Mar 25, 2024

🎤 Wings for Life World Run sign up open for Hays race; proceeds for spinal cord injury research

Posted Mar 25, 2024 9:45 AM

Hays Post

The Wings of Life World Run is a run/walk held in numerous places around the world on May 5, with each location starting at the same time — 11 a.m. and coordinated universal time (UTC). 

In Hays, that means a 6 a.m. start for the Wings for Life World Run at the Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex. 

All entry fees go to spinal cord research, said Darren Unrein, operations director at A&A Coors, Hays. The cost to enter is $28 per person. 

A&A Coors is the area distributor of Red Bull energy drinks, which is the sponsor of the international event. 

"Professional athletes, fun runners, beginners, are all in it together against the virtual catcher car," Unrein said. 

The catcher car is on the downloadable registration app available on the  Wings for Life World Run website, or Facebook page. The virtual car begins moving 30 minutes after the start of the race and "once it overtakes you, you're done," he said. "There's no finish line."

"You walk or run, set your own distance and pace," Unrein said. "You can set anywhere from one mile up to 50 miles, if you're that ambitious.

"You're not racing against other people. You're racing against the catcher car and your own goal. That's what makes this race different than most."

The Wings for Life World Run is now the largest running event in the world, according to information on its website. People in 195 countries have participated in the past decade, raising the equivalent of more than $47 million.  

The first 200 runners/walkers/wheelers to sign up will get a Red Bull lanyard. Prizes of a Red Bull backpack and a metal water bottle will be awarded to the top 10 distance runners. A special prize will be given for first place.

A light post-race breakfast will be served with water and Red Bull available to all participants and supporters.

The nonprofit Wings for Life World Run, now in its 10th year, has funded almost 300 spinal cord injury research projects in 20 countries. 

 According to the World Health Organization, between 250,000 and 500,000 people suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury every year.

In the United States, more than 50% of those injuries are the result of traffic accidents, while 24% of spinal cord injuries are from falls. 

"They become paralyzed with no feeling in their legs, maybe no feeling in their arms or hands either," Unrein said.

"As a charity foundation, Wings for Life supports cutting edge research worldwide. The big goal is to find a cure for spinal cord injury," he said.