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Cool races in cool places: Wings for Life Run, 35 countries



When: May 4, 2014

Where: 35 countries worldwide, view all locations here.

Distance: Part of what makes this race unique is you don’t know the distance you’ll run – the finish line will chase you instead of you running for it. In a nutshell, you know where you start, but you don’t know where you finish. How exactly does this work? Half an hour after the start, a pace car will set off at each of the 35 courses, pursing runners. The pace of the car will increase at determined intervals, and once the pace car passes you, you’re done. You’ll be shuttled back to the start area to party.

The furthest you can go is 100K. You can predict how far you’ll go with this pace calculator (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

What makes it a cool race:  In addition to the unique format of the race (mentioned above), the race starts at the same exact time worldwide – for example, 3 a.m. in California, 4 a.m. in Colorado, 6 a.m. in Florida – which means runners will be racing simultaneously around the globe.

Plus, it’s all for a great cause: 100 percent of the proceeds from the event go to the Wings for Life foundation, which funds research into curing spinal cord injury.  The motto of the race is “running for those who can’t”.

What makes it a cool place: It’s not just one place – which is cool in itself. In addition, the individual locations are some of the most stunning on the planet, including Santiago, Chile, Verona, Italy, and Cape Town, South Africa.

Patrick RummerfieldCool runners in the race: There are some fantastic runners participating the inaugural race, including Nadia Ruiz Gonzales and Patrick Rummerfield.

Gonzales – at 29 years old – is the youngest woman to run 100 marathons (which she achieved last year at 28), and Rummerfield is the world’s first fully functional quadriplegic and after an incredible recovery and rehabilitation, has completed several Ironmans and marathons.

While their backgrounds are different, both runners share a passion for the foundation.

“I think this race is brilliant, a wonderful idea,” Rummerfield said. “It’s the most amazing adventure for everyone who participates, and I’m so honored and so privileged to be part of this. Remember we’re running for those who can’t.” Rummerfield also said even if you can’t participate, to consider donating.

Gonzales, a high school biology teacher, is a big health and fitness advocate, and shares Rummerfield’s enthusiasm.

“Wings for Life resonated with me and I really felt for their cause and wanted to spread the word,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales is running in California and Rummerfield is running in Florida.

Cost: $50, with all proceeds going to the Wings for Life Foundation (Sign up.)

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