Worldwide charity run beats all expectations
Historic milestones that topped all three previous editions made the fourth annual Wings for Life World Run an exceptional event. In all, 6.8 million euros were raised for spinal cord research by 155,288 registered participants on Sunday. Wheelchair participant Aron Anderson of Sweden is the new Men’s Global Champion (92.14km), while Bartosz Olszewski of Poland was the men’s runner who achieved the longest distance (88.24km). Another Polish athlete, runner Dominika Stelmach (68.21 km), was crowned the women’s Global Champion.
The global movement began at 11am UTC, when participants simultaneously crossed start lines in 58 countries, whether it was day (Brazil) or night (Australia), heat and humidity (Taiwan) or a hailstorm in Slovenia, which didn’t stop enthusiastic participants including the country’s president, Borut Pahor, who ran 20.48km.
“Congratulations to everyone, everywhere, who participated, donated or volunteered,” said Wings for Life CEO Anita Gerhardter. “By taking on this single challenge today, you’ve given hope to those who face countless challenges every day. The funds you’ve raised will enable top researchers to push forward with finding a cure to spinal cord injury.”
Many people ran side-by-side at event locations, and large numbers of registered App Runners also took part worldwide, creating their own routes. Part of the fun was the shared experience of being chased by a moving finish line, the Catcher Car, which was driven by names like Formula One’s David Coulthard in the UK and Carlos Sainz in Spain.
What the participants achieved together is even greater than the combined 1,431,183km that they covered, because 100% of entry fees and donations go directly to funding urgently needed spinal cord research. We are overwhelmed :-)