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In preparation for our upcoming CN Tower Stair Climb, champion tower runner and backward runner Thomas Dold graciously answered a few questions for me. Due to his schedule and the fact that Dold lives in Germany, I e-mailed him some questions instead of trying to interview him on the phone. The five-time winner of the Empire State Building Run-Up even added his own bonus sixth question and answer.

Anyone Can Enter: What is the best advice you could give to someone who is just starting tower running?

Thomas Dold: Most important, check if you have any problems with your heart or other organs. Then you just have to start at a low and easy level because, at the beginning, tower running is a very high intensity sport. But, after a few sessions, you can enlarge the training and then you burn a lot of calories in a short time.

Anyone Can Enter: What do you think about while you are tower running?

Dold: Nothing! During a hard training or competition you are not able to think about anything. So it is a very good exercise for someone who likes to forget everything for a while. And after the training, mentally, you also feel very relaxed.

Anyone Can Enter: What’s your favorite tower to run up and why?

Dold: You can’t compare the races. (The Empire State Building in) New York is special for me because I’m the most successful runner at the most popular run. That’s a big honor. And I think the race in Taipei is the most challenging one. You have to be so strong, physical and mental. I really like that.

Anyone Can Enter: Is there a tower (or anything) you haven’t run up that you’d like to run up and why?

Dold: Burj Chalifa (recently built in Dubai, it’s the tallest building in the world). Right now, I (don’t have) an invitation to have a look in the staircase. But looking forward to have a run there. It doesn’t matter if it is a competition or not. I (would) just like to run that unbelievable building.

Anyone Can Enter: Do you ever take elevators? What about escalators?

Dold: I not only studied economics, I’m an economist. So I (don’t) search for half an hour in the shopping mall for the staircase. I take the elevators and escalators you see just when you walk in. Also, for coming down the buildings, I take the elevators after the races. But if I’m in a hurry, probably at the train station, I use my experience and run the stairs and save a little time.

Dold’s bonus question: What would be the strategy for a good race?

Dold: DON’T push too hard at the beginning. Just start slow because the race will be much longer (than) you ever can expect. So if you have power enough in the last 15 floors there is enough time to use that energy. But if there is no power left, you will lose a lot of time and it will get much harder.

To learn more about Dold, visit his personal Web site. You can also become his fan on Facebook.

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