Posted on November 13, 2018

With more than 300 contestants taking part, Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) successfully concluded the seventh edition of the Aspire Torch Staircase Run (ATSR 2018) on Saturday, 10th of November. The event involved participants of all ages and backgrounds as well as representatives from various entities and organizations in Qatar.

British contestant Andrew Jones was awarded first place in the male category (ages 18 – 99) reaching the top in seven minutes and two seconds & Katerina Matousova from the Czech Republic was awarded first place in the female category (ages 18 – 99) with a time of 9 minutes 11 seconds. A corporate relay race was added to proceedings for the first time this year and proved hugely popular. This comprised teams from Aspire Zone Foundation, the General Directorate of Civil Defence from the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and Qatar Gas. The Civil Defence team secured first place reaching the 51st floor in a winning time of 8 minutes and 26 seconds.

In this year’s (ages 8-11) junior category, participants raced to the 15th floor. Liam Wilson secured first place in the male category with a time of 2 minutes 49 seconds, while Aisha Al-Maaded earned first place in the female category with a time of 3 minutes 40 seconds. The (ages 12-14) junior male category was won by Ambroise Lion with a time of 5 minutes 30 seconds, and Rasha Kalandan won the female with a performance of 6 minutes and 14 seconds.

The (ages 15-17) junior male category was taken by Oliver Guest with a time of 7 minutes and 37 seconds, and Tessa Haynes won the female with a performance of 10 mintues and 50 seconds.

Commenting on this year’s event, Mr. Abdullah Al Khater, Events Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation, said: “We’re proud that Aspire Torch Staircase has proven to be a great success yet again, with all our participants demonstrating real spirit and determination. The competition is designed to appeal to people from across the community and encourage individuals to enjoy this unique event and adopt active lifestyles. Such an event is the perfect embodiment of AZF’s mission – to enhance sports performance.”    

Commenting on his team’s involvement in this year’s event, Mr. Harib Al-Suwaidi, Head of EMS operations at Qatargas said: “This is an incredible initiative by Aspire and the ideal event for encouraging individuals to adopt healthy, active lifestyles. In our organisation, we have more than 200 fire-fighters, but we came to participate at Aspire Torch Staircase having carefully selected five to represent us. We’re very happy with our performance. I extend my utmost gratitude and appreciation on behalf of my team to the organizers of the event for all that they have done and look forward to participating in many more.”

Kuwaiti Coach, Essa Embelish, said: “This is not the first time that I’ve participated in events taking place in Qatar. I previously took part in the ‘Esrar’ race last February which was equally fantastic. I would fully recommend the Aspire Torch Staircase Run to sports enthusiasts as well as those who are simply looking to try a new activity. It’s a huge amount of fun as is clearly evident from the reactions of those people who took part.” Andrew Jones, winner in the male category, expressed delight at the result, commenting: “I’ve trained very hard for this race and I’m keen to encourage as many other people to take part as well. I’m really happy that in this year’s race I managed to improve my performance and reduce the time I took to reach the top.”

First-place winner in the female category, Katerina Matousova, commented: “This is the second time that I’ve participated in the Aspire Zone Torch Staircase Run. I managed to practice just three times prior to the event, so I’m especially pleased with my performance.” Winner in the junior category, Aisha Al-Maaded described how happy she was with her achievement and outlined her extensive training programme developed in readiness for the competition. She commented: “With determination and tenacity, little people can achieve big things.”

Meanwhile, AZF reserved a dedicated Fun Zone for families that offered a range of food and beverage outlets, taekwondo, Yoga and kickboxing shows and a Kids Area including fitness demonstrations and toy horse rides. The 2018 edition of the ATSR presented sports enthusiasts with a unique endurance challenge as over 300 runners climbed more than 1,300 steps to make it to the 51st floor of the famous 300m tower. The top three contestants in each category were awarded great prizes and the event was supported by the event’s partners and sponsors Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co, Nissan and De Boer.