VWC - Dold and Belotti Vietnam winners
Germany's Thomas Dold crossing the finish line in Vietnam.  Photo: vikhoaReigning world champion Thomas Dold of Germany and Italy’s Valentina Belotti won the inaugural Bitexco Vertical Run in Vietnam on Sunday, October 30, a trial in the Vertical World Circuit which unites some of the world’s most iconic skyscraper races.

Unchallenged in a field of 500 competitors, Dold set the overall fastest time in 4’ 51” up the 1,002 steps of the Bitexco Financial Tower - Ho Chi Minh City’s tallest building at 178 metres. Italy’s Emanuele Manzi of Italy was second, 36 seconds behind, clocking 5’ 27” and local runner Nguyen Ngoc Quang came third in 5’30”.

Today marks Dold’s fifth outright victory on the Vertical World Circuit, placing him at the top of the ranking after Italy’s Fabio Ruga, absent today.  Belgian Omar Bekkali, fifth today, moves up to third position.

The Bitexco Financial Tower, Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamTwenty-seven year old Dold commented: ‘This is my first time in Vietnam, so I am very happy to have come here and win this great challenge in such a beautiful city. The highlight is the fantastic view over Ho Chi Minh City’s at the finish line, makes the whole effort worthwhile. I’m definitely looking forward to coming back for next year’s race.’

In the women’s division, Valentina Belotti climbed to her third win of the year, finishing in 6’19” and beating reigning world champion, Melissa Moon from New Zealand by 15 seconds. Bridget Robertson of New Zealand finished third in 6’59”.  With Italy’s Cristina Bonacina (absent today) maintaining the ranking lead, Belotti now moves up to second place and Moon takes third.  

Vietnam’s first vertical run was selected as a trial race for the 2011 Vertical World Circuit, the world’s first and only skyscraper racing circuit uniting some of the most challenging skyscraper races in eight capitals across four continents.  They include the Empire State Building Run-Up, London’s Vertical Rush, Milan’s Vertical Sprint and the Taipei 101 Run-Up (the world’s second tallest building). This year, trials were introduced to further extend this compelling sport in another seven countries, from the Americas to the heart of Europe and the Far East.  

The Vertical World Circuit stays in Asia for the second last race of the year with Singapore’s Swissötel Vertical Marathon on November 20th.  The Circuit final will take place in San Paolo, Brazil on December 3 with the Nestlé Corrida Vertical where the world’s top skyscraper racers will contend for the prestigious 2011 Vertical World Circuit Champion title and the $ 6,000 prize purse.

The World Champion titles are awarded by the International Skyrunning Federation, the governing body of this new exciting and fast-growing discipline.
See www.skyrunning.com and www.verticalrunning.org for rules, ranking and info.

Bitexco Vertical Run race results:

1st: Thomas Dold – Germany: 4 minutes 51 seconds
2nd: Emanuele Manzi – Italy: 5 minutes 27 seconds
3rd: Nguyen Ngoc Quang – Vietnam: 5 minutes 30 seconds

1st: Valentina Belotti – Italy: 6 minutes 19 seconds
2nd: Melissa Moon – New Zealand – 6 minutes 34 seconds
3rd: Bridget Robertson – New Zealand – 6 minutes 59 seconds

Full race results and event photos: www.vietnamrun.com

Vertical World Circuit ranking:
Thomas Dold (GER)  - 500 points
Fabio Ruga  (ITA) – 416 points
Omar Bekkali (BEL) – 378 points

Cristina Bonacina (ITA) – 416 points
Valentina Belotti (ITA) – 300 points
Melissa Moon (NZL) – 248 points

Vertical World Circuit ranking, rules and calendar:  www.verticalrunning.org