We’re all in this together. Location runners, Selfie Runners. And the best bit is that even when we’re alone, we’re united by time. Everyone starts pounding the pavement or trundling along the track at exactly the same time. There’s not much in life that genuinely unites the world. This does.
Not even the Selfie Runners will feel alone on May 8. Mark Webber, who ran in Silverstone, GB, the last two years, has decided to strike out alone as a Selfie Runner in 2016. He’s among over 12,200people who have already confirmed they will start at exactly the same time as the 34 locations worldwide but will head off along their own track.
“For me, there won’t be a physical start line, just a countdown on the Wings for Life World Run app and the virtual Catcher Car to hunt me down. It’s a great way to come together to do our bit for this awesome cause. If you’re a Selfie Runner, join me on team Aussie Grit”, says Webber.
Webber has set himself a challenge: to raise £1,000 for spinal cord research and for his Selfie Run team to cover 1,000km, together, wherever they are. Webber’s Aussie Grit team has runners in England, Belgium and Spain.
The largest Selfie Run Team is Dallas Central Wings Team, who will make sure their phones are charged and apps updated before they gather at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas, and start running at 11am UTC as a team of over 330.
Team Everything But Chicago has nearly 250 Selfie Runners across Illinois, some running together, some running alone, all likely to see each other somewhere along their own favourite running trails.
Bringing together some Selfie Runners is the fact that they will celebrate their birthdays on May 8. From Alexander Oertl running on Sylt in the North Sea, who will celebrate his 34th birthday, to Kathy Yeager-Spencer, who was born on May 8, 1961, and will run in the East is a Beast Selfie Run team and 37-year-old Anthony Vandeuen who has set himself the goal of running 16km in Belgium.
They are all treating themselves to their own track and being part of the global race on their birthdays by listening to the radio through the app. Happy Birthday, May 8ers!
Florian Neuschwander has his eye on beating Lemawork Ketema’s 79.9km Wings for Life World Run record on May 8.
“You can RUN anywhere and anytime. You meet a lot of people and you have wonderful races all over the planet. It’s the best sport for me. I trained more than last year. And harder as well. I think I am really fit. I really want to beat that 79.9km."
While he’s no stranger to running alone – “my first 100km run, when I decided to visit my mum at home, 100km away from where I lived” -- Florian Neuschwander knows going for 79.9km could leave him pretty lonely.
Not only is Neuschwander going for gold, but he has gathered the largest team in the world.
“I’ll run in Munich because most of my nearly-600-strong Run with the Flow team will run in Munich. That will be a great day for us all and we will have a lot of fun together!”
… so he won’t be alone.
And with 3,255 teams made up of team members running in any of the 34 locations worldwide, no one is going to feel lonely. In fact, for one nation, it might be lonelier staying at home. Team Lichtenstein, who will run in Olten, Switzerland, has a massive 0.4% of the entire Lichtenstein population running in it, ranking it 15th largest team.
So it doesn’t matter if you’re a running alongside thousands in an official location and as part of a global team, or you’re one of thousands united in time, running along your own track, wherever you want to run.
Registration for official location is now closed, but you can still be part of the Wings for Life World Run as a Selfie Runner. Just download the Wings for Life World Run app and confirm you’ll be a Selfie Runner before 9am UTC on May 8, then decide where you’re going to run, whether you’ll join a team or whether you’ll run united and alone.
100% of all entry fees and donations go directly to spinal cord research projects. Please make a donation.
Astrid Kaltenböck, Local winner in Brazil 2015 and Verona 2014
Catcher Car driver, Adolfo Aguilar in Lima, Peru
Lemawork Ketema, Global Champion 2014 and 2015
Mike Shaw, Canadian ski coach
Giorgio Calcaterra, Italian ultra-runner and winner in Italy 2015
Michael Wardian, Local winner in Melbourne, Australia in 2015 and Sunrise, Florida in 2014