I remember hearing about the Wings for Life World Run last year when it first offered the world a totally unique running race format. It was a race that was to be held simultaneously in a bunch of cities (I now know that the bunch is 35) and involved groups of people running until a car caught them. Even better was that 100% of the entry fee went to spinal cord research – reflecting the race slogan of “run for those who can’t.” Now I’ll admit that with the Red Bull name attached to the event, I wondered what kind of extreme stunts and conditions would be involved? The truth is none. It’s just like a normal race, only instead of a fixed finish line at a specific distance, the finish line is chasing you in the form of a catcher car, and the race is as long as you can possibly make it. Now to make it fair the runners get a head start, and the car won’t be using all of its potential the way you will be as it will gradually speed up over time.
I joined the folks from Red Bull Canada, and a group of runners for a fun pre-run as a warm up to the big event this past Saturday. We used the Wings for Life Car Catcher app (available free for iOS and Android) to simulate the car chasing us while we did a 10km run in Niagara. The app is a great tool to track your training, simulate the car chasing you, and share your training on social media. You get real time updates of when the car starts (30 minutes after you start) and how close it is getting as you go. Its a fun way to see what the real day will be like depending on your run pace.
Another unique aspect of the World Run is that everyone, in each of the 35 global cities, will be starting at exactly the same time (11:00 AM UTC). The good news is that beyond the inherent coolness factor of running in Niagara Falls, you will get a reasonably civilized 7AM start time. This sounds much more appealing than the folks in Santa Clarita, California who will line up at 4AM, or even in the sweltering heat at 3PM in Dubai! Once you are caught by the car you will be brought back to the start area where you will be able to watch thousands of other runners around the world who are still running, until the final runner is caught.
If you’re interested in this unique, super cool, event that Red Bull is throwing down on May 3, 2015 check out the website at: