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WHEN: Sunday May 4, 2014, 10pm NZ Time (10am UTC)
WHAT: Races contested simultaneously on six continents
WINGS FOR LIFE’S MISSION: To find a cure for spinal cord injury
ENTRY FEE: $75 NZD. 100% goes to spinal cord research
Everything will be different with the ‘Wings for Life World Run.’ The race has no fixed distance and every runner around the world will start at precisely the same time. Never in sporting history has an event like this been undertaken. Thousands of runners will set off on May 4, 2014, along routes in up to 40 different locations on six continents in varying light and weather conditions. Runners in New Zealand will set out from Auckland at 10pm, in California the event starts at 3am, in London the event starts at 11am, while competitors in Germany will set off at midday.
There is no traditional static finish line, rather competitors will run in front of an advancing ‘catcher car,’ every car governed by the single, global race schedule. Half an hour after the runners start, the catcher car at every race will begin behind them at a set speed of 15km/h. Once a catcher car overtakes a runner their race is over. This will continue until there is one male and one female athlete in the world left running. Only they will be crowned the Wings for Life World Run Champions.
Located only 45 minutes from the heart of Auckland City, the New Zealand track of the Wings for Life World Run will start at Hampton Downs Raceway. This gives runners a unique opportunity to begin their journey on one of New Zealand’s premium racetracks.
More than 216 top athletes from a wide range of sports and countries have already signed up to support and participate in the race. Among those taking part will be surf icon Robby Naish, ex-Formula One driver David Coulthard, racing legend Eddie Jordan, and many other sporting heroes who have all volunteered to be event ambassadors.
New Zealand ambassadors include All Black Rugby Player Daniel Carter, Paralympic Sailor Andrew May, Rodney Williams, Red Bull endurance athlete Braden Currie, Marathon runner Gareth O’Donnell and Red Bull Kayak expedition athlete, Ben Brown.
SPINAL CORD STATISTICS
- The majority of spinal cord injuries occur in young males between 25 – 45 years who are at the peak of their productivity
- 40% of spinal cord injuries in New Zealand are a result of motor vehicle accidents
- The average cost of care for each high level tetraplegic is NZ$212,000 per year
- New Zealand has one of the highest rates of SCI in the western world with the associated rehabilitation and hospital costs being among the highest for all injuries.