Wings for Life World Runner Sabrina Mockenhaupt, who started in Darmstadt, Germany, took 7th place in the New York City Marathon, last year. And she's not the only one to make the crossover from traditional marathon to the completely new approach to running brought by the Wings for Life World Run.
The New York City Marathon is one of the largest and most popular marathons in the world. Fact.
The Wings for Life World Run runs across the world: 35 countries, six continents. Fact, as well.
So, how do the two compare?
Mixing It Up. While the New York Road Runners, the brains behind the New York Marathon, love a bit of quirkiness in their running (charging up the Empire State Building, and bringing in the New Year with a run through Central Park), the TCS NYC Marathon prefers the traditional start-from-one-place-and-run-to-the-finish-line approach. That's all well and good, but the Wings for Life challenge the traditions of running with a finish line that chases from behind – the Catcher Car.
How Far? The 50,266 marathon finishers in 2013, covered, together, 1,316,969.2 miles (2,107,150km). The 35,397 Wings for Life World Runners lapped the globe 13 times, covering 530,928 kilometres (329,903 miles). You’d have to go a long way to beat that!
Pushing the Limits. Thousands of runners will take to New York's streets on Sunday, chasing a personal or world record. The fastest time taken to cover the 26.2 miles of New York’s streets was set by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya in 2011. He ran it in 2:05.06.
At 2:05.06, there were still 5,146 people running, worldwide, from the Catcher Car in the Wings for Life World Run, and they had covered 23km (14.29 miles) at a pace of 5.13 minutes per kilometre to Geoffrey Mutai’s 4:42 per mile.
The winner of the Wings for Life World Run, Lemawork Ketema, covered 78km, 48.4 miles, in five hours. His pace was 3.50 minutes per kilometre, or 5.63 minutes per mile.
Utterly Bananas. New York is, of course, the Big Apple, and the runners in Wings for Life World Run 2014 ate 11 tonnes of bananas. It's a veritable fruit bowl.
Say It’s Not Snow! 2014’s run through the Big Apple could happen in snow and in winds up to 25mph. Brrr! The forecast is for 41F (5C). On May 4, 2014, the coldest Wings for Life World Run venue was -1C in Saskatoon, and the 2015 run, in Niagara Falls promises to be zero degrees. Something to look forward to!
On the flip side, the runners in Haryana, India, dealt with 33C. (91F). Which would you prefer?!
Battle of the Nonagenarians. The oldest runner in the Wings for Life World Run was 92, Michael Selinger of Austria, who managed an incredible 8.59km, registered for the race via Facebook.
Ex-Marine Jonathan Mendes will run his 13th and final marathon in the 2014 New York City Marathon, one day before his 94th birthday.
How will 2015 size up to the world's mega marathons? Register and be a part of something truly global.