquer!

The favorite, the leader of the world rankings Wai Ching Soh from Malaysia, did not disappoint as he won the race for the second consecutive year: 

I'm a bit disappointed with my performance in the first series. I aimed for the course record, which has been held here by Piotr Łobodziński for 10 years with a time of 3 minutes and 27 seconds. In the end, I ran 3:39, which is far below my expectations. However, I'm glad I was able to maintain a steady pace in both series, which allowed me to win with a fairly safe margin.

Wai Ching Soh

The Malaysian achieved a total time of 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Behind him, there was a fierce battle for second and third place. Emerging victorious was the Japanese Ryoji Watanabe – currently the second-ranked athlete in the world – who, with a time of 7:30.82, beat the two-time winner of the Run to the Top of Rondo 1, the Italian Fabio Ruga, by just under half a second.


Outside the podium this time was the Polish veteran and still the reigning world champion in stair racing – Piotr Łobodziński

I don't remember the last time I missed the podium in tower running competitions, but I have to consider that for the past 6 weeks, my training has been severely limited due to a torn plantar fascia. Taking this into account, such a result was to be expected, so I'm not disappointed.

Piotr Łobodziński

The top "five" was closed by another Pole, Paweł Ruszała, and another Polish representative finished in the TOP 10 – Mateusz Marunowski (8th place).

However, we could enjoy the podium positions in the women's competition, where Klaudia Krajewska finished third.

The result exceeded my expectations before the race. I am very happy, although I feel that in the second series, I could have done more.

Klaudia Krajewska

For our runner, this is her first podium in the Run to the Top of Rondo 1. However, she had to acknowledge the superiority of two excellent stair runners. The Italian Valentina Belotti, who won by a fraction of a second last year, left no illusions for her rivals this time, triumphing with a total time of 9:50.99. In second place stood the ranking leader, German Verena Schmitz (10:08.95).

I wanted to run a bit faster, below 5 minutes in one series, but it didn't happen. However, I'm glad to be back on the podium at Rondo 1, among the best female athletes in the world. Congratulations to everyone who reached the top today.

Verena Schmitz

In the OPEN classification dedicated to amateurs, the fastest were Dominika Ostrowska and Jarosław Górecki. The full race results can be found here.

The official sponsor of the Run to the Top of Rondo 1 is Franklin Templeton, a global leader in asset management and also one of the tenants of the Rondo 1 office building. 

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