On Saturday morning elite athletes will race up and down the 525 vertical feet of the Calgary Tower, vying to become champions of the only Premium race event in Canada recognized by the Towerrunning World Association.

Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) and The Calgary Tower have invited international top athletes to participate in a “Power Hour.” This Power Hour adds a new dimension to the 24th annual Climb and Run for Wilderness, one of Calgary’s premiere Earth Day events.  During the Power Hour, 13 of the world’s best stair-climbing athletes from Canada, the U.S. and Germany will be competing to see how many circuits of the tower’s 802 steps they can complete in one hour.

These athletes are ranked according to the Towerrunning World Cup. Established in 2009, the World Cup is the worldwide recognized ranking for competitive stair climbers. Events take place from Dubai to Beijing to Vienna. AWA and the Calgary Tower are proud to host one of the premiere World Cup qualifying events, and the only one in Canada.

Participants include Calgary favourite Jonathan Heinz, who last year won the endurance climb event with an astonishing 28 ascents of the tower and went on to compete at the World Cup Final event in Austria. Shannon Magee, another Calgary favourite, will be back this year challenged by 3 other women in the competition for top female competitor.  The event features categories for both men and women, each with a chance to win $500, sponsored by AWA.

A reception for the athletes is being held at the AWA offices (455 – 12th ST NW) from 5pm – 7pm on Friday the 17th of April.

Media are invited to attend both the Friday April 17th reception and the Saturday April 18 event.

About the Climb and Run for Wilderness

The Climb and Run for Wilderness is a premiere community event celebrating Earth Day. It is suited to folks of any athletic ability and of any age from babies in backpacks to 98 year olds. It regularly attracts participants from across North America. We expect more than 1,000 registered participants and in addition many more accompanying parents and supporters to attend. The Climb and Run for Wilderness is a family oriented athletic event which includes major additional components of education about the environment and the creation of public art. A family “fun” climbing event, a corporate team challenge, a 4-hour endurance event, and a serious opportunity to test one’s personal best in the Power Hour are all combined in this Earth Day event. This is the 24th annual climb.