On Sunday, May 3, at 11am UTC, a man near the North Pole started running. 37.56km he ran. Alone, with no finish line to run towards. At exactly the same time, just south of the North Korean border ran another with no crowds to cheer him. In the depths of the Canadian prairie ran another. And in Monaco, Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo ran in happy solitude:
“For me the best thing about the Selfie Run was the peace and quiet. My life is filled with organised chaos, so for me it was alone time. Was nice for a change,” said Ricciardo.
Spread across Europe and stretching from the Cape of South Africa to the northern-most reaches of Norway, from the coastal mountains of Peru to the National Parks of Eastern Australia, Selfie Runners became part of something global with the global Selfie Run winner covering 41.54km in Switzerland.
Their Selfie Run – part of the Wings for Life World Run App – counted them down, so they would start at exactly the same time as the rest of the world. Thirty minutes they had. Then the virtual Catcher Car started chasing them at 15kph. Just like the real Catcher Cars driven by the likes of Mark Coma, David Coulthard and Felix Baumgartner.
Across the world hundreds of Selfie Runners took off along their own tracks at 11am UTC. The same time that over 100,000 registered runners started in 35 official locations worldwide.
“The special thing about the run is knowing you are not alone,” said Ricciardo after running 12.56km. “Thousands of people at that very moment are sharing the experience with you. The fatigue, the joy, the emotion afterwards. Everything. It was great.”
In a race that united continents, hundreds of Selfie Runners followed their own track, pitting themselves against the virtual Catcher Car. Some ran alone, some in pairs. Ricciardo “chose to run alone. I thought about going with a group but sometimes running alone is peaceful, and it gave me time to think about everyone else around the world, running, and I was able to sort through a lot of thoughts”.
Work commitments, travel restrictions, family responsibilities – for whatever reason, the Selfie Runners were unable to get to o of the 35 locations, but still they stepped up, ran along their favourite tracks and joined the thousands in raising €4.2 million for Wings for Life’s single mission: a cure for spinal cord injury.
And, as Ricciardo, who ran in the race number 1 “I think to the Selfie Runners and the ones who ran by themselves, good on you. Sometimes it's not easy to be self motivated, so everyone who pushed themselves and went out and did this and stepped out of their comfort zone, good on you!” That’s Australian for ‘well done’!
Download the Wings for Life World Run app on iPhone or Android to help train and prepare for the next Wings for Life World Run in any of the official locations, which will be announced in the coming months. Or sign up NOW for the Selfie Run on May 8, 2016.Your run, your track, your world, your Selfie Run.