Ahmedabad, 9th May, 2015: The India leg of the Wings for Life World Run was a spectacular sight as 1263 runners, including 900 personnel from the Gujarat Police, ran in the sweltering heat of Ahmedabad, the hottest track out of the total of 34 locations globally.
The Wings for Life World Run is a one-of-a-kind global run that took place simultaneously across 34 global locations at 11 am UTC. Instead of a regular finish line, the runners were chased by the Catcher Car and eliminated as it passed by them.
The 3rd edition of the Wings for Life World Run brought together amateur runners and professional athletes alike, to run for those who cannot. All the proceeds from the run go to the Wings for Life Foundation, a not-for- profit organization dedicated to finding the cure for spinal cord injury.
In India, the Wings for Life World Run, powered by Vodafone Supernet 4G, began at 4.30 pm IST. The female winner ran 39.21 km in 2 hours 59 minutes, and the male winner ran 54.2 km in 3 hours 48 minutes before they were chased down by the Catcher Car – an Audi Q5 that was driven by India’s foremost off-road rally racer and Red Bull athlete CS Santosh. Driving the backup Catcher Car was Audi India Racing talent Aditya Patel.
Also participating in the 2016 edition of Wings for Life World Run was badminton Champion Ashwini Ponnappa, Indian Goalkeeper Subrata Paul, Mountain climber Tuhin Satarkar along with Lithuanian stunt rider Aras Gibieza all running to show their support for the cause of spinal cord injury. Also running the marathon was local celebrity TV actress Aashka Goradia.
Globally, it came down to an exhilarating finale as Giorgio Calcaterra (88.44km) from Italy and Kaori Yoshida (65.71km) from Japan battled it out to be to the last man and woman running in the world. The 3rd edition of the Wings for Life World Run turned out to be a record success with 130,732 participants from 33 countries running for those who cannot.
Titus Kariuki Wanderi Githu, male winner: Running this race is tougher than any other race since there is no definite finish line. The race was a true test of endurance given the searing temperatures – I pushed myself as far as I could. The thrill of trying to stay ahead of the catcher car is a whole different experience altogether. I am extremely happy to have won and I’m glad to have been a part of this cause.
Kiranjit Kaur, female winner: This is my second year at the run, I was the runner-up last year and I have finally won this year. The race was very well organized which helped me run better despite the high temperature. I had a target of 50 km and even though I’m elated and proud of winning I will be back next year to chase my target.
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About Wings for Life foundation: It’s estimated that 3,000,000 people worldwide are living with a spinal cord injury. Every year 130,000 more people sustain a spinal cord injury, followed by paralysis. Dedicated to find a cure for spinal cord injuries, Wings for Life is a non-profit research foundation established in 2004 by Dietrich Mateschitz and the two-time motocross world champion Heinz Kinigadner. In order to realise its vision, Wings for Life supports and finances world-class scientific research and clinical trials across the world aimed at healing the injured spinal cord. Moreover, it also facilitates the sharing of scientific knowledge.