Race day is almost here! Register and help us break the record

The wait is almost over: The 11th Wings for Life World Run starts on Sunday, May 5, 2024, and we are THIS close to breaking our own record for the largest running event in the world! You can put us over the top by registering to participate, and when you do, you’ll also be helping to raise record funding to find a cure for spinal cord injury.

Read on to make sure you’re ready for race day, and to learn more about a meeting where researchers shared exciting findings that Wings for Life World Runners are making possible!

The Wings for Life Scientific Meeting 2024

In April, the foundation hosted the annual Wings for Life Scientific Meeting in Salzburg, Austria, bringing together 95 elite researchers from 15 countries – and every one of them is focused on research and clinical trials that Wings for Life helps to support, thanks to the funds you raise by running for those who can’t.

The purpose of the two-day meeting was for these experts to share their latest findings, network and establish connections that could further benefit their work at institutions such as Harvard Medical School (USA), Balgrist University Hospital (Switzerland), Yale University (USA) and Maastricht University Medical Center (Netherlands), to name but a few.

At this year’s meeting, pioneers of spinal cord research met the next generation of scientific trailblazers. Medical history was written when as-yet-unpublished results of studies that had been ongoing for years were presented, and ambitious up-and-coming talents – including a significant number of female researchers – provided exciting new perspectives. In all, 54 presentations were delivered, 30 of which contained the latest findings from Wings for Life-funded researchers.

Dr. Faith Brennan, PhD, who has established the Neurotrauma Lab at Queen’s University in Canada, said, “The Wings for Life Scientific Meeting is an exciting opportunity to network with other amazing scientists and exchange ideas and really move the field forward. It’s important to network with people to understand the cutting-edge research that’s going on, and the more we can communicate as research is ongoing, the more we can troubleshoot and improve our science as it’s progressing.”

Dr. Jan Schwab, MD, professor in neuroscience at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA and scientific director of Wings for Life, conveyed a message for all of you who take part in the Wings for Life World Run, saying, “Runners, thank you for doing what you’re doing in supporting Wings for Life. With that support we are enabled to do things which are new, and novel, and have the perspective to change the outcome for patients with spinal cord injury already in the mid-term. Your support is essential for Wings for Life, so keep up the good work.”

Even more inspiration

With the promise of those research projects in mind, there’s even more motivation to join the run this year. And your fellow participants are great inspiration as well.

Among the many stars from sports and entertainment who will be supporting the cause on Sunday are football’s Neymar Jr (BRA), sailing’s Jimmy Spithill (AUS), rugby’s Siya Kolisi (RSA), MotoGP’s Marc Márquez (ESP) and Dani Pedrosa (ESP), surfing’s Carissa Moore (USA), trials rider Fabio Wibmer (AUT), triathlete Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), fencing’s Miles Chamley-Watson (GBR/USA), rally racing’s Sébastien Loeb (FRA) and Carlos Sainz Sr (ESP), cycling’s Tom Pidcock (GBR), cricket’s Ben Stokes (GBR), skiing’s Lindsey Vonn (USA) and hurdler Karsten Warholm (NOR).

And both of our 2023 Global Champions, Jo Fukuda of Japan and Kasia Szkoda of Poland, will be joining us again this year, with Jo attempting to become the first person ever to claim the crown for three times in a row.

Bjørn Gulden, adidas CEO, says,

"I am very happy that adidas is now part of this fantastic event. To me, the Wings for Life World Run is a great example of what good sport can do for the world. So count me in for the run on May 5, and I am sure many adidas colleagues from around the world will join as well.”

Here’s how to prepare for race day

There’s still time to sign up, help set a new record and bring researchers even closer to finding a cure for spinal cord injury. Everyone who registers will receive the official Wings for Life World Run shirt, an adidas functional T-shirt bearing a commemorative design.

To make the most of your race day experience:

  1. First, if you haven’t already, now is the time to register.
  2. Then, use this preparation checklist to optimise you run. (Top tip: Don’t miss the links in the checklist for how to set up your phone and how best to enjoy the Wings for Life World Run Audio Experience.
  3. And also, spread the word that friends and family can follow you on race day by going to the Wings for Life World Run Live Experience 2024 at www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com. They can track you on a map, cheer you with audio stickers, look to spot you in live video feeds and feel part of the event through interviews and more.

Our fantastic International Sports Director, the British hurdling legend Colin Jackson, says

“The Wings for Life World Run is always about having a great day out, but I can sense something extra special about this edition. And when we break our previous record, everyone who takes part will share in the joy of making a real difference for people around the world.”

So let’s go! Let’s smash that record and bring researchers even closer to finding a cure!

The Wings for Life World Run takes off simultaneously around the world on Sunday, May 5, 2024, and registration will remain open until one hour before the start time of 11:00 am UTC.