Spinal Cord Injury Community

Wings for Life World Run – Run, Walk or Roll for Spinal Cord Injury Research

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
05/01/17  10:59 AM PST
Wings for Life

Above: the start line of the Wings for Life World Run in Santa Clarita, Town Center Drive – 2016

In a world full philanthropy and good will, there is one organization that I whole heartedly support and resonate with: The Wings For Life Foundation. This international group lead by the founders of the Red Bull sports drink are true to their nature and are progressively pushing spinal cord injury scientific research forward on a global scale. This not-for-profit foundation has a sole mission to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.

The Wings for Life World Run is a global charity event with a unique, and one-of-a-kind fun format of which 100% of donations, entry fees and funds goes towards spinal cord research.

It’s a worldwide run where everybody starts simultaneously and the finish line chases you!

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The Format

Here’s how it works: On one day each year, the Wings for Life “World Run” & “Selfie Run” (See App) takes place at event locations across the planet. Everybody starts at exactly the same moment, 11AM UTC. Whether it’s day or night, bright sun or pouring rain at your location – you’re running together with the world and sharing an amazing experience. Your name shows up on a Global Result List, too!

The World Run is not a regular marathon. Rather than running towards a pre-determined finish line, the finish line chases you. Thirty minutes after the start of the race, a “Catcher Car” sets off at each location. As long as runners outrun the car, they remain in the race.

Once passed by the Catcher Car, their race is over. This continues until there is a single man and single woman left running or wheeling. Only they will be crowned the Global Champions of the Wings for Life World Run.

The event will take place in up to 36 locations spread across 6 continents, in countries including India, the USA, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy and Ireland among others.


The Driving Force

The driving forces behind Wings for Life are the two-time motocross world champion Heinz Kinigadner and the founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz. In 2003, Kinigadner’s son Hannes had a tragic accident which left him a quadriplegic.

Moved by the dreadful injury, Kinigadner and Mateschitz invited leading scientists from across the world to come to Salzburg. It soon became clear that, contrary to common opinion, there is legitimate reason to hope that traumatic spinal cord injury can be cured. Ground-breaking discoveries made by Prof. Dr. Sam David in 1981 and by Prof. Dr. Martin Schwab in the early 1990s showed that injured nerve cells in the spinal cord are capable of regeneration after specific types of treatment. Kinigadner and Mateschitz soon realized that research into spinal cord injury was underfunded. Paralysis was (and is now) not considered a widespread condition and therefore investing millions in research to help a relatively small number of people was generally considered an unprofitable endeavor.

This realization prompted Kinigadner and Mateschitz to set up the Wings for Life research foundation – with the goal of finding ways to cure all people affected.

The undeniable inertia created by this monstrous global movement is clearly compelling and has attracted all walks of life (pun intended) – me included. From the moment this concept was released to the world, my hand was held high as a passionate supporter and participant. I am a very proud Ambassador of this organization and I willingly catalyze my local and world community to join me on my team (COREcenters) by registering for this event.

I sincerely hope to see both new and familiar friendly faces this year at the starting line.

Visit www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com to sign up today.

Online registration ends May 3rd.

Onsite registration is available Saturday May 6th & Raceday morning May 7th.

Above: Aaron & his wife Katie heading to the starting line – 2016

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