On Saturday, 21 July, the Ostankino Television Tower, the fourth-tallest structure in the world and the tallest in Europe, is to host an international tower-running marathon for the first time in 18 years, with track-and-field athletes from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Croatia, Ireland, Malaysia, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Mexico, Georgia and Russia dashing to an altitude of 337 metres. Valentin Karzanov from Vladimir, who placed second in the prestigious international tower race in Dubai and scaled a 42-storey skyscraper, will represent Russia.
“The competition will include 29 athletes from 12 countries. They’ll climb 1,704 steps up a narrow spiral staircase inside the tower before reaching an observation deck 337 metres above the ground,” the PR and Media Relations Department of the Moscow Regional Centre (Ostankino Television Tower), a subsidiary of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS), said in a statement.
The tower race is scheduled for 11 am. A free fan zone with a media screen, seats and cold beverages will open near the main floor. Supporters will be able to watch the race and cheer on the Russian athlete. Sport dancing workshops will also be offered for anyone interested. Fans will receive coupons allowing them to buy observation-deck tickets at a ten percent discount.
According to the RTRS press service, Russia’s Tatiana Sheigas won the 2000 race, scaling the tower in just 11 minutes and 55 seconds.
The Ostankino tower race is co-sponsored by the Tower-Running World Association (TWA) and the World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT). Athletes scale skyscrapers all over the world, climbing hundreds of steps and convincing everyone that nothing is impossible, and that the sky is the limit.
The 540-metre Ostankino Tower that opened on 5 November 1967 was the world’s tallest structure at that time. Today, it is topped by skyscrapers in Dubai, Shanghai and New York. But it remains the highest structure in Russia and Europe. In 1967, the tower supported four new television and three radio broadcasting channels, and it now broadcasts over 40 television and radio channels.