This year’s annual global Wings for Life World Run raised €6.8 million for research into spinal cord injuries, with 3,500 people in the UK taking part.
The event is a synchronised run for Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation that sees runners as well as participants with spinal cord injuries across the globe set off simultaneously with a moving finish line in the shape of a Catcher Car. This is a celebrity-driven vehicle that gives runners a head start, and chases the field at a predetermined pace. Only at the point of being overtaken is a runner’s race over, with the individual man and woman last to be caught declared Global Champions.
This year’s Wings for Life World Run was the biggest since its 2014 launch and took place on 7th May with 155,288 people racing in 25 locations around the globe, across six continents, and covering a combined distance of 1,431,183 kilometres. Wheelchair participant Aron Anderson of Sweden is the new Men’s Global Champion, covering 92.14km before being caught, while men’s runner Bartosz Olszewski from Poland ran the longest distance at 88.24km. Another Polish athlete, runner Dominika Stelmach (68.21 km), was crowned women’s Global Champion.
In the UK, the race took place in Cambridge, with over 3,500 men and women setting off at the start line in Parker’s Piece before heading towards the Fens. Jacek Cieluszecki from Poland was crowned the UK male champion, reaching 68.8 km while Nikolina Šustić from Croatia won the women’s title for the women, running 55.14km before being caught by Formula One driver, David Coulthard in the Catcher Car.
Next year’s event takes place on 6th May 2018. One hundred per cent of the Wings for Life World Run entry fees and funds go to the Foundation, with the charity’s founders covering all administrative costs.
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