We Climbed 59 Floors in One of the Tallest Buildings in the Philippines for the Manila Vertical Run 2019!

Words by Meldrick Tin

Photos by Joshua Go

Fun runs are a great cardio workout for people who want to lose weight and drop calories. In Metro Manila, a lot of fun runs are organized as great bonding experiences for families and friends alike. However, have you ever heard of a fun run where instead of running horizontally, you run vertically?


The first of its kind, the Manila Vertical Run 2019 is a stair-climbing race where you get to climb 59 floors and race to the top of Shangri-La at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City, one of the tallest skyscrapers in Metro Manila!

(ALSO READ: 3 Helpful Tips on How to Conquer the Manila Vertical Run 2018)

Now on its 4th year, the Manila Vertical Run 2019 partnered up with Kerry Sports Manila to give racers the most unique fun run experience ever. Prior to the day of the race, they gave us our singlet, and a race bib with a timing chip, which indicated our starting time and starting position. Before the race, warming up is highly encouraged to physically and mentally prepare ourselves for the challenge. Luckily, instructors and coaches alike led the group with a few stretching and warm-up drills.


The race is divided into four categories, but I participated in the full challenge, which entails that I had to run starting from the 2nd floor of the building, which is the starting line, up until the 59th floor, which is the penthouse of Shangri-La at the Fort.


Honestly, I may have underestimated the difficulty of this challenge, because even though climbing stairs is an everyday activity we tend to do, racing while climbing stairs is not. Personally, I found it really challenging—not to mention pressuring, too. Watching the other runners race ahead of you really pressures you, but if there’s one thing I learned, it’s to focus on yourself and not on anybody else. All on your own pace.

(RELATED: 5 Things I Learned from My First Ever Vertical Run)

There were a lot of times in the race that I felt like quitting or giving up because of how challenging it was, but I’m glad I didn’t stop. For next year’s runners, if you have to take a break, stop, and if you have to catch your breath, rest for a while. There are a lot of hydration stations on the way up as well. Yes, I know it’s a race. But if you just push yourself to the limit, chances are that you’ll just have a harder time in the long run.


Once I got to the penthouse of the hotel, it felt surreal to have finally climbed my way to the top. Even though I only got a time of 0:16:37, which was far from the record time holders, I still felt like a winner, as I got to witness the beautiful skyline of Metro Manila. The climb was really exhausting, excruciating even. But being able to conquer what seems like an insurmountable challenge feels really fulfilling. To commemorate our victory, they each gave us a finisher’s medal and a certificate of achievement. Yay!

(RELATED: Come in Your Wackiest Costume in this Fun Triathlon this September)

Ready for next year’s Vertical Run? Share it with us in the comments section below!