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Written By Clare Wilkes - May 08 2017
After the fun of Wings For Life 2016, it was a given that Flight Crew would be back to support what was set to be an even bigger and better event this year. With the go ahead to have over double the number of people, the opportunity to have several Red Bull athletes and ambassadors run with us, and the promise of an even better breakfast, spaces soon filled up - raising over $1000 in the process, just from registration donations.
Gathering at Vancouver Running Company at the now familiar time of 3.30am, the electric atmosphere of the hour and anticipation of what lay ahead got everyone warmed up. Over 100 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes took to the streets of Vancouver at 4am to raise awareness for spinal cord research - running for those who can’t.
The cool temperatures and clear skies made for the perfect morning for a run; laps of the seawall have never been so peaceful, save for a group of rowdy runners disturbing the peace. The Red Bull Wings team flew effortlessly into position to make sure the runners stayed hydrated, and distributed high fives as needed as the miles stacked up.
As the sun rose over the city, runners were gradually caught by the virtual Chaser Car, and by our team of bikes who helped to make our satellite event feel like one of the major host cities. As the car started later than the runners, everyone had a chance to clock a few kilometres before the sun came up.
The VRC Flight Crew team clocked an average of over 16km per person, with the last runner smashing out an impressive 43km before being caught, and a significant result given the run coincided with Vancouver’s own marathon race on the same day.
Over at breakfast, the runners refueled, swapped stories and had the chance to hear some of the Red Bull athletes and ambassadors talk about their experiences with the Wings For Life program. The impact of Wings For Life has been life changing for these people, and it was inspiring to hear what they’ve been able to achieve in their recovery process.
By getting up early and running from the finish line, you helped to raise a phenomenal €6.8 million, all of which goes straight to spinal cord research projects lead by international experts.
Thank you to Red Bull for being fantastic partners every year, lululemon for the kit support, and Ty Holton for the beautiful imagery. Most of all, thank you, the runners, for your support - someone tomorrow could be running when they thought they never could again.