The first race up the Eiffel Tower in over 100 years took place on Friday 20 March. La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel saw around 60 athletes race up the 1,665 steps of Paris’ most visited monument as fast as possible. And they were fast. Piotr Lobodzinski of Poland won the race in 7minutes and 50 seconds.
As someone who only takes the stairs to my first floor flat because there is no lift, racing up so many steps in under ten minutes seems like the worst kind of endurance test. Indeed, one of the competitors, Madeleine Fontillas-Ronk, was quoted in the press as saying: “It’s worse than a sprint, worse than a marathon and worse than giving birth.”