New Irish leg records set 130,732 runners from 203 nationalities running across 12 different time zones to help raise money to cure spinal cord injuries
As the third annual Wings for Life World Run got out of the blocks in 34 locations in 33 countries around the world, over 2,000 runners set off in Dun Laoghaire against the backdrop of Scotsman’s Bay towards Bray and Greystones, enjoying to the beautiful coastal views, to join the record 130,732 athletes worldwide
The clouds parted and the sun shone through over the sea front at Sandycove to lift the spirits of the runners led newly appointed Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar with Irish ambassadors Bernard Brogan, Roz Purcell, Michael Conlon, Felix Jones and Eoghann McDermott joining recreational runners and top long-distance pros from around the globe simultaneously, raising awareness and much needed funds for spinal cord research.
The leading man in the Irish leg, Paul Martelleti set a fierce pace which he kept to the end coming in 5th across the Globe and smashing all the previous race times when he ran 73.76km in 4 hours 47mins which is the equivalent of nearly two marathons. Sarah Mulligan also set a new record in the Irish women’s race and ran 45.64km, before being caught by the catcher car.
The Wings for Life World Run was launched in 2014 to raise funds for the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation. Pioneering the concept of a synchronised race where participants across the world run simultaneously, the event introduced the Volkswagen Catcher Car format, in which a celebrity-driven vehicle gives the runners a head start, chasing the field at a predetermined pace. While the individual man and woman last to be caught are declared Global Champions, all the participants have their own personal goals and motivations, which are as varied and unique as the runners themselves.
One-hundred percent of all entry fees and donations contributed by the Wings for Life World Run participants, and by the friends and families who support them to maximise their financial impact, goes to spinal cord research projects to help find a cure for spinal cord injuries