|By Marketwired .||
|May 4, 2014 01:21 PM EDT||
SASKATOON, SK--(Marketwired - May 04, 2014) - At 4:00am CST this morning, close to 200 participants in Saskatoon consisting of hobby runners to professional athletes such as Mark and Craig McMorris joined thousands of runners from 34 cities around the world across 6 continents to participate in the inaugural Wings for Life World Run, the first simultaneous global running race in the world -- all in support of spinal cord research. Around the world, over 40,000 runners took part in the event.
Featuring a unique format with a moving finish line, runners were challenged to outrun the 'Catcher Car' that decided the duration of their race.
The race awarded both local and global winners in male and female categories. From Saskatoon, it was Ryan King (male) and Chrissy Magneson (female) who each mustered the stamina to stay ahead of the Catcher Car longer than any other runners in the field. King logged an impressive 46.7KM while Magneson was not far behind with a total distance of 32.97KM.
"My biggest draw was the uniqueness of the race, I've never had a race before where you're being chased. I had a goal of 55km but I'm still pleased with the performance," said King. "If I could race anywhere in the world next year, it would be Aukland. It was an awesome event and I'll definitely be doing it again next year."
The winners were awarded an all expenses paid trip to run at any event site around the world during the next Wings for Life World Run.
At the global level, it was Lemawork Ketema of Etheopia and Elise Selvikvag Molvik of Norway who managed to stay in the race and ahead of the Catcher Car longer than any other participants around the world.
Full race results of all participants can be found here.
Unlike a traditional race, there is no static finish line. Competitors run in front of an advancing 'catcher car' with each car around the world governed by a single, global race schedule. Half an hour after the runners start, the catcher car at every race location begins on the track. Once a catcher car overtakes a runner, their race is over. This will continue until there is only one male and one female athlete in the world left running. Only they will be crowned the Wings for Life World Run Champions, meaning runners not only compete head to head with those in their country, but around the world.
"It's very cool to be a part of this event to raise awareness to help find a cure for spinal cord injury and to minimize the impact on, not only the individual with spinal cord injury, but their entire community, their friends and family," said Canadian Paralympic gold medallist Josh Dueck.
SPINAL CORD INJURY
It is estimated that 3,000,000 people worldwide are living with a spinal cord injury. Every year 130,000 more sustain a spinal cord injury, followed by paralysis -- the main cause being traffic accidents. In Canada, there are over 86,000 people living with spinal cord injury with 51% as a result of traumatic injury. Each year, it is estimated that there are 4,300 new cases across the country. The advances in research are largely based on private initiatives. Being a non-profit organisation, Wings for Life relies on support and donations to help fund this research. Wings for Life is set up to ensure that 100% of all donations it receives are used exclusively for promising research projects.
After the race, CEO of Wings for Life Anita Gerhardter announced the amount of money raised for spinal cord research: "I am proud to say that the Wings for Life World Run has raised more than 3 Million Euro so far. And there are still donations coming in."
Media assets including still images and video clips from the event are available via the Wings for Life World Run News Room. All assets are free for download and editorial usage.
For the latest information on the Wings for Life World Run, follow along using:
#WingsForLife #WorldRun #Saskatoon
By running you will not only be part of a truly revolutionary global sporting event, but you will join the race to find a cure for spinal cord injury.
The following files are available for download: