When it comes to why people run you will often hear a variety of answers. Some race for solitude, others for personal bests or simply to stay fit, but it's not often you hear someone say, "I'm running for those who can't". That is exactly why we partner with our good friends at Red Bull each year to bring you Wings for Life. To shine a light on spinal cord injuries and the affects they have on the individual as well as the close circle of loved ones who's life they also change. To raise awareness and funds toward one day finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. To support those having gone through such a devastating experience.
This year marked the fourth instalment of Wings for Life Vancouver and nearly everything about this now annual event was changed. We rolled out an all new route, we were treated like stars at the Lamplighter Pub, and most important of all, we collectively got behind #TeamCoast2Coast to try to run a combined 5500km with all other Canadian participants - an initiative driven by Mike Shaw in Vancouver and Jim Mullan in Halifax and supported by a team of Wings for Life ambassadors across the country.
As 4:00am local time approached runners were given last minute route instructions. Phone apps were all set and soon the countdown began. As the last of the remaining party-goers from the night before made their way home, over 150 runners charged through Vancouver's historic Gastown neighbourhood hoping to get a jump on the chaser bikes leaving 30min later.
As runners made there way along the out-and-back course that stretched from scenic Crab Park out to the edge of Stanley Park and around Lost Lagoon the sun began to rise in spectacular west coast fashion.
Slowly runners began getting caught with each being ranked against the other 120,000 participants running around the world. Once caught, runners made their way back to the Lamplighter Pub to watch the Wings for Life world broadcast and enjoy some hot breakfast. As a chosen media destination for 2019, many of our very own Vancouver participants made their way onto the broadcast streaming around the world.
With an always inspiring message from Mike Shaw the morning was wrapped up with the Vancouver edition of Wings for Life contributing to 120,000 participants, 1,103,275km covered and over $5 million raised globally.
Thank you to everyone that came out and showed their support for this amazing cause. Special thank you to the Donnelly Group, Red Bull Canada and Wings for Life for the support and partnership in what is one of our most loved events of the year.
To learn more about Wings for Life and to donate visit www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com