The Wings for Life World Run is the only race where everyone who starts is guaranteed to reach the finish. Why? Because the runner doesn’t come to the Finish Line – the Finish Line comes to the runner!

The launch of the first Wings for Life World Run in 2014 pioneered the concept of a “moving Finish Line” of Catcher Cars.

Think that keeping ahead of a moving vehicle sounds impossible? Think again. The 2016 men’s Global Champion, Giorgio Calcaterra, achieved 88.44 kilometers, keeping ahead of the Catcher Car in Milan for five and a half hours before his race was done. Even participants who had never raced a day in their lives managed a minimum of 30 minutes on the course – running, jogging, walking or rolling a wheelchair. Here’s how it works:

The half-hour head start
All over the world, runners begin the race simultaneously, whether it’s day or night in their location. Thirty minutes later, a Catcher Car sets out on the same course, pursuing the runners at a precisely determined (and very slow) pace. The moment that a runner is “caught” – that is, passed – by the Catcher Car, he or she has finished the race. The Catcher Car pursuit continues until only one man and one woman are left running worldwide: the Global Champions.

So just how fast does a Catcher Car go? The pace starts out at 15 km/h and increases at strictly regulated intervals, according to a rigid global schedule:

11.30 UTC – CATCHER CAR START – PACE of 15 km/h (approx. 9.3 mph)
12.30 UTC – PACE INCREASES TO: 16 km/h (9.94 mph)
13.30 UTC – PACE INCREASES TO: 17 km/h (10.56 mph)
14.30 UTC – PACE INCREASES TO: 20 km/h (12.43 mph)
16.30 UTC – PACE INCREASES TO: 35 km/h (approx. 21.75 mph), which remains steady until the final participant is passed

Adding to the fun and excitement, the Catcher Cars are driven by celebrities, from popular television personalities to stars of the sporting world. Each driver has a trained expert along as a wingman to help navigate the course and adhere precisely to the acceleration schedule.  

The finish is just the beginning
What happens to the participants once the Catcher Car passes them? Back at the starting area, they begin celebrating their success and the difference they’ve made for spinal cord injury research.

And that’s the point. Whether you outlast the Catcher Car for a half hour or many hours, for one kilometer or dozens, your participation is helping spinal cord researchers move in the right direction, to one day make spinal cord injury curable. It’s a race result everyone can be proud of.

100% of all entry fees and donations go directly to spinal cord research projects. .

Introducing the Ambassadors
Introducing the Ambassadors
Wings for Life World Run Explained
Wings for Life World Run Explained
Everyone commented on the positive atmosphere and how great it was to be running 100% for a good cause. My personal belief in the Wings for Life foundation and my passion for running made the Wings for Life World Run a no-brainer for me.

Astrid Kaltenböck, Local winner in Brazil 2015 and Verona 2014

I’m very happy and moved to be a part of this amazing cause. I got goosebumps when the race started, but to have the opportunity to be in the car and thank everyone personally when the Catcher Car passed them, that was  amazing.

Catcher Car driver, Adolfo Aguilar in Lima, Peru

Remigio and I promised from the beginning to run together. The first 70km were super with Remigio next to me.

Lemawork Ketema, Global Champion 2014 and 2015

We can't wait for the race again! It's such an awesome day!!!

The Woody Foundation

The most amazing run I have ever been a part of! Hope to be able to do it all over again!!

Hayley Newman, participant 2015

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