Wings For Life World Run highlights 2017
Participation is what matters in the Wings for Life World Run – and no more was that true than in its fourth year on Sunday.
The unprecedented total of 155,288 people, from everyday heroes to elite running champions, registered for Sunday’s global event across 111 locations.
The movement began at 11am UTC, when participants simultaneously crossed start lines in 58 countries – in a variety of conditions including day, night, heat, cold... and even a hailstorm in Slovenia!
Many people ran side-by-side at event locations and large numbers of registered App Runners also took part worldwide, creating their own routes.
“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.”
Part of the fun was the shared experience of being chased by a moving finish line, the Catcher Car, which was driven by famous 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 (another record, surpassing last year’s mark by more than 176,000km), because 100 percent of entry fees and donations go directly to funding urgently needed spinal cord injury research.
Participation is what matters at Wings for Life World Run and everyone can set their own goals. In a great day for racing, 27 course records fell, and the men’s and women’s overall records were shattered.
In the 40-degree heat of Dubai, professional Swedish adventurer Aron Anderson was crowned global champion when he achieved an astounding 92.14km in an everyday wheelchair, while Bartosz Olszewski outpaced the Catcher Car to 88.24km in Milan, Italy.
Commenting on Anderson’s win, Marc Herremans, Sports Director Wheelchair for the Wings for Life World Run, stated, “In a sports wheelchair this is normal, but he did this in a regular wheelchair according to the rulebook – an amazing achievement.
"It’s important to know that we’re all doing this for spinal cord injury. There are so many people who have tetraplegia and are paralysed from the neck down. They can’t use their arms like Aron. So he’s racing not only for those who can’t walk, but also for those who can’t use their hands.”
Running in Chile, Dominika Stelmach smashed the women’s world record by over two kilometres by registering 68.21km, with Austria’s Cornelia Moser (62.37km) and Portugal’s Vera Nunes (62.17km) rounding out the top three.
Be the first to find out about 2018 at WingsForLife.com. Subscription is now available to receive updates about the locations for next year’s Wings for Life World Run on Sunday, May 6, as soon as they are announced. Plus you can find out the full results and see more of the highlights.