71-year-old Božidar Deodat Krešić from Osijek in Croatia will attempt to set a new world record in December.
Deodat Krešić broke the world tower running (singular stairing) world record back in June this year in Osijek when he ran up 3,600 stairs (240 floors) in one hour and 20 minutes. He eclipsed the old record which was set in Chicago, USA of 2,300 steps and 180 floors.
Now he will attempt to set a new world record on 19 December by running up 4,800 stairs (320 floors).
What makes this feat amazing even more impressive, apart from the extreme fitness at his age, was the fact that he was born with spinal and leg injuries. Several surgeries growing saw him wheelchair-bound, but he was able to achieve a full recovery.
“I was born as a severely physically disabled person: a twisted spine, twisted legs, feet, toes – a form of paralysis. I had my first operation when I was less than a year old and by the first grade of elementary school, I went through a series of surgeries. The doctor said that with a lot of effort I have a chance not to use a wheelchair and that I will be able to walk. In the first semester, I still went to primary school in a wheelchair, which made me very ashamed. It drove me and motivated me to do everything in my power to be able to walk,” he explained to Glas Slavonije, before adding.
“Every step was very painful, but the desire to walk anyway was stronger than any pain I felt then. And I walked and walked, for hours and hours. Every day. I remember knowing how to get up at night and walk around the room for hours. I remember that, and it formed my personality, perseverance without limits. No giving up! I turned my physical flaw into an advantage. I could, and I can now, mentally annul the pain of fatigue and go on and on. It resulted in breaking the record on June 10, 2020, and it will result in a record on December 19, 2020. After all my records and sports results, I will continue to limp because I am physically disabled but I am no longer ashamed of it but rather because of all I am proud of my results and life achievements.”
Deodat Krešić, who founded the Tower running Croatia Association, has been involved in athletics for many years, despite starting to train only in his fifties. On his debut at 55, he won a veteran race and is today a member of the Croatian national veteran team. He was won over 70 medals and has broken 18 different national records.
The sport of tower running is 42 years old with the first race held at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. About 300 official races are held annually under the auspices of TWA, and there are approximately 1,500 both unofficial and unrecognised races also.
His record attempt in December in Osijek will be his last.
“I recently ran a world record of 240 floors and 3600 steps, and on December 19, 2020, I am running for a new record – I want to run 320 floors and cross 4800 steps. This will be my last Run Up race in Croatia. The race can be used as world branding for Croatia. The Osijek-Baranja and Vukovar-Srijem counties have already commented positively on this. I believe that with the help of the tower running race in Osijek, it is a great world advertisement for Croatia, our county, and, of course, our city.
It is important to note that the race itself gives special status to national minorities and emphasises the importance of the protection of national minorities in the Balkans, especially at a time of rising global extreme nationalism and xenophobia. This is also my call for everyone to get involved, but also an example of how we can include sport in preserving identity, culture, linguistic and ethnic diversity,” Deodat Krešić concludes.