Monday, 5 May 2014

Wings for Life World Run Champion

I am delighted to report that my friend Lemawerk Ketama from Ethiopia is the Red Bull Wings for Life World Champion. Yesterday's race took place in 35 countries around the world simultaneously.

Lemawerk ran in Austria. The runner-up ran in Peru. The women's winner ran in Norway.

The Red Bull Wings of Life World Run  is a unique event. Runners at all the venues were chased by catcher-cars which set off 30 minutes after the race start time of 10:00 GMT and then travelled in pursuit of the runners at identical computer controlled speeds.

When a catcher-car caught up with a runner he or she retired from the race.

With split screen TV pictures viewers were able to see the dramatic scenes from other time-zones.

And so it was the remarkable worldwide race proceeded until there was only one man in the world left running. And this is he.

But it was high drama. It ended in a 'photo finish' as race director Colin Jackson termed it. There were just 90 meters distance between first man in Austria and second man in Peru at the end.

The first three runners each covered more than 78 kilometers (over 48 miles).

The above photo was taken at Vienna's Lainzer Tiergarten, a wildlife park inhabited by wild boar and deer and  one of my favourite training venues.

There's a link to the race website HERE.

For the record I took part in a local event yesterday.  My first mountain race of the year. There were points in the annual Austrian Mountain Runner series on offer and runners took the opportunity to get them. The weather was sunny and blustery.

Schoepfl Mountain Race, Vienna Woods
7.5kms / 550 mtrs hd+

1. G Schiemer M40 Naturfreunde  33:21
14. M Zöchbauer  LC Mank 1L     40:29
28. J Ratteneder LAG Mitte 1M65 45:56
51. G Williams   Clayton H 2M65  53:04

65 finishers