This goes out to all App Runners who took Wings for Life World Run to every corner of the world, alone, with friends or with complete strangers.
On Sunday, May 6, Wings for Life World Run App Runners from the Gold Coast to Helsinki, Minnesota to Wollongong, ran as friends, groups or solo, but all part of a huge global movement motivated through their smartphones by Aksel Lund Svindal, the voice of the virtual Catcher Car.
In Costa Rica, Juan Diego Rodríguez Madrigal loved the concept of the race, “I'm not an athlete. I'm just a person grateful for life. Donating money that could pay for research that one day finds the cure to spinal cord injury will make me so happy – I’d be so proud to have supported Wings for Life.
“The most wonderful moment was when the app countdown reached zero. And, wow, what a feeling! Knowing that, at that time, thousands of people with the same purpose were starting the race all over the world … it was magical!”
As he ran, Juan checked in with the live stream, so he could see other people sharing in the same incredible experience across the globe: “I felt part of a huge event, running alongside a hundred-thousand people.”
At the same time, in Sudan, Mohamad Mustafa Mohamad was inspiring his community to be healthy and get out running more. He’d joined to show people around him that it’s possible: “I ran in Sudan to send the message to everyone that, yes, you can do it.
“When I started running, it was too hot – 46°– but I was running with the world and running for charity, so I enjoyed it. It was amazing. Knowing thousands of others were doing the same thing at the same time motivated me to keep going. I’m looking forward to next year.”
And on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Prakashbhan Persad headed out to run his own track, alone. But he was joined, digitally, by his classmate of 45 years ago who lives in Miami.
“The best moment was definitely knowing I was running with Randy in Miami, even though he wasn’t next to me.”
Also together in spirit but divided by continents, America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill raced against Austrian Olympic sailors Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher until Steinacher took the crown of the sailing world when the app’s virtual Catcher Car finished his race after 22.42km.
Veteran Wings for Life World Runner Juergen Brunner ran in Svalbard with four others. “Since I did the first Wings for Life World Run in Zadar, in 2014, Wings for Life World Run is the sporting highlight of my year. I know Svalbard was the coldest place this year, but I didn’t notice it. I was overwhelmed by the scenery and the spirit of the people I ran with.”
“I’m not sure where to go next. I’d like to run in Mongolia, Alaska, Greenland, Iran ... who knows!? But I'll definitely be back!”
Where will you run next year? Make the Wings for Life World Run bigger and better every year. Sign up now for May 5, 2019.