COULTHARD BACK IN THE DRIVING SEAT: 2016 WINGS FOR LIFE WORLD RUN

Mar 11 2016 BY Brett Lewis

With just over two months to go until the 2016 Wings for Life World Run, a huge number of  competitors have already signed up to the global charity race.

It has been announced today that everyone’s favourite F1 driver David Coulthard will once again get behind the wheel of the Catcher Car in the UK to hunt down runners. He will be among 34 global Catcher Car drivers chasing tens of thousands of runners in countries across the world during the third Wings for Life World Run on 8th May, 2016.

The F1 ace has had to learn to slow down considerably and master the skills of chasing down competors. In 2015, he caught the UK winner Tom Payne in 4 hours 10 minutes after he outpaced the car for an incredible 61.09km.

“It’s a fun experience for me to be really at the heart of one of the events. I’m looking forward to be chasing and tracking from the Catcher Car again this year.” said Coulthard, a veteran of over 240 Formula One races. “The Catcher Car is what makes this event truly unique. The finish line will come to you. I’m coming to get you and my competative nature will definatley kick in again this year!”

Further Catcher Car driver announcements will be announced in the coming weeks, with big names set to be revealed. The fleet of celebrity driven cars will all be chasing down athletes running to raise funds and awareness for spinal cord research.

Last years final Catcher Car caught the Global Champion, Ethiopian Lemawork Ketema, after an astonishing 79.9km in 5 hours. The Catcher Car finally passed Ketema in St Polten, Austria and the winner fell to the floor duley kissed the tarmac in exhausted celebration.

To register for the Cambridge leg of the Wings for Life World Run head to

http://www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/gb/en/

 

HERE IS HOW IT WORKS

At 11.30am UTC, half an hour after the runners have started, the Catcher Cars start driving at precisely 15km/h (9.32 miles/hr). At 12.30, they speed up to 16km/h, at 13.30 to 17km/h, at 14.30 to 20 km/h and at 16.30 to 35 km/h. All the drivers will speed up at the same time, worldwide, and maintain the same speed. After two and a half hours, the runners will have covered 31km. Since the Wings for Life World Run starts at 11am UTC in all 35 locations, a Global Race Control and the help of technology ensure that all drivers speed up at precisely the same moment.

BEHIND THE SCENES

The Catcher Cars are fitted with completely new tracking technology, developed specifically for the Wings for Life World Run. A participant’s local and global ranking will be determined by the distance that they cover before being passed by a Catcher Car, not by their time spent running. The Catcher Cars are governed by the Wings for Life World Run rulebook, ensuring fair and simultaneous progress on the 35 tracks around the world. The two German Catcher Cars – in Munich and Darmstadt – have been modified for drivers with spinal cord injury to chase down runners at two sold-out locations. All runners’ progress and final results across all tracks will be recorded by a timing tag hidden in each runner’s race number. The tag is activated as they cross the start line and is deactivated and their final distance recorded when they are passed by a Catcher Car.

NUMBERS PLEASE

Catcher Cars on all race tracks will leave the start line 30 minutes after the runners start the Wings for Life World Run and proceed to an accelerating global speed schedule.

11.00 UTC – RACE START

11.30 UTC – CATCHER CAR START – PACE of 15km/hr (approx. 9.3 mph)

12.30 UTC – PACE INCREASE: 16 kph (9.94 mph)

13.30 UTC – PACE INCREASE: 17 kph (10.56 mph)

14.30 UTC – PACE INCREASE: 20 kph (12.43 mph)

16.30 UTC – PACE INCREASE to 35 kph (approx. 21.75 mph)

 

About Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation

Worldwide, millions of people are dependent on a wheelchair after having sustained a spinal cord injury, most often as the result of a traffic accident or a fall. Wings for Life is a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation with a single mission to find a cure for spinal cord injury. Since 2004, Wings for Life has funded life-changing research projects and clinical trials around the globe. While the cure is still to be found, steady progress has been made. One hundred percent of the Wings for Life World Run entry fees and funds of this global running event will help work towards Wings for Life’s ultimate goal. Every step taken at the Wings for Life World Run and in the Wings for Life World Run Selfie Run is a step in the right direction – www.wingsforlife.com

About the Wings for Life World Run

The Wings for Life World Run was launched in 2014 to benefit the not-for-profit Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injury. Presented with the support of main partners Garmin and Puma, the Wings for Life World Run has pioneered the concept of a synchronised race where participants of all levels, all across the globe, run simultaneously, no matter the hour or the weather in their location. The event has also introduced the Catcher Car format, in which the finish line ­– a celebrity-driven vehicle that gives the runners a head start – chases the field at a predetermined pace. Only at the point of being overtaken is a runner’s race over, and the individual man and woman last to be caught are declared Global Champions – www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com