World’s Number 1 signs up with RNLI to take part in the UK’s tallest Tower Run

Lifeboats News Release

The world’s number one Tower Runner, Soh Wai Ching from Malaysia, has confirmed he will be taking part in the RNLI Tower Run in London this October – and already has his sights set on setting a new world record.

Soh Wai Ching at the Empire State Building in New York.

Soh Wai Ching

Soh Wai Ching at the Empire State Building in New York.

The RNLI Tower Run, which takes place on Saturday 22 October, will be the tallest and toughest ever to take place in the UK. The event has already attracted more than 180 competitors who will run, walk or crawl 1,120 steps to the top of 22 Bishopsgate to raise funds towards building a vital new lifeboat station by Waterloo Bridge.

Earlier this month, Soh Wai Ching, who has been ranked world number one since April this year, held his record for the fastest run up the Empire State Building in New York, scaling 1050ft up all 86 floors in just 10 minutes 44 seconds, a two second improvement over his win the previous year.

Soh Wai Ching also holds the record for running up the 104 floors of New York’s One World Trade Center and earlier this year raced up the Cologne Tower in Germany, tackling 39 floors in three minutes 17 seconds – again beating his previous record. He is also the Founder and Vice President of the Malaysia Towerrunning Association.

‘Having Wai Ching take part in the first ever RNLI Tower Run is incredible,’ said RNLI Senior Community Manager Adam Clarke. ‘He is an amazing athlete and it will be extraordinary to see him taking part in our event – he will definitely be the one to watch’!

This will be the first time that a tower run has ever taken place at 22 Bishopsgate and Soh Wai Ching is hoping to set its first ever record. The building holds particular significance for the RNLI as it stands on the very site of the London Tavern where the institution was founded in 1824.

Nearly 200 years after that event, the charity that saves lives at sea is calling on supporters to return to this historic spot to help the RNLI’s busiest lifeboat station – Tower RNLI.

Since opening on the Thames in 2002 the station’s lifeboats have launched more than 9,000 times and saved more than 350 lives, helping not only people in danger on the water, but also those undergoing mental health crises and those trapped on the foreshore.

But now it’s the lifesavers who need the public’s help. As the station celebrates its twentieth anniversary it is now beyond economic repair, so a new state-of-the-art station needs to be built – and running skywards is a great way to help it happen.

‘Our crews are always racing to save lives on the Thames so it would give us a tremendous boost to know supporters are also stepping up to this extraordinary challenge to help us continue,’ said Tower Station Manager Kevin Maynard. ‘It seems really fitting that this event is taking place where the RNLI first started,’ he added.

The event will take place on Saturday 22 October and those making it to the top floors will be treated to incredible uninterrupted views across London. Those taking part will also be able to toast their success at a special reception celebrating their fundraising efforts.

Those wanting to take part in the event runners can sign up using the following link:

bit.ly/TowerPR22

Photos:

Tower 1: Soh Wai Ching at the Empire State Building in New York. Credit Soh Wai Ching

Tower 2: Soh Wai Ching winning the Empire State Building tower run earlier this year: Credit Soh Wai Ching

Tower 3: The RNLI Tower Run will be the tallest one to take place in the UK. Credit RNLI

Tower 4: The location for the Tower Run is hugely significant for the RNLI. It will take place at 22 Bishopsgate – the site of the London Tavern where the institution was founded in 1824. Credit RNLI

Tower 5: The Tower RNLI E-class lifeboat Hearn Medicine Chest. Credit RNLI

Tower 6: The current Tower Lifeboat Station needs replacing with a new state of the art station. Credit RNLI

Note for Editors:

All funds raised from this event will go towards the building of a new Tower Lifeboat Station at Waterloo Bridge.

For safety runners will start in staggered groups of a maximum of 30 runners every 30 minutes. On the day there will be first aid points every five floors and St John Ambulance medics will be in attendance.

The National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck (today known as the RNLI) was founded on 4 March 1824 at a meeting of the London Tavern.

The RNLI has four lifeboat stations on the Thames, Tower, Chiswick, Teddington and Gravesend. They were opened in 2002 following the public inquiry into the Marchioness Disaster of 1989 in which 51 people died when the Thames river boat collided with the dredger Bowbelle.

More information on the history and work of Tower Lifeboat Station and the Appeal be found here: https://rnli.org/magazine/magazine-featured-list/2021/august/tower-appeal

RNLI Media contacts:

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 [email protected] For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

Soh Wai Ching winning the Empire State Building tower run earlier this year

Soh Wai Ching

Soh Wai Ching winning the Empire State Building tower run earlier this year
The RNLI Tower Run will be the tallest one to take place in the UK.

RNLI

The RNLI Tower Run will be the tallest one to take place in the UK.
The location for the Tower Run is hugely significant for the RNLI. It will take place at 22 Bishopsgate – the site of the London Tavern where the institution was founded in 1824.

RNLI

The location for the Tower Run is hugely significant for the RNLI. It will take place at 22 Bishopsgate – the site of the London Tavern where the institution was founded in 1824.
The Tower RNLI E-class lifeboat 'Hearn Medicine Chest'.

RNLI

The Tower RNLI E-class lifeboat 'Hearn Medicine Chest'.
The current Tower Lifeboat Station needs replacing with a new state of the art station.

RNLI

The current Tower Lifeboat Station needs replacing with a new state of the art station.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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