Dubai Holding SkyRun 2019 sets new records in the race’s history

Dubai Holding SkyRun 2019 sets new records in the race’s history

  • Giovanni Potenza of Italy, 75, scales 265 metres of the iconic Jumeirah Emirates Towers three times on row with an average of 13 minutes
  • Dubai Holding’s flagship event for Dubai Fitness Challenge 2019 witnessed record participation; 500 runners, which included 18 international elite runners, 27 teams and 100 female runners
  • Fastest male runner finished in 6.55 minutes and fastest female runner finishes in 8.03 minutes, with an improvement of 13 seconds and 14 seconds respectively
  • The runners spanned 53 nationalities and many age groups, ranging from 16 to 77
  • Race witnessed successful participation of people of determination

Dubai Holding announces the winners of its charitable race, Dubai Holding SkyRun 2019, which took place today at Jumeirah Emirates Towers (JET), in partnership with Dubai Sports Council (DSC), International SkyRunning Federation, Vertical World Circuit, Jumeirah Group and Talise Fitness.

A new course record was set by Piotr Lobodzinski of Poland, conquering 52 floors of the iconic Jumeirah Emirates Towers in 6 minutes and 55 seconds, an improvement of 14 seconds from his time (7 minutes and 9 seconds) in the last edition. Suzanne Walsham recorded 8 minutes and 3 seconds, an improvement of 13 seconds from her time (8 minutes and 16seconds) to complete the 16th edition of the charitable race.

Giovanni Potenza of Italy, 75 years old, completed the race three times consecutively, setting a new record in the race’s history. Giovanni completed his first lap in 12 minutes and 19 seconds, his second lap in 13 minutes and 32 seconds and his last lap in 13 minutes and 10 seconds, averaging 13 minutes overall. Female Hiroko Shinzato of Japan, 75 years old, completed the race in 17 minutes and 13 seconds.

2019 race edition was joined by 27 corporates teams from key companies as well as governmental and semi-governmental organizations including Prime Minister Office of Dubai (PMO), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) DU and RAK BANK.

On this occasion, Amit Kaushal, Group Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Holding said: “We are proud to witness the most successful edition of this long standing race in terms of results achieved by the runners, the number of participants; male, female, locally and internationally, the results put Dubai on the global map of such races”

“On behalf of everyone at Dubai Holding, I would like to congratulate all the participants for an exceptional show of sportsmanship and enthusiasm at this morning’s race. I would also like to congratulate the winners on their remarkable performance, which inspires us all to push our limits, reach new heights and achieve greater success.  I would like to thank our sponsors and partners who believed in this race and contributed generously to its success.”

Commenting on the race, Marino Giacometti, President, International Skyrunning Federation, said: “I’m very pleased that the Dubai Holding Skyrun was won again by the two world champions who, with this victory, will confidently go on to the finals. The Vertical World Circuit athletes did us proud taking most of the top slots. It was great to see so many different countries participating - more than 50 – together with a strong local participation. We’d like to thank Dubai Holding for the excellent organisation and look forward to having the race on the 2020 Vertical World Circuit calendar, the only stop-over in the Middle East - half way between our Asian and European events.”

A record 500 runners kicked off the only official vertical race and one of the very first races during Dubai Fitness Challenge, the campaign marking the city’s most anticipated month of fitness. Covering 1334 steps of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, the 2019 edition of Dubai Holding SkyRun ranks as the world’s 5th highest skyscraper race and the only official vertical race in the Middle East. As part of the Vertical World Circuit, Dubai Holding SkyRun puts Dubai on the map, sharing the stage with the prestigious vertical runs in some of the world’s most popular cities such as New York, London, Paris, Milan, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Osaka and Hong Kong.

The 2019 Dubai Holding SkyRun winners are:






Suzanne Walsham, 45, Australia, 08:03

Piotr Lobodzinski, 34, Poland, 06:55

Aventura, 09:29


Laura Manninen, 46, Finland, 08:48

Emanuele Manzi, 42, Italy, 07:17

KHDA Gladiators 1, 12:26


Huan Wang, 38, China, 08:59

Omar Bekkali, 41, Belgium, 07:59

French Fries, 14:12

Piotr Lobodzinski, three-time Dubai Holding SkyRun champion, said: “I’m really happy to win today’s race with a new record time. My goal was to run below 7 minutes, and I did it, breaking my course record.  I controlled the race, but I also had to push hard and was exhausted on the finish line.  It’s great to be back in Dubai and at the Dubai Holding SkyRun for the third time. It’s a very well-organized race, and I hope to be back again next year.”

Suzanne Walsham, two-time Dubai Holding SkyRun winner, said: “I found the last twenty floors really tough, but I had a bit of lead by that stage, so it was more about maintaining my rhythm, staying strong, focused and climbing as fast as I could to the top.  This is a fantastic event, and in Dubai, there is a big sporting culture so it’s a great place for this well-organized race, and I know the Elite Vertical Runners are very happy to be back here.”

Team Angel Wolf’s Nick Watson, said: “As always, a brilliant event.  This is our third time and for us it’s always going to be hard, but the whole time up the steps Rio was laughing and clapping, and every time I stopped to have a breather he encouraged me to get to the top.  Thank you to Dubai Holding for putting on another great event. We loved it.”

Athlete traveller and individual runner, Dwayne Fernandes, a person of determination, joining the Dubai Holding SkyRun 2019 all the way from Australia, said: “I had a birth defect and was given the choice to amputate both my legs at the age of 11 which I took, and now for 21 years I’ve had false legs which are like my shoes.  As a keen vertical runner, I now participate in a lot of races and want to inspire other people of determination to get involved in this sport.  The Dubai Holding SkyRun is an amazing event and I’m very proud to take part today.”

Individual runner, Janet G of Australia, 58, travelled all the way to Dubai to participate. She said: “I travel the world climbing stairs for social events  and I saw this one in Dubai and I wanted to support because I’m all for fitness challenges. It was great to come here and do the challenge. Thank your for this fantastic event.”

During the awards ceremony, the winners were announced by Dubai Sports Council’s Director of Sports, Khalid Al Awar, who congratulated the winners and awarded the trophies and cash prizes. Marcus Sutton, Managing Director of Jumeirah Emirates Towers oversaw the raffle draw with valuable prizes from the hotel and other race partners.

Talise Fitness, provided support throughout the run to ensure participants’ safety and wellbeing, including an on-site medical and emergency team. Following the race, all participants were greeted at the finish line with refreshments, snacks and celebratory activations, and a special breakfast catered by Jumeirah Hospitality for all participants.

The Dubai Holding SkyRun was proudly sponsored by Arabian Radio Network (ARN), Dubai Duty Free, Du, Fast Relief, Sebamed, Schwarzkopf, Cuckoos, Seawings, Vitamin Well, Tong Ren Tang, and Monviso.

Amit Kaushal, Group Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Holding

We are proud to witness the most successful edition of this long standing race in terms of results achieved by the runners, the number of participants; male, female, locally and internationally, the results put Dubai on the global map of such races