Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Over 100,000 brave participants in 66 countries aid spinal cord injury research.
Over 100,000 registered runners and wheelchair participants at more than 200 locations across 66 countries covered an amazing 934,484km globally on Sunday May 6 in the fifth annual Wings for Life World Run charity event to raise funds for spinal cord injury research. Here is all you need to know:
– Five-and-a-half hours of camaraderie and competition shared across every continent produced unforgettable moments of elation and emotion until Swedish wheelchair athlete Aron Anderson and Portuguese runner Vera Nunes were crowned Global Champions.
– Everyone can take part in the Wings for Life World Run regardless of fitness level, and the 2018 edition of the run for those who can’t brought all-time event totals to more than half a million registered participants.
– Among those supporting or taking part on Sunday were seven runners from the Amazon in traditional clothing, a prime minister, and sports celebrities like Formula One legend Niki Lauda, Dakar Rally winner Matthias Walkner, three-time Ironman World Champion Daniela Ryf and America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill, as well as Paralympic and Olympic Champions including record-setting skier Aksel Lund Svindal, who “drove” the Virtual Catcher Car of the Wings for Life World Run App.
– The run’s simultaneous start – night or day, sun or rain – spanned every corner of the earth, from Australia to Colombia and the United Kingdom to Kazakhstan, and as always, the unique format with a moving finish line of Catcher Cars added to the excitement.
– Boosting the location count to a new high this year were caring people all over the world who organised group runs with the App, inspiring others to join them for a day of fun while making a difference for others.
– Running in Sunrise, USA, Swede Anderson earned his second consecutive Global Championship by outpacing the Catcher Car to 89.85km in an everyday wheelchair, while in Munich, Germany, Nunes ran hard to capture the women’s crown with a distance of 53.78km, a margin of just 50 metres over Croatia’s Nikolina Šustić.
– Thirty-year-old Anderson, who now holds the two longest distances in the event’s history, revealed: “I was so tired, but I wanted to keep pushing so that maybe we could raise more money and make more of a difference. Everything hurts right now, but this is amazing!”
– One hundred percent of entry fees and donations raised in the Wings for Life World Run – over three million euros in the 2018 edition alone, with more still coming in – goes to leading-edge research funded by the nonprofit Wings for Life foundation.
– Sports Director Wheelchair Marc Herremans added: “The Wings for Life World Run means a lot to me, because I am paralysed from the chest down due to a bicycle accident, and I’ve also lost good friends because of medical issues related to paralysis. Historically spinal cord research has received relatively little attention and funding, and it is time to change that. I want to thank every supporter, because one day we will find a cure.”
– The date for the sixth edition of the Wings for Life World Run is Sunday, May 5, 2019. For registration alerts, along with complete 2018 global results, the full race broadcast on demand and more click HERE.
About the Wings for Life World Run
On one day each year the Wings for Life World Run is held simultaneously in numerous locations and via the App across the world, everyone starting at the same time, whether day or night, and all with the same goal – to raise money for the Wings for Life Foundation. Under its unique format, participants run as far as they can until they are passed by a moving finish line, the “Catcher Car,” which chases runners along the course or virtual in the App, gradually getting faster until each participant has been caught. This moving finish line allows participants of any ability to complete the run – the slower ones are passed early while ultra athletes go on for hours. 100% of entry fees and donations goes toward helping to find a cure for spinal cord injury.