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Wings for Life charity run kicks off in Taiwan and around the world

  • 04 May, 2014
  • Editor
Wings for Life charity run kicks off in Taiwan and around the world
Hualien's coastline

A massive international charity run kicked off in Taiwan and around the world on Sunday, May 4. The Wings for Life charity race kicked off in 34 countries, including in Hualien County, Taiwan. The race began at 10am UTC, 6pm in Taiwan.

More than 35,000 runners set off at the same time in the world-wide race. There were more than 2,200 participants on the Taiwan course, the second highest number of runners at any individual race, following Donautal, Austria. A hundred percent of the proceeds will go towards Wings for Life, a foundation that funds research into finding a cure for spinal cord injury. One of the catch phrases of the race is that the athletes are running for those who cannot. Organizers say that some 250,000 people sustain serious spinal cord injuries around the world every year. 

What’s interesting about this race is that there is a set route in each location, but the runners are not running a set distance. Unlike normal races, the finish line chases runners. A half hour after the start of the race, a Catcher Car sets out in pursuit of the runners at a certain pace. When the car passes a runner, his or her race is over. So essentially it’s a race to see who can stay in the competition longer than anyone else.

The Taiwan race route is located in Hualien, along the picturesque eastern coast. The race conditions were ideal at about 28 degrees Celsius, although the hosts in the live internet feed said it was perhaps a little muggy for the runners. Each course is 100km long, although organizers do not expect any of the runners to make it that far.

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