Want to sign up for the Wings for Life World Run? Here's why you should
© Sam Clark for Wings for Life World Run
Dust off your trainers and mark your calendar for May 9, because the Wings for Life World Run is back and we want you to join in the global charity run for spinal cord injury research.
The eighth edition of the Wings For Life World Run, the global charity run that raises funds to aid research in the race to find a cure for spinal cord injury, is a go for next year, scheduled for May 9. With registration for the 2021 edition opening on November 17, here's information on the Wings for Life World Run and why you can look forward to lacing up your running shoes and taking part.
1. You'll be supporting a good cause
When you step out in the Wings for Life World Run, you step up for others, because 100 percent of all entry fees goes directly to the Wings for Life Foundation, whose mission is to find a cure for spinal cord injury.
2. There's nothing else like it
The run has a unique format featuring a mobile finish line called the Catcher Car. You start at the same time as all the other participants – 11am UTC. (That's 1pm in Berlin, 8pm in Tokyo and 7am in New York) and then, 30 minutes later, a Catcher Car starts its pursuit. When it passes you, you've completed your race and the very last person to be caught is the global winner. The 2020 champion, British runner Michael Taylor, managed 69.92km after running for 4h 12m.
3. Who doesn't enjoy some swag?
Sure, you're doing this to stay fit and help others, but if you're among the initial wave to register for 2021, you’ll also get an official Wings for Life World Run t-shirt. First come, first served until they run out.
4. The Wings for Life World Run App is ready to race
With live tracking and a virtual Catcher Car, the Wings For Life World Run App makes it possible to participate wherever you are come race day on May 9, whether alongside others or distanced. Its social media functions will keep you connected and an audio experience is there to inform, entertain and motivate in real time.
"Thanks to our app, we're going to be completely independent of newest developments," says the Wings for Life World Run Sports Director, Olympic medalist Colin Jackson. "We've got software that we’ve been continuously developing for five years, so, for us, a virtual run isn't new territory."
5. Flagship Runs are part of the plan, too
In addition to App Runs, shoulder-to-shoulder Flagship Runs are back in the picture. Look for Flagship Runs to take place in as many as 12 global destinations in 2021, depending on the prevailing situation. (Decisions on the Wings for Life World Run locations will be finalised by February at the latest.)
Don't worry if you signed up for the App Run, but a Flagship Run gets confirmed near you in the new year: if you sign up with the App, but want to join a Flagship Run, you can easily switch – just as long as there are still some starting places available.
6. You can be sure you'll finish this race
Thanks to the Catcher Car format, where the finish line comes to you, you can choose your own distance goal, whether you're running, rolling in a wheelchair, jogging, or walking. There's even a Wings for Life World Run calculator to show you the pace you'll need to set in order to reach your target distance. Lots of participants have said that the Catcher Car actually spurred them to a new personal best.
7. It's just plain fun for everyone
World-class athletes. Beginners. 18-year-olds. Octogenarians. Everyone in between. The global starting roster in the Wings For Life World Run is as colourful as you can get, dotted with costumes, teams in matching outfits and – depending on the location – sunglasses, headlamps, rain gear, sweatbands, the occasional mitten and lots of smiles. Rallying around a good cause makes it a snark-free, high-energy day, shared by thousands all at once.
8. Here's your chance to be part of something truly global
Not only will you be running at the same time as everyone around the world, but you'll be adding to a legacy that's been building since the first start in 2014. So far, 700,000 registered participants from 195 nations have covered 7m kilometres and raised almost €30m ($35.5m) for spinal-cord injury research! There's no stopping this movement until a cure is found.
The Wings for Life World Run 2021 is scheduled for May 9. Registration opens on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 on the Wings For Life World Run website.