Knackered students who can’t get up for the life of them. Or throwing up in plastic baggies. No, we aren’t talking about your typical student party – we’re at the Zilveren Kruis Trappenloop in the Tinbergen Building. In contrast with last year’s edition, the 38 entrants in the fifth edition of this stair climbing contest, which took place last Wednesday, didn’t set any new records.

“This was heavy going,” says a panting Ka-chun Lo, the winner of this year’s race to the 18th floor. “Your legs get less and less oxygen. Particularly on the last few floors, you can hear your breathing echoing through the stairwell. It sounds like someone’s choking. Fortunately, as a rower, I’m used to lactate build-up. After 2 kilometres on the rowing machine, it always takes you ten minutes to find your bearings too.”

Trappenloop 2017, Tinbergen, Zilveren Kruis 3
Image credit: Joshua Kruter


Ka-chun planned to enter last year’s Trappenloop too, but had to cancel due to illness. “To avoid this from happening again, I had a lot of sugar these past few days and saved my energy.”

The 25-year-old Public Administration student ultimately finished the 350 stairs in 1:43.75. This made him four seconds faster than runners-up Arthur de Ruiter (1:47.45) and Jens Sudmeier (1:47.68). Still, Ka-chun is a bit disappointed. “When I crashed down on the top floor, I immediately checked my watch and saw I hadn’t broken the record. While it’s nice to win, next year I definitely plan to set a new best time.” The current stair climbing record stands at 1 minute and 37 seconds.

Trappenloop 2017, Tinbergen, Zilveren Kruis, Ka-chun Lo 4
Ka-chun zegevierde op de achttiende verdieping Image credit: Joshua Kruter

Taking the crown

Ka-chun took the crown from the 2016 winner Chung Lam. However, 24-year-old Quantitative Finance master student Chung did manage to successfully defend his 10th-floor title by finishing at 51:36 – ahead of contenders Jelte Roelofsma (56:09) and Andrea Pogliano (56:94).

The women’s race was won by Emma Leygnac (2:56.86), who beat out Vera Batelaan (3:04.02) and Morag Forbes (3:10.69) in the dash to the 18th floor. In the team relay race, PIVO reigns victorious after 350 steps, with a time of 1 minute and 41 seconds. SSN was a measly second too slow, while Team Sustainability Hub fell short by six ticks.