8 November 2023

~5 minutes read

Irish people encouraged to take part in World’s Largest Running Event

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Irish people encouraged to take part in World’s Largest Running Event

Irish runners and wheelchair users will join hundreds of thousands of people across the globe next year to take part in the Wings for Life World Run 2024. Registrations officially opened today for the 11th edition of the largest and most inclusive running event in the world, which takes place on Sunday May 5th, 2024. The run is an opportunity for runners of all levels to run separately for a united cause, with 100% of all funds raised going straight to spinal cord research at the not-for-profit Wings for Life foundation.

The unique race format means runners and wheelchair users on every corner of the globe take part at the same time. While each participant will set their own pace, with their own goals, they will all contribute to the same cause of helping to find a cure for spinal cord injury. The Wings for Life World Run App makes it easy to run just about anywhere, and is available to download via iOS or Android.

Whether they run, roll in a wheelchair, jog or simply walk, every participant in the Wings for Life World Run starts at exactly the same moment, 11.00am UTC (12.00pm Irish Time). But they don’t run toward the finish line – they run away from it. Participants are chased by the event’s signature “Catcher Car,” which gives them a 30-minute head start. When this moving finish line passes them, they’ve successfully completed their race, until the last man and woman to be caught are named the global champions. The Catcher Car format means that the Wings for Life World Run is the only race worldwide where everyone who starts will finish.

In a first for the event and as part of a new partnership with leading sports brand adidas, everyone who registers – no matter where or how they choose to run – will receive the official Wings for Life World Run t-shirt to help them get ready as part of the €25 entry fee. The special commemorative design from adidas will let everyone know the wearer is running for those who can’t. With nearly 75% of spinal cord injuries resulting from everyday occurrences like car accidents and falls, it can happen to anyone.

Since the first Wings for Life World Run in 2014, the event has so far raised over €43.8 million, with 1,293,716 registered participants covering 11,839,989 kilometers in over 195 countries across all seven continents. The 2023 edition alone drew a record 206,728 participants, and the aim for 2024 is to surpass that benchmark with even more people taking part. The event is the primary fundraiser for the not-for-profit Wings for Life foundation, which funds promising spinal cord research and clinical trials. Breakthroughs from these studies are already changing lives, so going for a run on a single day in May really can make a difference in the search for a cure.

The Wings for Life World Run starts simultaneously around the world at 11.00am UTC / 12.00pm Irish time on Sunday, May 5th, 2024. You can play your part in making this year’s event the biggest yet, by registering via www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com.


About the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation

Worldwide, millions of people are dependent on a wheelchair after having sustained a spinal cord injury, most often as the result of a traffic accident or a fall. Wings for Life is a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation with the single mission to find a cure for spinal cord injury. Since 2004, Wings for Life has funded life-changing research projects and clinical trials around the globe. While a cure is still to be found, steady progress has been made. Every step taken at the Wings for Life World Run is a step in the right direction, because 100% of entry fees and donations goes to spinal cord injury research: www.wingsforlife.com.


About the Wings for Life World Run

Once a year, the Wings for Life World Run takes place around the globe. All participants start at the same time worldwide and run either individually with the Wings for Life World Run App or together in several Flagship Runs. The best part is that any form of the run is all about being there. It doesn’t matter how well, fast or far you run, whether you’re a professional athlete, a hobby runner or an absolute beginner. It is all about having fun while running. For this reason there is no traditional finish line. Instead, 30 minutes after the start, either a virtual or – in the case of the Flagship Runs – a real Catcher Car picks up the chase and overtakes one runner after another. Results aren’t measured in time, but in distance achieved. Best of all: 100% of entry fees and donations goes directly to spinal cord research. In the editions of the Wings for Life World Run that have been completed to date, a total of 1,293,716 registered participants from 195 nationalities ran, walked and rolled on all seven continents and together raised a total of €43.8 million to find a cure for spinal cord injury. www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com

How to register for this year’s app run event:

  • Download the WFLWR app to your phone: IOS / Android
  • Register your details
  • Following registration, an email will follow on how to claim your official adidas running t-shirt
  • 100% of your €25 entry fee goes straight to the Wings for Life Foundation
  • Training tips & videos can be found here: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/projects/wings-for-life-world-run-training-plan/marathon-training-programme
  • On race day, make sure your phone and headphones are charged and ready to go
  • A few minutes before 12pm on Sunday May 5th, make sure you are ready to start with the app open and headphones connected to avail of the interactive experience throughout

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