On May 31, 2013, you can be part of the first ever vertical race to take place in France. The race will happen in Paris's business district, called La Défense, in the Tour First skyscraper. Guests staying at one of the Grands Hôtels Parisiens can experience this brand new concept either as a participant or a spectator.
The event is called VertiGO, and it permits runners to go up 50 floors of the skyscraper Tour First, the highest tower in France. Going all the way up the tower means that runners will reach a summit of 230 meters high. That represents 954 steps that runners need to travel up in order to make it to the top.
The Vertical World Circuit was begun in 2011, and it is an international challenge that brings together similar vertically-oriented races from various countries. VertiGO represents just one of the races that are part of the Vertical World Circuit, which involved five continents.
Those who wish to participate in the race can sign up on the VertiGO website. Even those who do not wish to run can still enjoy the VertiGO Village that will be set up at the bottom of the Tour First. The village will provide wellness spaces, sports and music activities, an open-air bar, and meetings with sports ambassadors from the French NGO 'Sports without Borders.' The wellness space will include massages, physical therapy sessions, reflexology and other relaxation activities.
The VertiGO Village will be open the whole day starting at around noon while the individual race will begin at 5:30 p.m. with waves of 25 runners starting every 10 minutes. For those who are feeling especially giving, there are even opportunities to volunteer and lend a helping hand to make sure that the event runs smoothly.
Participating in or visiting VertiGO is a great opportunity to discover the business district of Paris, an area that often goes undiscovered by tourists.