Catcher-cars revving up to chase down worldwide runners

Last year's Wings for Life World Run at Silverstone Circuit
Last year's Wings for Life World Run at Silverstone Circuit

Runners across the globe are being challenged to outpace catcher-cars and raise thousands of pounds for spinal injury sufferers.

The second Wings for Life World Run takes place at Silverstone but also simultaneously at more than 30 other places from Brazil to Dubai and Japan.

All ages of disabled athletes and able-bodied racers will set off at noon on May 3 but half an hour later catcher-cars begin eliminating runners by passing them.

The speed of the car gradually increases by roughly 1mph each hour until the global king and queen of the world run are crowned – each winning a round-the-world trip.

The oldest runner last year was 92-year-old Michael Selinger of Austria, who managed 8.59km after registering via Facebook.

And temperatures are set to range from just 2C for runners in Canada to 40C for those braving the Indian track.

Last year, more than 35,000 people joined in and the male winner - Ethiopian Lemawork Ketema - was only caught after five hours of running and more than 48 miles from the starting point in Austria.

Formula One racer Daniel Ricciardo, who finished third at the Silverstone Grand Prix last year, said: “I think the idea is amazing.

“To call it a world race is something, but to have the whole world running at the same time is supercool.”

Wings For Life chief executive Anita Gerhardter said: “The first Wings for Life World Run was a fantastic event, a day full of emotion.

“The best bit, though, was seeing thousands of people on the starting lines worldwide, all there running for those who can’t – it was simply unbelievable.

“We’ve seen a lot of success in the move towards finding a cure for spinal cord injury, but there is still a long way to go.

“Everyone who signs up to run will help us along that path and be a part of helping us one day reaching our goal.”

All entry fees and sponsorship money will go towards the Wings for Life foundation as it continues its battle against spinal cord injuries.

A timing tag tracks a runner’s progress and the distance is logged when the catcher-car passes.

Register online here before April 26 and use the goal calculator to work out how fast you will need to run to outpace the catcher-car.