Ethiopia’s Lemawork Ketema and Japan’s Yuko Watanabe emerged as the global winners of the race
Gurgaon, 3rd May, 2015: India was the hottest of all countries that ran at the Wings For Life World Run. From hobby joggers to elite runners, it was a true spectacle to see 101,280 runners globally, of which 1041 ran in India and battled it out in the sweltering heat of Gurgaon. They pushed themselves beyond their limit for the cause of spinal cord research.
The 2nd edition of the Wings for Life World Run ended at approximately 9:00 PM in India. The Catcher Car driven by badminton champion Ashwini Ponnappa crossed Kenya’s Linah Chirchir at 44.8 kilometers making her the winner of the female category. India’s Radhey Kumar was declared the male winner as the Catcher Car drove past him at 55.2 kilometers.
“The run was difficult and exhilarating all at the same time. I started running slowly but steadily… I’m so glad with how far I got,” said the India female winner Linah Chirchir.
The India male winner, Radhey Kumar, said, “Running in this unique race was absolutely incredible. This endurance format is very challenging, especially because of the high temperatures! I practiced for multiple weeks before this run. I think it’s a great idea for a fitting cause and just trying to stay ahead of the car took a lot of effort. I’m very happy that I won.”
Other athletes who participated in the Wings For Life World Run, India, included chess player Tania Sachdev, off-road racer CS Santosh, boulderer Tuhin Satarkar and blade runner Major DP Singh. Besides, Bollywood actor and local ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana, boxers Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar, Captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey team Mamta Kharab and President, Haryana Olympic Association Mr. Param Vir Rathee were present to cheer the runners.
Globally, hundreds of athletes took up the option of doing a Selfie Run if they were unable to compete at one of the main venues. Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat did Selfie Runs in Monaco and Lugano respectively.
Anita Gerhardter, CEO of the Wings for Life Foundation, said it had been an unforgettable day.
“It was a great day for Wings for Life and a great day for spinal cord research with 4.2 million Euros raised and donations are still coming in,” she said. “It exceeded all my expectations. There were so many thrilling, touching moments today but my personal highlight was the Swedish wheelchair competitor Aron Anderson.”