Winners pose with their medals after the presentation ceremony.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Dubai Holding, announced the winners of the 17th edition of Dubai Holding SkyRun, which took place on Saturday at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, in partnership with the International Skyrunning Federation, Dubai Sports Council and Al Jalila Foundation.
The race was flagged off by Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council.
The race witnessed the participation of hundreds of runners, including 12 teams, 19 international elite runners and 81 female runners. The runners hailed from 40 countries and ranged in age from 16 to 78.
Participants from corporate entities across Dubai included Dubai Holding, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Dubai Chamber and Al Tayer Motors.
A new course record was set by both the fastest female and male elite runners who were crowned world champions in the first ever ISF Stairclimbing World Championships.
In the female elite category, Yuri Yoshizumi of Japan, covered 52 floors of the iconic Jumeirah Emirates Towers in 8 minutes 14 seconds, while the fastest elite male runner, Soh Wai Ching of Malaysia, finished in 6 minutes and 52 seconds. The winning team, First Collection Team B tackled the 1334 steps in only 17 minutes and 14 seconds. The winners were presented with trophies and cash prizes from Dubai Holding.
Giovanni Potenza of Italy, 78 years old and oldest participant, completed the race an incredible four times consecutively, setting another record in the race’s history and breaking his own record – he completed the course 3 times in 2019.
On Saturday, Giovanni completed his first lap in 13 minutes and 49 seconds, his second lap in 15 minutes and 1 second, his third lap in 15 minutes and 56 seconds, and his last lap in 15 minutes and 55 seconds, finishing four laps of the course in 60 minutes and 1 second.
Commenting on the occasion, Huda Buhumaid, Chief Impact Officer, Dubai Holding, said: “Today, we witnessed another successful edition of this long-standing race and as first-ever host to the ISF’s World Stairclimbing Championships. Great results were achieved by both male and female runners, and all participants across the race’s different categories, from every age group and background; they all showed remarkable sportsmanship and eagerness.”
Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation, said: “It gives us great pleasure to celebrate the successful conclusion of our first ever Stairclimbing World Championships at the Dubai Holding SkyRun 2022. Many congratulations to Yuri and Soh, our two new world champions and all the participants who travelled from across the world to take part in this important event in the stairclimbing calendar. We would again like to thank Dubai Holding for hosting this race, and we look forward to the return of the event next year.”
The Dubai Holding SkyRun stands out among the world’s highest skyscraper races and the only official stairclimbing race in Dubai.
Soh, World Stairclimbing Champion 2022 said of his success at the event: “I’m so happy to be in Dubai and claim the title of the first ever Stairclimbing World Champion today, with a new record time. “
Giovanni, the oldest participant at 78 years of age said: “I really enjoyed the race today. In my mind, I was ready to climb the 52 floors of Jumeirah Emirates Towers four times in a row. What is most important in a challenge like this is your mental state – you have to tell yourself, ‘I can do this.’ I was ready to climb 208 flights because I have been training for 250. What really matters is what you eat, training every day and resting. You have to rest hard and rest well. Next year I will do even better.”
Serra, aged 39 from India, who recently had knee surgery and was participating in the Dubai Holding SkyRun for the first time, said, “I think everyone’s got to try this and not be restricted by thinking they can’t do it. It’s usually in our minds. The most important thing is to break through that barrier and just give it a try. You’d be surprised what you can do when you just give yourself a chance – just believe in yourself!”
Maria, aged 22, from Italy, said: “It was my first time doing this. The experience was great, challenging though. You just want to give up but then you’re saying, it’s possible, and you do it and it’s an incredible achievement!”
Proceeds from Dubai Holding SkyRun 2022 are donated to Al Jalila Foundation’s Majlis Al Amal, the UAE’s first cancer drop-in centre and the first-of-its-kind community centre dedicated to the wellbeing of female cancer patients and survivors.
Lamya Gabr, Centre Manager at Al Jalila Foundation’s Majlis Al Amal, said: “To have the support of Dubai Holding and all of the SkyRunners is something very special for all of us. Majlis Al Amal is the first community centre of its kind providing a ‘home away from home’ for female cancer patients and survivors. Our mission is to redefine cancer care in the region, and all of our services are offered free of charge thanks to our dedicated volunteers and the generous support of organisations like Dubai Holding and those who took part today.”