35 countries. Six continents. 70,000 runners. One cause. One winner.
On May 3, 2015 at 11 a.m. UTC (aka 7 a.m. EST) I, along with more than 70,000 runners, took part in the Wings for Life World Run, the most interesting race concept I’ve heard of to date.
A quick explanation in
layman’s Emily terms:
-There are 35 global races that all start at the same time. While the race in Florida started at 7 a.m., the races in California and Japan started at 4 a.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. I think I had the ideal starting time!
-Everyone keeps running until the “catcher car” passes you. Once that happens, it’s like you crossed the finish line and your race is done.
-The catcher car starts driving 30 minutes after the race starts at a speed of approximately 9.3 mph (increasing every half hour).
-After you’re passed, you’ll wait for a bus to take you back to the start line.
All of this happens at the same time across the world and the last woman and man
standing running are declared the Global Champions. Additionally, there are champions for each individual race.
Now onto my race experience…
There were only two races in the U.S., Santa Clara, CA and Sunrise, FL. Sunrise is a good 45 minutes from where I live so I left my place at 5:15 a.m. and got to the start/finish village around 6:15 a.m. where I hung out at the Puma tent and did all the basic pre-run rituals (obligated selfies, port-a-potty stop, triple checked my shoelaces, etc.). Puma has entered into a global partnership with Wings For Life and they provided me with the chic, sporty race day outfit. I don’t dress that well on my own. Oh and another cool fact: 100% of the entry fees go toward finding a cure for spinal cord injury. If you are interested in donating or learning more about spinal cord injury check visit this page!
I didn’t know what to expect going into the race and with my excellent math calculations I assumed I would get in about 5 miles before the car caught me. Joke’s on me…
Since it was a global run, the course was marked in kilometers. Thankfully they listed the miles equivalent underneath or else I would have had to run with a calculator. I actually kept forgetting it was marked in kilometers. A few times in the beginning of the race I saw a marker and thought “oh ANOTHER mile marker, awesome!” and then see that it wasn’t a full mile
I felt pretty strong the entire race. The heat got to me a bit but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected. I was just not mentally (or physically) prepared to run as far as I did. I hadn’t done a longer run in a few weeks so it was a shock for my body.
I got to the 10k marker and there was no catcher car in sight. Then I got to the 15k marker and still no car. I ended up texting my mom asking her to track the car for me. I got to 17 km (10.5 miles) and started walking on and off until I was passed at 18.73 km or 11.63 miles. I was very happy to be done :) I don’t know my official time yet but the lady next to me had 1 hour and 38 minutes on her watch, which would equal about 8:27 min/mile.
We (the group of runners in my general vicinity and I) were in the middle of nowhere and had to wait 25 minutes for the bus and water. Not the worst thing in the world by any means, especially considering the cause we were running for. The bus ride was a quick 5 minutes back to the start where there was food GALORE. Unfortunately it was not gluten-free food galore. There was even a “Flour Power” food truck…definitely not GF flour. I did grab a banana before heading out and stopping at the market to buy ALL the food. Ok, not all but a lot.
It was a pretty good Sunday if you ask me! Special thanks to Puma and FitFluential for the opportunity to run.
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.