'Catcher Cars' In Global Chase Race Ready To Pursue Runners At Wings For Life World Run 2016

Ground breaking global charity run for spinal cord injury research looks to surpass participation, distance and contribution records

Nov 10, 2015, 08:04 ET from Wings for Life World Run

SUNRISE, Fla. and SANTA CLARITA, Calif., Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The chase is on when the world's only global race with a synchronized starting line - and no traditional finish line - returns on May 8, 2016.  Three North American locations are confirmed - Santa Clarita, Calif., Sunrise, Fla. and Niagara Falls, Ont. - among the 34 locations worldwide.

Produced by Red Bull, the Wings for Life World Run has pioneered the concept of a 'Catcher Car' format, a signature innovation in which a vehicle gives runners a head start and then chases down the field at a predetermined pace until the last man and woman are caught and declared Global Champions.  Because every runner will eventually be caught by the pursuing finish line (the Catcher Car), beginners to dedicated athletes to competitors in everyday wheelchairs are guaranteed to finish the race and make a difference.

"It's a run like no other, you have to go till the car passes you," said Eric LeGrand, a former college football player who was paralyzed in a 2010 game. "We're raising money to find a cure to get us all out of these wheelchairs and I'm proud to be a part of it."

This past May, more than 101,000 runners from around the world registered for this global chase race and more than $4.7 million was raised for Wings for Life's single goal: to find a cure for spinal cord injury.  Over the first two years of this ambitious global endeavor, a grand total of $8.8 million has been amassed, with 100% of all entry fees and donations directly focused on the cause.  Olympians Lindsey Vonn, Louie Vito and Mark McMorris, along with LeGrand, are just some of the ambassadors who help shine a light on spinal cord injury research.  In all, there were simultaneous runs at 35 locations in 33 countries - on six continents - and in 12 time zones.

"I'm inspired by what they are trying to accomplish, which is finding a cure for spinal cord injuries," said Lindsey Vonn. "This is an opportunity for everyone to be part of a global race - and run for those who can't."

In the end, the last male and female running globally were defending men's champion Lemawork Ketema in Austria and women's champion Yuuko Watanabe in Japan, who ran for 49.6 miles and 35 miles respectively, before being reeled in by the 'Catcher Car,' the moving finish line that pursues runners from behind.  A global live stream captured all the action and allowed family and friends to chronicle the milestone moment.

In the USA, Santa Clarita, Calif., runners Thibault Baronian (34.3 miles) and Shannon Rahlves (23.1 miles) and Sunrise, Fla., runners Svein Risa (34.1 miles) and Nathalie Vasseur (32.4 miles) were the last males and females running before being caught.

People who want to participate in one of the official North American Wings for Life World Run locations in California, Florida or Canada can register now at wingsforlifeworldrun.com. There is an early bird special of $30 for those who register before Jan. 1, 2016 ($50 afterwards).

For more information, including registration details and location updates, visit www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com; or to download editorial content, visit the Wings for Life World Run Newsroom.

About 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 a 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 the cure is still to be found, steady progress has been made. 100% of the Wings for Life World Run entry fees and funds of this global running event will help work towards Wings for Life's ultimate goal. Every step taken at the Wings for Life World Run and in the Wings for Life World Run Selfie Run is a step in the right direction – www.wingsforlife.com.

About the Wings for Life World Run
The Wings for Life World Run was launched in 2014 to benefit the not-for-profit Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injury. Presented with the support of main partners Garmin and Puma in 2015, the Wings for Life World Run has pioneered the concept of a synchronized race where participants of all levels, all across the globe, run simultaneously, no matter the hour or the weather in their location. The event has also introduced the Catcher Car format, in which the finish line ­– a vehicle that gives the runners a head start – chases the field at a predetermined pace. Only at the point of being overtaken is a runner's race over, and the individual man and woman last to be caught are declared Global Champions – www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151109/285548 
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151109/285547


SOURCE Wings for Life World Run