Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
Runners have started in 58 countries for fourth annual Wings for Life World Run.
Follow the event live HERE.
Waves of elated runners have surged past start lines at 111 locations in 58 countries at 11am UTC today in the fourth annual Wings for Life World Run.
The 2017 edition has seen 155,288 people worldwide registered, and from costumed recreational participants to championship pros, they’re all part of a global movement, running at the same time to raise awareness and urgently needed funds for spinal cord research.
Many are shoulder-to-shoulder at spectacular destinations – running past architectural gems in Vienna and Brasília and tracing dramatic coastlines in Norway and Spain, to name just a few.
There are also large numbers of registered App Runners taking part worldwide, creating their own routes and seeing their names on the Global Result List with everyone else.
In the nighttime darkness of Melbourne, Australia, which is the location delivering the most perfect weather for the event, 10 former national winners are among the thousands of runners wearing headlamps.
In daylight runs, participants in Dubai, UAE face heat edging past 40 degrees, while clouds are cooling the Central European runners in locations like Kakheti, Georgia, and, in the coldest location, Poznan, Poland – a brisk 9°C.
100% of entry fees and funds that are raised by all these devoted participants goes directly to cutting-edge medical research projects.
“For runners of every level, it’s important to enjoy the sport,” said Colin Jackson, the Olympic medallist and world champion who is the International Sport Director of the Wings for Life World Run.
“The spirit of this event, with everyone coming together around the world, really brings out the fun in running.”
At each location, the moving finish line – the Catcher Car – is now chasing the runners. When it passes them, their race is over.
As the hours tick by and the field narrows, the excitement will build until the Catcher Car reaches the very last people left in the race and they are declared the winners for 2017.
Although the race is for everyone, match-ups of endurance-running greats are adding to the thrills. In addition to Melbourne, the race in Milan features another showdown to watch, with championship runners Florian Neuschwander (GER), Bartosz Olszewski (POL) and Francisco Morales (CHI) challenging the defending 2016 winner Giorgio Calcaterra on his home soil.
Wheelchair participants are also giving their best, rolling their daily wheelchairs alongside the runners.
Catch the global live stream or tune in to the radio play by-play right now – and donate – HERE.
About the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation
Worldwide, millions of people are dependent on a wheelchair after having sustained a spinal cord injury, most often as the result of a traffic accident or a fall. Wings for Life is a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation with the single mission to find the cure for spinal cord injury. Since 2004, Wings for Life has funded life-changing research projects and clinical trials around the globe. While the cure is still to be found, steady progress has been made. One hundred percent of the Wings for Life World Run entry fees and fundraising from this global running event will help work toward Wings for Life’s ultimate goal. Every step taken at the Wings for Life World Run and with the Wings for Life World Run App is a step in the right direction 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 the App across the world, all 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, gradually getting faster until each runner has been caught. This moving finish line allows participants of any ability to complete the run – the slower ones are passed early while the last man and woman to be caught after starting from an event location are declared Wings for Life World Run Champions. 100% of entry fees and donations goes toward helping to find a cure for spinal cord injury; and in just three years since it was launched in 2014, the World Run has attracted more than 280,000 people from 193 nationalities to run in more than 38 countries across six continents. Altogether they have raised €13.8 million euros while covering more than 2.8 million kilometres.