China’s First International Vertical Run at China World Summit Wing, Beijing

11 July, 2013

For our upcoming China trip in August, we will be skipping the trip to the Great Wall of China during our stay in Beijing at Shangri-La’s China World Summit Wing – we have heard of the saying – 不到长城非好汉 (He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man).  Don’t worry about us, we have qualified as 好汉 “good man” a long time ago – in fact we looked pretty 坏汉 badass in our pictures at the Great Wall with our ski masks!

Great Wall of China

If like us, you have been to the Great Wall of China and you are looking for a similar challenge and you happened to be at Beijing on 3 August 2013, the first-ever vertical run in China at the highest hotel in Beijing, Shangri-La’s China World Summit Wing seems like the perfect thing for you.

Beijing will host the first-ever vertical run in China accredited by the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF).  The 330-metre tower in China World Trade Centre (CWTC) has been officially chosen as the China leg of this prestigious worldwide sports competition.  World-class stair climbers, as well as sportsmen, celebrities and the general public, will compete to reach the highest point in the tallest building in Beijing.

China Summit Wing Hotel Shangri-La

Beijing has been selected as an official race for the 2013 Vertical World Circuit (VWC), the world’s first and only skyscraper racing circuit, uniting some of the world’s most iconic skyscraper races, including the Empire State Building Run-Up in New York City.  Runners participating in the VWC will be assigned points based on their results.  The male and female competitors with the total highest scores will be declared world champions at the end of the year.

A group of elite runners from different countries will compete for a money prize, the highest being US$1,000.  The fastest male and female runners from the general public will be awarded trips to the United Kingdom to spend three nights in a suite at the soon-to-open Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London.  Each prize includes a round trip flight ticket from Beijing to London and a three-night complimentary stay with daily breakfast in the most anticipated new luxury hotel in Western Europe’s tallest building.

Other valuable prizes will be given out to competitors in different categories by the sponsors of the Vertical Run.

The elite runners already confirmed to compete in China World Summit Wing Hotel Vertical Run include Australians Mark Bourne and Suzy Walsham.  Bourne won the prestigious Empire State Building Run-Up in New York City earlier this year and is the favourite to be crowned world champion at the end of the year.  Walsham is the reigning world champion and four-time winner of New York City’s Empire State Building Run-Up.  She currently sits atop the women’s world ranking.

Stair climbing, first known as “vertical races” in the 1970s, is now a global sport with stair climbing clubs hailing from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, as well as professional athletes who train year-round to be the first to reach the top of the world’s tallest buildings.  Although still a relatively new sport, stair climbing has quickly caught on among fitness enthusiasts attracted not only by the physical demands of this gruelling sport, but also by the novelty of competing in unique urban settings – the world’s tallest structures, some of which are located in Asia.  The trend has generated Vertical Fitness – a health and wellness project involving stair climbing to benefit a less active public.

According to race organisers,  China World Summit Wing Hotel Vertical Run may be the most challenging race on the VWC this year, taking into consideration the height of the tower and the number of steps.  The tower has 82 floors and 2,041 steps.  The fastest runners, however, are expected to reach the rooftop in less than ten minutes.  Other buildings conquered by runners in 2013 include the iconic Taipei 101 in Taiwan.

Shangri-La’s China World Summit Wing, Beijing is the perfect location for this prestigious sports event as it is the tallest building in China’s capital.  The rooftop of the building, where the race will finish, offers unparalleled bird’s eye views across the whole of Beijing, including the Forbidden City.

All proceeds from the run will be donated to Chinese Rural Kids Care (CRKC) charity.  The charity’s aim is to provide free medical insurance for children from poor families in rural China, creating an opportunity for these children to get medical subsidy and health care.  Registration for the Vertical Run is RMB 80, from which one year’s insurance for one child worth RMB 75 will be funded.  This means every runner will sponsor the health insurance of one child.  RMB 80 (about 10+ Singapore dollars) is very affordable for such a high signature vertical marathon event – running a similar event in Singapore would have cost upwards of 40 to 50 + Singapore dollars!  Furthermore, you get to do your bit for charity – you are essentially running for free and at the same time donating to a charity.  So you can still be a 好汉 even if you are not going to the Great Wall of China 长城!

China World Summit Wing, Beijing is located on the top floors of the capital’s landmark and stands above the China World Trade Centre.  With unrivalled views over the city, the hotel soars 330 metres over the China World complex at the heart of Beijing’s Central business district.  China World Summit Wing, Beijing has 278 guestrooms and suites.

The hotel also features the city’s highest dining and entertainment venues, including six restaurants, two bars and a lounge.  For guest relaxation and recreation, the hotel features CHI, The Spa, Shangri-La’s signature spa brand on Level 77, Beijing’s highest spa retreat.

To learn more about China World Summit Wing Hotel Vertical Run, please visit

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

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