A total of 184,236 runners took part in the virtual Wings for Life World Run event yesterday, which was claimed to be the biggest mass run in history.
Participants from 195 nations helped raise €4.1 million through entry fees and donations for spinal cord research.
Sweden’s Aron Anderson (66.8 km) won the men’s competition for the third time after victories in 2017 and 2018, while Russia’s Nina Zarina (60.2 km) took her third consecutive title following wins in 2019 and 2020. Runners and wheelchair users across the globe covered an average 12.3 km by the time the moving finish line - the "catcher car" - caught and passed them.
Thirty minutes after the start gun, at 12pm UK time, the virtual catcher car slowly began to chase all of those competing, getting faster with every kilometre. The Wings for Life World Run App included a running tracker, a pace calculator, an audio experience and running music, so each participant knew how far away they were from their goal distance and the catcher car.
Since 2014, 925,096 participants have taken part in the global charity run, 9,034,954 kilometers have been covered and 33.3 million euros has been raised.
GB trail international Tom Evans said: “There have been so many virtual events over the last year, but the Wings for Life World Run has a really distinct and inclusive feel to it. It’s incredibly inspiring knowing that you’re running alongside someone from another country that could be battling away on a city street in the dead of night or up a mountain as the sun sets. It’s a really special race.”
The next event will take place on May 8, 2022.