Eureka Tower - Melbourne
Building height: 297m
Elevation gain: 285m
Men’s record: Mark Bourne 7:34 (2013)
Women’s record: Alice McNamara 9:33 (2011)
Australia’s biggest stair race is held every November at Eureka Tower. While officially not the tallest building in Australia (that title currently goes to Q1 in Gold Coast) it is the tallest to roof (excluding the spire). The Skydeck on the 88th floor where the race finishes is the highest viewing area in the Southern Hemisphere.
The race has been operating annually here since 2008.
The race is currently operated by the Fred Hollows Foundation. Entrants are required to raise a minimum amount that goes to the charity.
The race starts at ground level and races to the 88th floor.
The handrail is on the right with stairs turning to the right. The handrail does not wrap around corners.
The bottom few floors have 20 stairs, 14 stairs or 18+2 stairs before getting into the regular pattern of 18 stairs per floor which lasts about 70 floors. The last six floors have 20 stairs per flight with a platform in the middle (ie. 10 stairs, platform, 10 stairs all in one straight flight).
The stair gradient is 68% or 34 degrees.
A wall between the flights means you can’t reach up and around to the next flight of stairs.
There is a very short run from the start line to the start of the stairs and then another very short run at the top to the finish line. There are no transfer sections during the race, just stairs all the way up, making this a very pure stair climbing race.
Competitors in the elite category set off individually in 30 second intervals. Other competitors are usually let go in waves of 4 people every 30 seconds.
Watch the Eureka Stair Climb 2014 video below to see exactly what the stairs are like.
The Towerrunning World Association considers this race the Australian Championships and so it carries more points towards world rankings than other races in Australia.