As they run to raise money for Wings for Life-supported spinal cord injury research, Wings for Life World Runners have no finish line. With no set distance to cover and no set time, regular participants can go whatever speed suits them, while the elite athletes can power off and try for the crown. It’s a race everyone finishes – all thanks to the Catcher Cars.
Thirty minutes after the race starts at 11am UTC on May 6, 2018, the Catcher Cars set off at a pace of 15 km/h and increase slowly to a global schedule. And as the Catcher Cars start picking people off, the emotion of the day takes hold. For Anita Gerhardter, CEO of Wings for Life, it’s a moment she’d looked forward to since establishing the Wings for Life World Run in 2014: “I felt a rush of adrenalin. In those last meters before I was caught, I gave everything I could and activated all the power I still possessed.”
Repeat Wings for Life World Runner Carolyn Macintosh, said, “You really don’t hear the car coming because of the electric atmosphere, the cheering crowd and the other runners, but you really feel the pressure as it closes behind you. You feel the urge to run as fast as you can, to sprint and give everything left to make sure you get as far as you can. Each meter matters!”
Running with the Wings for Life World Run App (iOS / Android) in 2017, Layla Ann-Lee commentated live as the virtual Catcher Car closed in on her: “The Catcher Car is really, really, really close to me now. I genuinely don’t have the legs for this any longer. Ooohhh, I can feel it in my headset – I’m being told how close it is. It’s terrifying. I’m going to sprint a little bit … and that’s it; I felt the vibration in my phone and I’ve been caught. I’m out of the race.”
Tens of thousands of Wings for Life World Runners around the globe are preparing for 2018’s race on May 6. They will run in event locations or have a true-to-life experience by racing the virtual Catcher Car in App Runs across the planet. Because by downloading the Wings for Life World Run App (iOS / Android), everyone can be part of the global movement wherever you are in the world. And you’ll raise vital funds, so Wings for Life can continue to support promising spinal cord research projects to keep alive the hope of a cure.