STAIRCLIMBING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2023. JAPAN HOSTS.  Our SKYRUNNING section bring us the Stairclimbing World Championship in one of Japan’s tallest buildings on Sunday, November 19, 2023.

Competitors will vie for prestigious awards and global championships during the upcoming Harukas Skyrun, marking the fifth installment of this thrilling race. This demanding ascent involves conquering a formidable 1,610 steps, to the observatory situated on the 59th floor of the Abeno Harukas, a towering skyscraper reaching a height of 300 meters in Osaka.

Photo Florentyna Leow





After the inaugural success in Dubai last year, the Stairclimbing World Championships are set to unfold in Osaka, boasting a stellar roster of champions and race winners. Local hero and World Champion Yuri Yoshizumi, who holds the race record and has clinched victory twice.

Welcome to Japan!” she declared. ”I’m very proud that the second Stairclimbing World Champs will be held here in Osaka. Of course, I will do my best to win and update my record. I’m thrilled the event will attract athletes from around the world and hope they enjoy the race and their experience in Japan.

With a total of 1,047 participants, foreign athletes will face fierce competition from Japan. The 2022 Championships saw Japanese dominance on the women’s podium, sending a strong message about the fierce battle for medals.  “I’m very happy that the World Championships will be held in Osaka,” commented Watanabe. “I’m looking forward to compete with rivals from around the world and make it a great event!”

Photo Harukas Skyrun


Italy’s Fabio Ruga, 2022 bronze medallist, added, “I’m really pleased to participate again in the Stairclimbing World Championships. The fact that it’s a one-off makes it all the more significant – a bit like participating in the Olympics! I’m enthusiastic and can’t wait to battle with the strongest international athletes. I hope Osaka will bring me luck to improve last year’s bronze medal.”

In the last edition of the race in 2019, Laura Manninen from Finland placed second and is back aiming for a medal after a recent injury. “I turned 50 in April and my goal was to beat all national age group records from 3,000m to the marathon. Life does not always go as planned and instead of running, I ended up on the doctor’s table to re-attach my hamstring… No races this year I thought, until I got this great chance to come back to the stairs. This is my first test after rehab and I’m so grateful to get this opportunity from four weeks horizontal to the best vertical challenge I could imagine. I will fully enjoy every step on the stairs!”

The elite line-up includes notable names from various countries, such as Yuko Tateishi and Airi Sawada from Japan, last year’s silver and bronze medallists, along with international contenders like Shoki Yajima and Satoshi KatoOmar Bekkali, Belgium; Cristina BonacinaItalyIgnacio CardonaSpainCindy Reid, Australia; Laurence Ball and Aaron Foster, United Kingdom.

Photo Mark Bourne Recordman. ©Sporting Republic

The race will also feature skyrunning mountain discipline runners from ISF member countries, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Montenegro, Portugal and Serbia, who include medallists from the various ISF 2023 World Championships. It will be interesting to see how they will perform indoors against the world’s top stair climbers, but one thing they all have in common is a strong motor and the will to climb sky-high.

The Race

The Abeno Harukas, a towering 300-meter-high skyscraper, will serve as the host venue for the 2023 Stairclimbing World Championships. With the records set at 8’29” by Australian Mark Bourne 2019 and 10’14” by Yuri Yoshizumi 2017. The winners will not only claim gold, silver, and bronze medals but also prestigious World Champion titles. Prize money amounting to €7,000 will be awarded to the top performers.



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