Karen Sobrino and Michael Boch won the Swiss Wings for Life World Run 2015 in Olten, where not the athletic ambition had priority but the joy of doing good.
By Eva Eder
Both were close to the international peak: Karen Sobrino reached 43.03 kilometres before the Catcher Car passed her and Michael Boch 70.14 kilometres. In comparison: the worldwide winner, Yuuko Watanebe from Japan ran 56.33 kilometres and the Ethiopian defender of the title, Lemawork Ketema ran 79.9 kilometres for those who can’t.
“I’d never thought I’d win this run,” says the South-African Karen Sobrino, resident in Switzerland. “A week prior to the event I ran the Big Sur Marathon and a week before that, the Boston Marathon. When, to my own surprise, I was in the lead after 20 kilometres, I had no choice but to accelerate. And yet, I wanted to take it easy – I’d never thought I’d be running for more than three hours. For me, the run was more of a training for the Comrades Marathon, which I wanted to run on 31st May."
The Alsatian Michael Boch, too, was surprised to win: “I thought I’d be running maybe 60 or 65 kilometres – eight days prior to the event I ran a 100k race in France and assumed I’d be a little tired. But the attendants on their bikes didn’t stop pushing me until I reached the 70k mark.”
Winner Michael Boch © Lorenz Richard for Wings for Life World Run
Both Boch and Sobrino were especially motivated by the purpose of the run: “It was a great feeling to know that there were so many people all over the world who were running simultaneously for the same purpose,” says Michael Boch. “Becoming aware of spinal cord injuries and collecting as much money as possible in order to find a cure is extremely important.” Karen Sobrino, too, is very dedicated: “I’d love to run more charity runs like this. A friend of mine is in a wheelchair. It’s an amazing feeling to be part of such a huge event that serves a good cause. I’ll never forget this run.”
On 8th May, Michael Boch and Karen Sobrino will not be at the starting line in Olten. But they will be running for sure: As winners, they were able to chose where they want to run. Sobrino will travel to Chile: “Actually, I wanted to start in Olten. But the opportunity to start wherever I want was just too tempting. My husband and I have never been to South America before and we heard so much about Santiago that we want to see it ourselves.” Boch decided to go to Melbourne: “For the last 20 years, I’ve been dreaming about travelling to Australia one day. I can’t wait to discover a new country.”