SIBU: His international ranking will certainly send shivers down the spine of any local tower runner.
But that did not stop Asia No. 1 and World No.2 tower runner, Soh Wai Ching, from issuing a challenge to participants at the Sibu Tower Run 2020 to beat him.
"If local runners cannot beat me, they should at least, if they can, be on par with me," he said at a press conference on Thursday (Dec 19).
Soh, who is the run's ambassador for the second time, has won the event twice in 2017 and 2018.
He clocked 21 mins 41 secs in 2017 before improving that feat with a time of 20 mins 56 secs a year later.
According to Soh, his purpose of issuing the challenge was because he wanted to unearth potential top tower runners so that he could form a team to compete in tower runs around the world.
On Wednesday, Soh completed his test run at Wisma Sanyan, the tallest building in Sarawak with 28 floors, by clocking 2 mins 58 secs from ground floor right to the top.
He was able to complete the run in under three minutes as he was running according to the event's new format.
Previously participants will have to do a 5km run first before climbing up the 627 steps to the top of Wisma Sanyan.
But for next year's run, the 5km run portion is removed.
The organiser, Methodist Pilley Institute (MPI) Alumni Association, aims to get around 1,000 participants next year, which is a big climb from about 300 the previous years.
Sibu Municipal Council plays the host for the event, which will take place at 6am on Mar 8.
The run is sanctioned by Malaysia Tower Running Association and is also listed as an event in the Sarawak Tourism calendar.
Meanwhile organising chairman, Councillor Mohammed Abdullah Izkandar urged the public to take the challenge by competing in the run.
"Be part of tower running community and let's show that we too can reach the top of the tallest building in Sarawak," he said adding that entry is still open to interested participants.
The run is divided into four categories, which are the Men's and Women's Open along with the Men's and Women's Veteran.
The champion in each category stands to receive RM800 plus a trophy.
To register, one has to download JomRun from Google play store or Apple app store.
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