Polish athletes - Anna Ficner and Piotr Łobodziński - dominated the Rondo 1 Run Up in the recent years. They both are coming to defend their titles but there is also a strong field of contenders aiming to push them off the top podium spot.
- It is going to be my 8th time at the Rondo 1 Run Up but I can't say I have had enough. I love racing here. It's Rondo 1 where I started my towerrunning journey in 2011 and then I have managed to win the race three times. But it is also here where I faced one of my biggest setbacks, losing the European Championships in 2016 – says Piotr Łobodziński.
The Pole has won it all in the towerrunning sport - including the World Championships and Towerrunning Tour/World Cup (5 times). His biggest rivals in Rondo 1 this year should be Christian Riedl (GER) and Tomas Celko (SVK). Especially taking into account that it is Riedl who took the European Champion title here in Rondo 1 two years ago.
- It is the first time the race has been organized so early in the season, it used to take place in March. We will see how this affects the results – notes Łobodziński.
Three European Championships medallists - Anna Ficner (POL), Iwona Wicha (POL) and Zuzana Krchova (CZE) - headline the woman elite field. Ficner should be considered no. 1 favorite having dominated the competition in 2016 and 2017.
- It's an important race for me although I find towerrunning just an addition to my road running racing calendar – says the reigning European Champion. - My goal is to win. I know many people support me and I do not want to let them down. But it's sports. It's never easy to win and anything can happen - she adds.
Another Polish athlete, Iwona Wicha, aims on repeating her strong performance from 2016, when he finished second in the European Championships:
- It's been two years from my last Rondo 1 appearance. A lot has changed but in a positive way. I got back to towerrunning last autumn and now I just want to get better with every single race. I will do my best and can't wait to compete with the best in the sport – she says.
A total of 36 elite athletes, representing 8 countries, are going to compete in the 2018 Rondo 1 Run Up. Have a look at the elite starting list below.