Wings For Life – World Run

The Wings For Life World Run is an event that takes place at various locations across the world on the same day at 11am UTC! In other words, every runner is participating at the same time regardless of where you are in the world!

What’s even more unique is that the race has no set distance. How does that work? Everyone starts together and 30 mins later, a “catcher car” begins following the course and moves at a constant speed (gradually getting faster). Your race is over once the catcher car has caught you.

To find out more, visit the Wings For Life website!

I took part in Santa Clarita, California, USA, which meant we started at 4am! My aim was to at least run a marathon (42km/26miles) before being caught by the catcher car. However, things changed as the race got under way…

I had a great start and was with the lead runners some of whom are professional ultra runners! We were running at a fast pace but we were also chatting along the way which made the early kilometers go by very quickly. I hit the half marathon distance in under 1hr 25mins and knew I was going too fast! If I wanted to run a marathon, I would have to slow down a bit to conserve my energy. But then I had a flashback…

A year ago I took part in a 2hr time trial in New Delhi, India (click here to read about it). It was hosted on a track and I remember running just short of 30km in those 2hrs.

This flashback made me wonder if I could break the 30km distance in 2 hours, after which I would continue to run/jog/walk until the catcher car caught me.

I glanced at my Garmin and calculated that if I continued at my current pace, I may have a shot of breaking that personal record. So without any further thought, I told myself; “you’re gonna run 30km in 2 hours!”.

I maintained my pace but the terrain became more difficult. I was basically running up a hill for about 30 mins (see elevation profile below):

It got tougher. It got harder. It got painful. It got demoralizing BUT I continued to push through the mental and physical barriers to try and achieve my goal.

I saw the clock ticking and I got overtaken by a few runners – which didn’t help boost my confidence when I was at a low point in the race. I had to dig deep and move my legs forward.

I got to the 30km mark and looked down on my watch. What do you think? Did I make it in under 2 hours?

Unfortunately not 😦 I was 2 minutes off my target. So close but yet so far!!

Nonetheless, I was happy with the result because I knew that if it wasn’t for that hill, I would have a chance of breaking that personal record.

I stopped at an aid station for a quick drink and then began jogging/walking until the catcher car caught me. My job here was done! But it was a long wait for the catcher car!

In total I ran 39km in 3 hours which has got me thinking of a new project! Can I run a sub 3 hour marathon? We’ll see about that!

 

 

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