Loros Tower Run

Review by first time tower runner Shell DillonRedmile

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After a whole year of back to back standard running events the Loros Tower Run appealed to me for something different. At £17 it was really good value so I signed up thinking ‘how hard can it be?’ On arrive, at first glance of St George’s tower in central Leicester my thoughts immediately changed to ‘Eeekkkk what have I done?”

The concept was simple. Run up the 351 steps from the ground floor to the top of one of the city’s most iconic and tallest occupied buildings.

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The race pack that was sent out several weeks prior to the event was informative and also gave training advice. The advice being to attempt to climb the stairs two at a time. With this in mind I planned my training for the event around this tip. I only managed to practiced to a maximum of 50 stairs but I also continued my running mileage and cross trained.

On arrival at the venue I booked in with ease and was made to feel really welcomed. They asked if I had done the tower run before and I replied I hadn’t but I was looking forward to attempting the challenge.

Lots of fellow participants joined me in waiting in the confines of the Premier inn away from the harsh wind and cold weather. I was glad this was an indoor run! As I stood waiting I could hear everyone around going over their plan of action and the do’s and don’ts from those who had run before.

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I got called to go outside and wait for my turn. It was very cold but the conversation from other participants passed the time quickly. I have to say the tower looked huge! I got to the front for my turn but then a competitor arrived late so I was asked to wait. This was fine with me as it gave me time to settle myself nerves.

As I waited the lady behind me said she would be coming for me in 20 seconds. This spurred me into action.
I was counted in (at my scheduled time) ‘3,2,1, go…..

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I set off using my planned two at a time approach. Each floor was 2 sets of roughly 10 steps and had a marshal at every one. At floor 2 the marshal happily advised me I only had 18 flights to go!

My plan was working really well and I felt I was doing okay. By floor 8 my lungs were burning but I overtook two people, one of which had stopped with a marshal to catch her breath.

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By the time I got to 13th floor I was really struggling and felt slightly dizzy. At floor 15 I remember thinking ‘oh my, what am I doing?’, I slowed to a fast walk up to floor 16 and then realised I only had 4 more floors to go. All of a sudden I could hear the lady who said she was going to catch me so I found some extra energy and sprinted to the top.

At the summit I recall a marshal shouting ‘push the buzzer’ which I did with great joy. I had finished! I felt a sense of exhilaration but I was really out of breath, my lungs burnt and I could not stop coughing.

I walked along the corridor to collect my medal and a well earned glass of fizz to find lots of other competitors coughing too. There were tables with snack bars and bottles of water. I took some pictures of the beautiful views across the city.

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Everyone was very bubbly and congratulating one another. As we made our way down in the lift we were all intrigued to find out how we had done. I made my way out and was guided to a van where I could immediately get a print out of my time which was a very pleasing 3 minutes 23 seconds.

I was congratulated on the loud speaker by the announcer as I made my way past which was a nice touch. I was amazed that my legs felt good but my lungs still hurt!

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Overall I would highly recommend this event. It was over quickly but the sense of achievement was high, the atmosphere was really good and everyone was friendly and welcoming. The volunteers were great and the event ran smoothly. I was even told I could run up again at the end if I fancied it. I politely declined decided but hope to give it another go next year.

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Author: Chris Lamb Racing Diary

I am an endurance based athlete participating in events from 800m on the track to ultra trail marathons & obstacle course races. I like to test my strengths over the widest range of events possible at the highest level I can. You can follow me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/chrislambpjr

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