The first known “Tower Race” was held in France in 1905. Over a hundred years later, the popularity of “Tower Running” is growing fast.
CGTN’s Alasdair Baverstock met the Mexican national team to see if he could give them a run for their money.
“It’s a new sport which has been booming here. Running five or ten kilometer flat circuits has become rather boring. So this new sport is interesting to people, not only for the exercise, but the chance to be inside iconic towers which aren’t accessible to everyone,” Roberto Velasquez, Mexico’s Tower Running Association President explained.
Mexico’s tower runners, who train in the capital’s skyscrapers, have made their mark on international competition after only four years active in the sport, the country’s national team is ranked sixth in the world.
Maria Elisa Lopez is a member of Mexico’s national team and is currently ranked fourth in the world. She has competed in China, Europe, and throughout the Americas.
“I prefer running vertically to horizontally, for me it’s a greater challenge,” Lopez said. “You run alone almost always, which makes you internalize your thoughts, and concentrate more on your stamina, on your body and heart rate, and you have to push yourself to the maximum.”
The runners, who shout encouragement to one another as they train, say they were born to run.
These athletes train at over 2,200 meters above sea level, and with some of the tallest skyscrapers in Latin America. They say that the favorable conditions here have given them an added edge on the tower running world circuit.
“We’re rising quickly up the world rankings, we’re in great position because we have a great team. It’s the teamwork that allows us all to improve and reach the top levels together,” Alexis Trujillo of Mexico’s Tower Running National Team said.
Mexico’s tower runners will compete in the world championships in Bogota in December. With the altitude on their side, they say they’re aiming higher than ever before.