In some places, the Wings for Life World Run isn’t just a race – or even a race with a great purpose. For the people of Georgia, the race is the most entertaining event of the year, and almost a national holiday.
This year’s Wings for Life World Run was the most popular ever, with 155,288 runners around the globe pulling on their trainers and crossing the start line to test themselves against the Catcher Car.
As in previous years, a large share of the fun was being had in Georgia.
The nation has already hosted four Wings for Life World Runs – combining the challenge with other sports, live music from some of the country’s biggest acts and picnics on one of the best days of the year.
There are many reasons to say yes – and it’s not just about the running. Over the last couple of editions, it’s even become traditional for smitten couples to get engaged in front of the competitors.
So why are Georgia’s romantics so in love with this event? Well, first of all, if running up and down Kakheti’s mountains doesn’t take your breath away, then the incredible scenery certainly will. With green valleys, blue skies and (almost) perfect weather, the region is a magnet to terrain-treading tourists from all over the world.
It’s also a star-studded occasion, with Georgia’s biggest celebrities, most famous athletes and even Olympic medallists travelling from far and wide to test themselves against the Catcher Car.
And it’s not just the celebs who are making the headlines. At 94 years old, Shota Samushia was the oldest participant to take part in the run – and his appearance was one of the most inspirational of the event.
Not to mention the nation’s Male Winner, Giorgi Shekrelidze, who notched up 35.42km, and Female Winner, Nino Mikadze, who clocked 29.23km.