Historic milestones that topped all three previous editions made the fourth annual Wings for Life World Run an exceptional event. In all, 155,288 registered participants raised €6.8m (US$7.5m).
Wheelchair participant Aron Anderson of Sweden is the new Men’s Global Champion (92.14km), while Bartosz Olszewski of Poland was the men’s runner who achieved the longest distance (88.24km). Another Polish athlete, Dominika Stelmach (68.21km), was crowned the women’s Global Champion.
Commenting on Anderson’s win, Marc Herremans, Sports Director (Wheelchair) said, “In a sports wheelchair this is normal, but he did this in a regular wheelchair according to the rulebook – an amazing achievement.”
The global movement began at 11am UTC, when participants simultaneously crossed start lines in 58 countries, whether it was day (Brazil) or night (Australia), or in heat and humidity (Taiwan). Even a hailstorm in Slovenia didn’t stop enthusiastic participants, including the country’s president, Borut Pahor, who eventually ran 20.48km.
“Congratulations to everyone, everywhere, who participated, donated or volunteered,” said Wings for Life CEO Anita Gerhardter. “By taking on this single challenge today, you’ve given hope to those who face countless challenges every day. The funds you’ve raised will enable top researchers to push forward with finding a cure to spinal cord injury.”
Many people ran side-by-side at event locations, and large numbers of registered App Runners also took part worldwide, creating their own routes.