Marathons, fun runs, midnight-at-New-Year races around Central Park, running up the Empire State Building. The New York Road Runners know how to have fun with running. Since H. Browning Ross set up the club back in 1958, pulling together a tight group of 40 committed runners, the group has gone from strength to strength, looking at running from outside the box and taking it to a different level -- a spirit the Wings for Life World Run shares.
“Running takes your body, mind, and spirit to a better place. The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward can make you healthier, happier, and more confident.”
1. It's about community
Th NYRR doesn't just focus on the big races -- even if the New York City Marathon is one the most famous marathons in the world . When they're not patrolling Central Park to keep it safe for runners, they look out for each other with senior fitness programmes, youth projects and group runs.
The Wings for Life World Run, too, is more than people running together: it's a global movement, a community of people, worldwide, running together for those who can't.
2. It's about running for all abilities
Yes, the marathons draw the big guys, the ones who will push world records and compete against each other. The Fifth Avenue Mile pits the fastest runners in the world against each other, and suddenly a mile doesn't seem quite as easy as it did before. But NYRR is all about bringing running to the people and helping new runners achieve their own goals with shorter, fun-driven races.
At the very core of the Wings for Life World Run is making everyone a finisher, everyone a winner. From the first-timers to the ultrarunners who can push the 100k, everyone is running from the moving finish line, the Catcher Car. The race is only won when the Catcher Car passes all the runners and finishes their race. Fun in the real NYRR sense of the word.
3. It's about pushing the limits
Everyone who ran on May 4, 2014, the first Wings for Life World Run, ran further than they thought they would, and with May 3, 2015 in their sights, they are training to go further, to break their own PB in the name of those who can't.
The winner, Lemawork Ketema, has even hinted at putting 100k as his finish line this time around.
The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world, with 50,000 runners set to cross the line on Sunday, November 2, and has the biggest names in marathon running driven by beating the course's fastest time. 2:05.06, set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011.
4. It's about helping others
These guys thrill in getting a whole neighbourhood out and running and walking, together. Poorer areas benefit from their drive, seniors get the company they need and children get off the sofa and out into the world all because the NYRR work tirelessly to give running to New York.
For the Wings for Life World Runners, the focus is a cure for spinal cord injury, an injury that can happen to anyone at anytime ... it's just an awkward slip or accidental fall away for all of us. All proceeds from the Wings for Life World Run go directly to research into finding that cure and making spinal cord injury a thing of the past.
5. It's about fun
Not just the run-of-the-mill races for NYRR. Oh no, the club’s members race up the Empire State Building, run around Central Park at midnight on New Year’s Eve, push their limits in the Fifth Avenue Mile and hurtle around the city doing good wherever they can. Is this the behaviour of people not focussed on fun?
The thousands of smiles enjoyed by the Catcher Car drivers and the astonishing comments heard about the Wings for Life World Run are testament to the amount of fun runners had -- and will have -- at the Wings for Life World Run.
Friends and family ran side by side thousands of miles apart, cheering each other on and supporting each other every step of the way.