Racing season is officially upon us! My first race of the year just took place this past weekend – a cold, wet half marathon in Philly called the Love Run. As I research races and plan my racing schedule for the upcoming year, I have been really excited by how many cool and creative races there are out there.
One of the coolest global races that I have come across is the “Wings for Life World Run.” The reason this racing opp is so cool is that it is actually a series of up to 40 races across the world all taking place at the same exact time. The purpose is globally coming together in awareness of spinal cord injuries and to fund research that can cure them.
The reason is also innovative in that there is no set length – for every participant, their finish line depends on them. Every runner sets out at the same exact time, whether they are professional, amateur or beginner. For anyone who has done an organized race before and has become accustomed to lining up in corrals by anticipated finish time, this is definitely a change! Thirty minutes after the start gun, a “catcher car” will take off after the racers. Once the vehicle passes, a runner’s race is over, and thus runners will be judged on distance as opposed to time.
The United States will be hosting races in three states: Colorado, California, and Florida. Denver, Colorado is often referred to as the fittest city in the USA. Denver’s athletes are not only challenged with mile high elevation, they will also be beginning their race at 4 AM Mountain Time. Sunrise, Florida will also be a host city. Runners can expect moderate temperatures and flat terrain leading through palm trees and suburban landscapes. The Sunrise race will begin at 6 AM Eastern Time at the BB&T Center and wind through the beautiful cities of Sunrise and Weston before making a northwesterly turn along U.S. 27, which leads runners northwest into the Florida Everglades. Santa Clarita, California – the final city in the USA to host a race is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, Santa Clarita is the only west coast city in the U.S. participating in this global event. Santa Clarita is known for its outdoor lifestyle amenities including more than 70 miles of trails and ample open space, which provides a picturesque course for competitors. At 3 AM Pacific Time, the Santa Clarita race will begin on Magic Mountain Parkway near the roller coaster capital of the world.
I wish I lived near one of these cities because this is race that I would LOVE to do – it’s without a doubt on my bucket list. Those who are interested in joining and are wanting to take part on May 4, 2014 have until midnight (UTC) on Sunday, April 20, 2014 to register for one of the runs via www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com. However, participation per race is limited so interested entrants will want to register soon. This race is sponsored by Red Bull so you know it’s got to be exciting (plus it helps out a totally worthy cause – did you know that an estimated 3 million people around the world are living with spinal cord injuries?!).
What’s a cool race or fitness event that you’ve heard of lately?
**The original publication had 30 countries in the headline. The correct number is 35. This has been fixed!