TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 05, 2014) - Niagara Falls, Canada has been chosen as the exclusive Canadian stop of the Wings for Life World Run a remarkable global running race produced by Red Bull in partnership with the Wings for Life Foundation. With 35 simultaneous starts and no finish line, runners participating in this one-of-a-kind format will attempt to stay ahead of pursuing 'catcher cars' driven to chase and overpass them. The event debuted last year and raised more than $4.1 million worldwide to benefit spinal cord injury research.
The race is open to runners of all abilities, from weekend warriors or casual joggers all the way to hardcore marathoners. Sign-up is now open at www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/register so runners can get a head-start in preparing for the race and take advantage of early-bird entry fees from now until December 31st with 100% of all proceeds going directly to the Wings for Life foundation.
Josh Dueck, Canadian Paralympic gold medal skiier, is an inspirational voice in the spinal cord injury community and a lead ambassador for the Wings for Life World Run. Dueck is dedicated to raising awareness to find a cure for paralysis and to help improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries.
"From my experience, this race is a lot of fun. I met a ton of people who are genuinely passionate about running and about the cause, and the feeling of racing with those people and the entire planet at the same time is amazing. That definitely makes it the most unique and incredible running experience that's out there right now." - Josh Dueck
2014 World Run.
This past May, more than 35,000 runners of all abilities ran at the very same time on six continents -- in 34 locations -- in 13 time zones. The average distance ran was 9.3 miles, making this accessible to more people than the traditional half-or-full marathon. Each and every participant set their own personal goals -- whether it was two miles or 60 -- and every runner was guaranteed to finish because the catcher car eventually overpasses everyone.
In Canada, the inaugural race was held in Saskatoon with a local start time of 4:00am. For avid runner Ian MacNairn who placed second in the race with a total distance of 47km, it was a running experience unlike anything he had participated in before.
"The event was unique in that the outcome was based not on a fastest time, unlike most races. It was a different experience running 'away' from a finish line rather than towards it! With the goal to evade the Catcher Car for as long as possible, it was definitely a measure of grit and strength for me. It was exhilarating for me to run alongside those all around the world." - Ian MacNairn
In the end, the global champions and last male and female running were Ethiopia's Lemawork Ketema in Austria and Elise Molvik in Norway, who ran for 74.6km and 52km, respectively, before being overtaken by the 'Catcher Car.'
Notable Canadians that participated in Saskatoon include Olympic slopestyle snowboarding bronze medallist Mark McMorris, aerial skier Travis Gerrits and freestyle skier Sean Pettit.
The Catcher Car.
Starting more than 35,000 participants at exactly the same time -- day or night -- worldwide, is one challenge. But the Wings for Life World Run goes one step further and changes the face of racing altogether: thirty minutes after the runners take off, the 'catcher car' will begin to follow them. Driving slowly first, but increasing its speed gradually, the catcher car is the moving finish line. Equipped with electronic sensors, the catcher car will pass the runners, registering their digital chips on its way to the leaders. The last male and female to be caught worldwide are the global champions.
Spinal Cord Injury in Canada
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 organization, 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 recieved are used exclusively for promising research projects.
Running For Those Who Can't.
The Wings for Life World Run was introduced to support the not-for-profit Wings for Life foundation, which funds spinal cord research projects all over the world. 100% of the registration fees and sponsorship dollars from the World Run go directly to the Wings for Life Foundation to fund research to cure spinal cord injury. Millions of people around the world are living with a spinal cord injury. Every year, at least 250,000 more sustain a traumatic spinal cord injury, following traffic accidents, tragic falls and slips.
To download television news and web-quality video, photos and infographic assets for editorial use, please visit http://www.wingsforlifeworldrunnewsroom.com/.
For images from the 2014 Canadian Wings for Life World Run in Saskatoon, click here.
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