Wings for life world run raises millions for spinal injury research
11 May 2017
Centurion, 7 May 2017 – Thousands of South Africans took part in the fourth Wings for Life World Run in Pretoria contributing to over R100 million (€6.8 million) raised to help find a cure for spinal cord injury.
A global movement uniting over 155,000 runners (25 organised locations and 86 app run locations) this year, the Wings For Life World Run is the world’s only race that is run simultaneously wherever it is held. Starter guns fired at precisely the same time, setting off participants in darkness and daylight, in rain, snow and sunshine. The Wings for Life World Run pioneered the concept of a ‘moving finish line’. For the first time, celeb DJ Fresh drove the ‘Catcher Car’ that chased down our runners, ending their race as the Catcher Car overtook them.
“The World Run was more amazing than I expected, and I’m so thankful I was invited to take part,” says DJ Fresh. “It’s fun eliminating the first runners, but driving with the top 10 who run for hours made me appreciate their discipline and the effort they put into supporting this great cause.” A host of local personalities were at the start line at SuperSport Park Centurion, including 5FM personalities Thando Thabethe and Kyle Cassim. Well-known actors Thapelo Mokoena and Hlubi Mboya, and presenter of the show Real Health, Stacey Holland, also added their voices to cause.
The South African Women’s winner, Landie Greyling, ran 37.44kms and the winner of the South African men’s race, Renier Grobler, ran 63.07kms. One of the things that makes the Wings for Life World Run special is that 100% of all entry fees globally go to the Wings for Life Foundation, a non-profit organisation that funds research and clinical trials to find a cure for traumatic spinal cord injury. As the event has grown in scale since it started in 2014, it has increased international attention on spinal cord injury alongside.
“I’m definitely back for next year!” says DJ Fresh. “My wife wants to run in 2018, and I will gladly drive behind her.”
The next Wings for Life World Run will take place on 6 May 2018.
Participants perform during the Wings for Life World Run in Pretoria, South Africa on May 7, 2017.