Running for those who can’t – the 2015 Wings for Life World Run
Aanikah aka The Mrs here.
So while Mr Leave the Couch has been largely incapacitated and playing babysitter, I’ve been taking part in some awesome running events. The one that I was most excited about was The Wings for Life World Run – partly because of the philanthropic nature of the event and partly because it fell on my birthday. Yay!
What is The Wings for Life World Run?
The premise behind the event is ‘to run for those who can’t’.
With 100% of the registration fee going towards spinal cord research, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of the Wings for Life community. Another cool selling point for me was the fact that there was no finish line – in fact, the ‘finish line’ catches you!
How does that work?
All participants worldwide start at the same time across the 35 locations. A car starts about 30 minutes after the race begins and speeds up until all runners have been caught.
The cool thing is that because the race happens at the same time around the world – no one really knows who the winner is until the last person is left running.
If, like me, you ran the race in Cape Town, then the chase-car was driven by the 2009 Dakar Rally champion, Geniel De Villiers. Even with a 30 minute head start, the car starts traveling at about 15km/hr – so it wasn’t going to be easy 🙂
In this race, the ball was completely in the runner’s court with participants literally running until the chaser car caught up to them or until they decided they’d had enough.
The scene for the Cape Town leg was set in the beautiful Franschoek valley on the Boschendal Wine Estate with the race starting at 1pm.
Yes that’s 1pm!
I have to admit that I found the heat quite challenging with temperatures reaching around 30°C on the day. But then I spared a thought for my fellow racers around the world, some running in 40°C weather (in Dubai) and others at 4am (in Los Angeles).
From a logistical and organizational standpoint, this run stood out as a well-oiled machine.
There was ample water and sugary drinks to keep us fueled at the water points – which I made full use of. The marshals and supporters along the route helped to give us extra motivation with their great attitudes and extra big smiles 🙂
Also, every 2kms after the 10km mark runners had access to buses to shuttle them back to the start line when their race was over.
From the sound of the start gun there was a buzz in the air. A sense that we were all part of something bigger than ourselves.
I am by no means in the best of shape, but on that day I felt an obligation to run my @$$ off. I had no excuse but to push through those silly knee or foot or ankle niggles that I generally experience on any given run.
I generally try my best to be a grateful person and thankful that I am able to run. But at events like this you really see amazing human beings. There was a young guy racing next to me in a wheelchair for Pete’s sake!
I tried to not be a chick about it and give in to the lump in my throat – so I continued to give my all.
I realized that I wanted every run to feel that way – to have that incredible feeling of accomplishment and purpose. Yes running a fast time or beating your personal best is great; but for me, this run was worth every penny because it was about more, even if I only managed 12.6kms in the end 🙂
Long story short, we are surrounded by awesome people accomplishing the most incredible things and, if you are by the means, try and get a piece of that. If it means pushing through your own pain and discomfort, anxiety, or just lack of motivation, just go! Do!
The global winner of the event, Lemawork Ketema, ran 79.9 kms! Amazing!
I will definitely be participating in the next one and suggest you all do too. You can pre-register for the 2016 event here
You won’t regret it!
For more information about the Wings for Life World Run check out the website