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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Nasreddine, Stephanie win Torch Staircase Run

Great Britain’s Andrew Jones and the Philippines’ Cherryl Aquinonaval win men’s and women’s Masters races.
Winners Of The Mens Open Race On The Podium
Winners of the men’s open race on the podium. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

The eighth edition of the Aspire Torch Staircase Run, organised by the Aspire Zone Foundation, saw an enthusiastic turnout on Friday.

More than 200 men, women and children raced up the hotel’s staircase one by one, as the watching crowd cheered them on.

 Cherryl Aquinonaval Poses With Her Womens Masters Gold Medal
Cherryl Aquinonaval poses with her Women’s Masters gold medal. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

In the end, Tunisia’s Nasreddine Mansour emerged champion in the men’s open race (18 to 39 years) in 8min 26sec, ahead of The Netherlands’ Cornelis Jan Wouter (8:33) and France’s Matthieu Copret (9:16).

“The race was hard, but I’m happy to have bagged the title. I’m a marathon runner and will compete in the Nice-Cannes Marathon on November 3. This was great preparation for it. I really enjoyed the challenge,” Nasreddine told Inside Qatar.

Briton Stephanie Innes-Smith (12:41) won the gold in the women’s open category, followed by Denmark’s Hanna Gildam Clark (12:53) and Tunisia’s Amira Azizi (13:14).

Great Britain’s Andrew Jones (7:22) and Qatar’s Mohammad Al Obaidly (8:23) were a cut above the rest in the men’s Masters (above 40) race. In fact, they were the day’s fastest male runners. Croatia’s Ivo Kovacic (11:19) completed the podium.

Andrew Jones And Ivo Kovacic Celebrate On The Podium
Andrew Jones, centre, and Ivo Kovacic celebrate on the podium after placing first and third in the Masters race. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

“This is the sixth time I’m competing here. I was the open category champion for the last five years, but I turned 40 and hence can only participate in the Masters’ event. Nevertheless, I was the fastest man today,” said Jones a former marathoner, who donned his country’s colours at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

The Philippines’ Cherryl Aquinonaval (14:42) was the fastest woman in the Master’s event. She was followed by Swiss Manuela Pauley (17:02) and Filipino Maria Cecilia Yepes (19:51).

“This is my first-ever staircase run and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. Proper dieting and exercise were the only preparations for the race,” she said.

A relay event was held for different government departments. The Civil Defence team reached the 51st floor first in 10 min 41sec followed by Civil Aviation (10:58) and Qatar Gas (11:31).

While students from the Aspire Academy raced to the top of the tower, there were shorter races for children aged 8 to 11 years.

In a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, 30 per cent of the race’s total registration fees was given to the Qatar Cancer Society.


1. Nasreddine Mansour (TUN)8 min 26sec
2. Cornelis Jan Wouter (NED)8:33
3. Matthieu Copret (FRA)9:16
1. Andrew Jones (GBR)7:22
2. Mohammad Al Obaidly (QAT)8:23
3. Ivo Kovacic (CRO)11:19
1. Civil Defence10:41
2. Civil Aviation10:58
3. Qatar Gas11:31
1. Stephanie Innes-Smith (GBR)12:41
2. Hanna Gildam Clark (DEN)12:53
3. Amira Azizi (TUN)13:14
1. Cherryl Aquinonaval (PHI)14:42
2. Manuela Pauley (SUI)17:02
3. Maria Cecilia Yepes (PHI)19:51
1. Abdul Salam Arif Saleh (YEM)9:58
2. Abdel Moneem Algadi (SUD)10:11
3. Abdalla Nabail Adam (TUN)10:39
1. Nidhal Yehiya (IND)6:14
2. Liam Wilson (GBR)6:26
3. Hassan Shipchandler (USA)8:09
1. Aisha Al Maadeed (QAT)9:26
2. Hanan Erickson (USA)9:41
3. Jenna Khatib (USA)10:01