Vertical marathons, or skyscraper races, have become an increasingly popular alternative to standard competitions. On August 3, China will be hosting their first skyscraper race in Beijing. The second-tallest building in the city, the China Wold Trade Center Tower 3, and its 2,041 steps, will be the site of the first-of-its-kind race. Hosted by the International Skyrunning Foundation, the China race will bring runners from ten different countries to trek up the 82-story tower. With cash prizes on the line, runners will start at the tower's lobby and finish on its rooftop.

Unfortunately, it's too late to take part in China's debut race, but there are many other options out there. Dick's Sporting Goods hosts the Step up For Cancer race on August 11. Later that month, the CF Climb goes down in Raleigh, NC. In September, the National Vertical Marathon kicks off in Asia Square. The National MS Society "Climb to the Top" takes place on March 2, 2014 in New York City. Just weeks later, Big Climb Seattle begins its ascension on March 23.

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[Runner's World]

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