Vertical Rush is a truly unique event, which raises money to help support people facing bad housing and homelessness – so thank you for your support. To help you get the most out of Vertical Rush, some of the most common questions we get asked are answered below.
Vertical Rush is the UK’s original and most popular tower-running challenge, and Shelter’s flagship fundraising event. Taking place on Thursday 12 March 2020, 1,000 runners will race up the 42 floors – that’s 932 steps – of one of London’s tallest buildings; Tower 42 in the heart of the City. You can take on this challenge solo or get a team together.
Once you register, we’ll be in touch regularly with training advice, fundraising support, and information about Shelter. On the day, you’ll get a race t-shirt, a goodie bag, a post-race reception and plenty of encouragement.
Take a look at our training page where you’ll find a stair-climbing training plan as well as plenty of hints and tips. You will need to ensure you've a basic level of fitness to take on the Tower – if in doubt consult you GP.
The event is open to people of all abilities, and we stagger the start so there's plenty of room for people to either run, jog or walk. We encourage participants to go at whatever pace they find most comfortable, so how long it takes depends on your fitness and the approach you choose. As a rule of thumb, the average time is 10 minutes – but as long as you reach the top you will be doing your bit to support people in bad housing and homelessness.
The first wave starts at 8am, with hourly waves taking place all the way up until 7pm. You can select your preferred wave time upon signing up.
If you have a health issue or an injury which either prevents you from running, or could make it dangerous for you to take part, we’d ask you not to sign up for Vertical Rush.
If you develop an injury or health problem after signing up, please contact us immediately on 0344 515 1190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you feel unwell during the event please do not continue. There are marshals and first aid personnel on the climb to assist anyone who needs to stop.
No. As it's dangerous to have liquids in the stairwell there are no drink stations, and you cannot take a bottle of water on the run. We do ensure there are plenty of fluids available for runners at the finish.
Changing facilities are limited so if possible arrive in your running gear. We do have safe bag storage available on site.
Yes. If you need to change your time slot for any reason let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate you in your desired wave – if space allows. The deadline for changes is Monday 24 February.
If you haven’t received a link to the race time results or event day pictures, please email email@example.com so we can forward this information over to you.
Doing Vertical Rush as a team
Teams are made up of five runners; and their total time is recorded as the team's time. That means it's vital that all team members run in the same wave and finish the event.
Yes, but you must let us know in advance, as we must have all runners registered. The deadline for making changes to your team is Monday 2 March. Please confirm any changes by calling us on 0344 515 1190 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vertical Rush cost and fundraising
The registration fee is paid up front, when you sign up for Vertical Rush. Please note that this fee is non-refundable.
It’s really easy – you can set up your fundraising page here.
The sooner you set up your fundraising page, the easier you will find it to raise sponsorship. Personalising your page with photos and your reason for running really makes a difference too. You can check out our helpful fundraising tools for sharing on Facebook and Twitter here.
If you are taking part as an individual, we ask for a £180 sponsorship pledge (plus a non-refundable registration fee). For a team of five, we ask for £850 sponsorship (plus a non-refundable registration fee).
Reaching the sponsorship pledge allows Shelter to continue to help people dealing with bad housing and homelessness, and so we really rely on runners meeting their fundraising target for Vertical Rush.
We can give you plenty of tips to help you reach this target, plus if you join the event as a team, you’ll have your team mates for extra support!
The deadline for sending in your sponsorship money is six weeks after the event – Friday 24 April 2020.
Cash donations should be paid into your own account; then make the equivalent donation to your online fundraising page – or write a cheque and send to us.
All cheques should be made payable to 'Shelter’, and sent to:
Shelter (Vertical Rush)
88 Old Street
Please accompany all cheques with a note stating your full name and address and a reference to Vertical Rush.
You'll need to agree this with your employer in advance. After the event, confirm the amount you've raised with them and they'll organise the money to be sent to Shelter. Make sure they give your full name and a reference to Vertical Rush to ensure the money is correctly attributed to you.
Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness. And we campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to us for help. We couldn’t do that without the support of people like you – together we help people in need with our expert advice, support, and legal services. Find out more about what we do on the Shelter website.
Vertical Mile is the ultimate rush. It’s your opportunity to run up Tower 42 for the equivalent of a mile – that's 10 times up the tower. It’s an unmissable way to conquer Vertical Rush once and for all.
Entry fee is £50, minimum fundraising pledge is £350 and it will take approximately 2 – 2 ½ hours to complete the challenge. Places are very limited, so sign up early to avoid disappointment.
You can sign up for Vertical Mile here.
If you’ve already signed up for Vertical Rush you can still take on Vertical Mile. Simply email email@example.com and we will send you further instructions on paying the registration fee difference.
Every 13 minutes a family in England loses their home.
By taking on Vertical Rush, you're helping us be there for them when they need us the most.
We’re asking each Vertical Rush participant to raise £180 as part of their challenge. Reaching your £180 pledge could mean the difference between a home and homelessness for a family, by paying for urgent legal advice.
Use our digital fundraising tools below to start sharing your story, and tell everyone about the lengths (and heights) you are going to, in support of people facing bad housing and homelessness.
Your Fundraising Resources
Need more help with your Vertical Rush fundraising?We're here to support you every step of the way, and that includes your fundraising too. If you need any help or advice on how to set up your fundraising page and get the donations rolling in, or if you've any questions, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0344 515 1190.
Vertical Rush is only possible thanks to our fantastic partner:
Running up a skyscraper is a very different prospect to most challenge events, so it’s important to prepare for Vertical Rush with some specific training.
To help you get ready to power up the tower we’ve enlisted expert trainer Shaun Dixon, Head Coach at Let's Get Running. Shaun recommends three or four training sessions per week to get ready for Vertical Rush. And if you can't train safely on stairs, you can get the right muscles working in the gym by using treadmills with steep gradients, or steppers.
Tips and training plans
Don’t fancy being tied to a treadmill or stuck on the stepper down the gym? Why not take your training outside? London is your Oyster, and it’s got more stairs going on than an MC Escher exhibition.
Download our map, below, for some examples of stairs and steps across London that could help you out ahead of Vertical Rush.
Please train safely. We have not carried out risk assessments on any of the locations on the stair map, so any training you undertake on them is done at your own risk. These are simply steps in London that may be accessible to the public.
Follow our top tips and make your fundraising easy
The sooner you start asking, the more money you’ll raise.
Setting your target above your minimum sponsorship pledge will help you beat it.
Personalise your page
The more personalised your page is, the more compelled people are to donate. Just adding a photo to your page, you can raise 14% more. Not bad for just a few extra clicks of the mouse!
Promoting your page
Use your social media to spread the word and encourage people to sponsor you. Share your page and say why you’re supporting Shelter. And make sure you mention Vertical Rush everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, voicemail, email signatures, work notice boards, the gym, anywhere you can!
Friends and family
Ask your most generous supporters to donate first. They’ll set the bar high and others tend to donate based on what’s already been given. Thank people publically, perhaps on social networks. Don’t forget your friends and family abroad who can still show their support and sponsor you online.
Set yourself a weekly target
This can make the grand total seem less daunting and means you won’t leave your fundraising until the last minute.
Busy lives can mean people intend to sponsor you, but simply forget. Don’t be afraid to remind them.
Some companies support their employees fundraising activities through matched giving, where they match the amount you raise. Check with your finance or HR department to see if this is something your workplace does. It could be an easy way to see a huge boost to your sponsorship.
After you’ve smashed Vertical Rush update your page with photos, and your time, and let people know they can still donate.
It’s really important when asking people to sponsor you, that you let them know what their donations can do, and how they will help.
So, here are a few things your fundraising pledge can help achieve:
- last year we helped 124,771 people through our helpline, but we can’t do it alone – just £10 lets us answer an urgent call that could stop someone losing their home
- £80 could pay for a three hour drop in session, providing up to six people with advice that could help them keep their home
- reaching your pledge could mean the difference between homelessness and a home, for a family by paying for urgent legal advice