Need to shake off the cobwebs between two meetings? For an alternative to jogging, try tower-running. It basically involves climbing the stairs of your hotel or of any public monument in the town… as fast as you possibly can.

Tower-running: what is it?

Tower-running is a booming sport that involves climbing several hundred steps with the aim of reaching the top of the tower or building as swiftly as possible. But is it fun or folly? Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but there’s no denying it’s an activity with a growing number of practitioners and competitions worldwide. Indeed, the Towerrunning World Association already lists some 140,000 athletes who have shot up the stairs as part of over 250 events in 55 different countries.

Tackling the most iconic towers

By way of anecdote, it’s the legendary Empire State Building in the United States which played host to the very first race back in 1978. The runners there were faced with a daunting 1,576 steps spanning 86 floors. And more recently? A whole host of prestigious monuments in many of the world’s great cities have since got in on the act: the Eiffel Tower (Lien ENG : http://verticaletoureiffel.fr/) (1,665 steps), the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi (1,617 steps), the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China (2,601 steps), Taipei 101 in Taiwan (2,046 steps) and the Sheraton (Lien NL : www.unicef.be/fr/stairclimbing-race-unicef/) in Brussels (466 steps).

Adapting it for business travel

This activity may be ideally suited to hardened runners, but you don’t have to match the incredible speed and stamina of champs like Piotr Lobodzinski, for example, who reached the top of the Eiffel Tower in less than 8 minutes! Tower-running can be practiced at your own pace, according to your individual level of fitness. The benefits are manifold: working the heart, honing the six-pack, toning the thighs, buttocks and calves… It’s also very easy to find somewhere to do tower-running – even on business trips – as steps are never in short supply: whether it’s in the alley at the end of the road, in your hotel’s emergency stairwell, on the terraces of a public stadium… Just take a pair of good quality running shoes in your luggage and you’re sorted! So, will the sky be the limit for you?