Isn’t it weird how sports always seem to be connected to numbers? It’s all about how far, how fast, how long. While the Wings for Life World Run is a competitive event with a unique race format, it’s also an entertaining experience with the core idea of running for those who can’t.
The Fast German. Stefan R. from Darmstadt was the first athlete to register for the 2015 Wings for Life World Run. Naturally, the young German will race in his hometown, which is not only host to the European Space Operations Centre but even has a chemical element named after it – Darmstadtium.
The chosen few. It took fewer than eight minutes for the first 100 runners to sign up for the 2015 Wings for Life World Run. If you ran eight minutes per kilometre, you would finish a marathon in 5:37:34 hours. At the Wings for Life World Run, you have about an hour until the Catcher Car reaches you and your race is over.
Oldies but Goldies. Elisabeth from Austria, aged 78, is currently the oldest participant registered in the first two weeks. The year Elisabeth was born, 1937, the marathon world record stood at 2:26:42 hours (set by Korean Sohn Kee-chung running for Japan) and has since improved to 2:02:57 hours. The same year, Amelia Earhart disappeared on her attempt to circumnavigate the world in her Lookheed Electra plane, and in Germany, the first ever canned drink came to market – the can alone weighed over 100 grams compared to today’s 15 grams.
First one of the year. Of all participants currently registered, there are exactly twenty born on January 1. Probably the best known runner ever to be born on January 1 is French athlete Alain Mimoun, who won an Olympic Gold medal in the marathon at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia, where fifteen of last year’s Wings for Life World Run winners have opted to run – more than any other 2015 location. Mimoun was named French Athlete of the 20th Century and remains the French sportsperson to have won the most medals. Aged 83, he was one of the proud torchbearers for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
This is not about skiing. Currently, Austria has the most registrations, with more than 2,500 runners already signed up. While best known for its alpine skiing stars, the central European country certainly has secured itself in the Wings for Life World Run history books: Ethiopian Lemawork Ketema was crowned the first global winner after running more than 78 km (48,5 mi) in the inaugural Wings for Life World Run in Donautal, Austria.
Four digits. More than 1,000 athletes had signed up in under two hours, 1 hour and 40 minutes to be precise. Looking for a fast run? It would take a runner an average of 4:45 minutes/km in a half marathon to finish in 1 hour and 40 minutes. In the Wings for Life World Run, this average speed would take you a whopping 33 kilometres, and you would spend 2 hours and 37 minutes on the course before the Catcher Car finally overtakes you.
Last laugh. If the world’s fastest cartoon bird – none other than Roadrunner himself – took part, he’d easily win if he could sustain his speed. His real-life animal counterpart Geococcyx californianus, a cuckoo, can run up to 32 km/h (20 mph) with bursts of speed up to 42 km/h (26 mph) being reported. The Catcher Car wouldn’t stand a chance.
If you want to compete against the Catcher Car, register here: