The sixth edition of the Aspire Torch Staircase Run 2017 – organised by Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) – concluded recently with around 300 community members taking part. The challenge, which was held in partnership with the iconic Torch Doha Hotel at Aspire Zone, saw large numbers of expats and locals of all ages enjoy friendly competition during the run up to the top of the Torch Doha Hotel. The runners were divided into four categories: Juniors (16-17 years old), Open category (18-39 years old) and Veterans (40 and older), along with a category dedicated to hotel waiters and waitresses who wished to take part.
This year’s competition was the ultimate challenge of endurance, as runners climbed more than 1300 steps to the 51st floor of the 300 metre tower, racing to be named Qatar’s fastest stair climbers and win cash prizes.
Andi Jones won first place in the open male category for the second consecutive year. Katerina Matousova was awarded first place in the open female category. Andrew Buckley earned first place in the male veteran category, while Carmel Lord earned first place in the female category. In the male junior category, Oliver Guest earned first place with an impressive time of 9 minutes 31 seconds. Hallie Harris earned first place in the female junior category with a time of 11 mins 46 seconds. In the Waiter/Waitress Challenge, Khagendra Bharati came in first place with 11 minutes 9 seconds.
Several officials from Aspire Zone Foundation and the Torch Doha Hotel were present to witness the closing ceremony and present prizes to the winners.
AZF Events Manager Abdullah Al Khater said he was very proud of all the participants and that he was delighted to see many community members, both locals and expats, participate in an event that so effectively promote active and healthy lifestyles in Qatar. He added that the Torch Staircase Run has become an important part of the year-round schedule of events that Aspire Zone Foundation organises. Winner Andi Jones praised the race and expressed his enthusiasm at being able to participate in such an innovative event.
This year’s competition also saw a big number of Qatari participants, compared to previous years. Thamer Al Kuwari, an active member of Aspire Zone’s year-round activities and among the Qataris who took part in the race said he was hoping to break his previous record. It was the fourth time that he joined the race.
To guarantee safety and fairness, contestants were required to leave space for each other during the race and were not allowed to run in groups to avoid clashes. Any contestant requiring medical assistance or wanting to forfeit the race, can approach the medical staff and counselors located every five levels on the course. Aspire Zone Foundation also set up a fun zone for children, so the whole family could attend and support their champions.
The Run was awarded official Grand Prix status in 2015 as one of the top international tower running competitions, on par with the Empire State Building Run-Up in New York, USA and Berlin Sky Tower in Germany.
More information about Aspire Zone Foundation’s year-round list of activities can be found on lifeinaspire.qa and via the organisation’s official social media channels.