Wings for Life World Run breaks a record
MORE than €4.1 million (R70m) were raised during the Wings for Life World Run held at the weekend.
The event organiser’s said there were 184 236 participants from 195 nations who took part in Sunday’s run.
The funds raised, from entry fees and donations, will go towards spinal cord research.
Sweden’s Aron Anderson (66.8km) won the men’s competition for the third time after victories in 2017 and 2018, while Russia’s Nina Zarina (60.2km) took her third consecutive title, following wins in 2019 and 2020.
The runners and wheelchair users covered an average of 12.3km this year.
Nearly 2 000 South Africans across the country took part in this year’s run.
South African 2018 race winner Admire Muzopambwa topped the table with an outstanding 50.4km covered.
Other local athletes and media personalities that took to the streets included MotoGP’s Brad Binder, 5FM lunchtime host Zanele Potelwa, celebrities Stephanie and Hungani Ndlovu and trail ultra runner Ryan Sandes.
“I’m at a loss for words. The number of participants is so much bigger than what we dared to dream of. All I can say is thank you to each and every person who ran, walked or rolled with us,” said Anita Gerhardter, chief executive of the non-profit foundation Wings for Life.
“I am thrilled to hear that more than 180 000 people around the world came together to run for the good cause,” said Jon Ridgeon, chief executive of World Athletics.
“It’s fantastic that with intelligent solutions like an app, a global event such as the Wings for Life World Run can happen during these challenging times. It’s a ray of light for all runners and athletes around the world, and I hope more such events will happen in the future to give people an opportunity to continue with their active lifestyles during the pandemic.
“For me as a person with a spinal cord injury, it’s truly amazing and gratifying that over 180 000 people decided to participate in the Wings for Life World Run to help researchers come closer to finding a cure,” said three-time winner Anderson of Sweden.
“The race brings so much joy to my heart and I really love being a part of it. I want to express my thanks to all the other runners because they are all contributing to an important cause. So thank you to everyone!”