On Sunday, 77,103 Wings for Life World Runners across 104 countries came together to achieve what had seemed impossible in the current situation. You ran, walked and rolled simultaneously, separated by distance but united in spirit. Together you raised €2.8 million for spinal cord injury research!
“We have all experienced limitations and restrictions in our personal lives in the past weeks, but things are getting better. People with a spinal cord injury are in a permanent lockdown their whole life. They too dream of getting their freedom back and doing the things they love again,” said Wings for Life CEO Anita Gerhardter. “Today, more than 77,000 people came together to give hope and help to put an end to this permanent lockdown one day. Thanks to them, we are one step closer to that dream.”
At 11:00am UTC, participants of 171 nationalities started their individual App Runs. From Austria to Australia and from Tanzania to Taiwan, they ran according to local distancing regulations. It was made possible by the App, which enabled everyone to run alone, following their own course. Going as far as they could until they were caught by the virtual Catcher Car.
It all came down to the British newcomer Michael Taylor and two-time Global Champion Aron Anderson of Sweden. In a nailbiter, it was Taylor who took his first Global Championship with 69.92 km. Russia’s Nina Zarina (54.23 km) held off 2017 Global Champion Dominika Stelmach of Poland to clinch her second consecutive Global Championship.
Lindsey Vonn, the greatest female skier of all time, said, “It’s incredible that so many people have come together for the Wings for Life World Run. There’s no other race like it. So many events had to be cancelled, and there’s this one thing we could all do together for a good cause.”
Another ski legend, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher gave his own shoutout, saying, “It was great to be part of this. The App was something new for me, and a lot of fun. It’s really something to have in mind that over 77,000 were starting at the same second.”
Meanwhile, tennis world no. 3 Dominic Thiem had this to say: “The Wings for Life World Run is a great thing. And it’s for a great cause, because I really hope – and I’m pretty sure – that one day they will be able to heal spinal cord injury. That would be sensational, and for sure a big day in history.”
Our International Sports Director, Colin Jackson, provided commentary and motivation on the “Live Experience” entertainment hub, which also featured Run results and posts from the participants.
“The way the global community embraced this opportunity has been magnificent. It shows that people are hungry to connect with others. And to get out and move! I think there’s a strong desire to do good as well,” Colin said. “On the sportive side, seeing Michael and Nina giving everything they had against that virtual Catcher Car was extraordinary. This has been a special day.”
Also supporting the good cause, sportswear experience brand 4F joined forces with the Wings for Life World Run as Global Apparel Partner for 2020.
Mark your calendar, because the eighth edition of the Wings for Life World Run will take place on Sunday, May 9, 2021!
TOP THREE, WINGS FOR LIFE WORLD RUN 2020
- Michael Taylor (GBR) 69.92 km
- Aron Anderson (SWE) 68.15 km
- Dariusz Nozynski (POL) 67.1 km
- Nina Zarina (RUS) 54.23 km
- Dominika Stelmach (POL) 51.25 km
- Martyna Kantor (POL) 50.38 km