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Wings for Life World Run: 5 Facts About the Largest Running Event on the Planet

If an event is related to Red Bull, you can expect it to be extreme, whether it’s an epic competition like Red Bull Rampage or a charitable running race. The only difference is the running race is open to anyone. In fact, you can register today for the Wings for Life World Run 2024.

The event bills itself as the largest running event in the world. It supports a charity that was in part founded by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz. 

Here’s everything you need to know to participate in the May 5, 2024 event.

The Event Supports Spinal Cord Injury Research

The Wings for Life organization focuses on raising money for spinal cord injury research. The non-profit launched in 2004 with the founder of Red Bull and Heinz Kinigadner, a motocross world champion closely tied to people with spinal cord injuries. The Wings for Life World Run is about raising money for the charity, and 100% of the profits from the race go to research.

The Race Doesn’t Follow a Standard 5K or Marathon Format

runners at the world's largest running event
(Source: Marjan Radovic for Wings for Life World Run)

Unlike traditional races, the Wings for Life event doesn’t have a traditional finish line. Instead, racers must run from the starting line and away from a “chase car.”  Once the car passes a runner or roller, they’re eliminated. The last man and woman standing will be named the champions. The race happens physically in cities worldwide, but anyone can participate with the help of an app.

It Really Is the Largest Running Event in the World

Wings for life world run
(Source: Brett Hemmings for Wings for Life World Run)

The title of the largest running event in the world is real. The race captured the title in 2021 when 184,236 people participated. Last year, the event set a new record with 206,728 participants. However, the Guinness Book of World Records has not officially certified the event.

You Can Watch the Event From Home

Races are scheduled from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina, and overseas to countries like Germany and Poland, but if you don’t feel like running, that’s okay. You can also watch the event live through Red Bull TV. No matter where the runner is, the race starts simultaneously for everyone. In order to make that happen, runners on the East Coast need to start running at 7:00 a.m., while racers on the West Coast will begin at 4:00 a.m.

How You Can Participate in the Wings for Life World Run

start time for wings of life world run
(Source: Philipp Greindl for Wings for Life World Run)

If you’re ready to register, you can sign up today to see how long you can outlast the chase car. The event in May of next year gives you plenty of time to train. Plus, you have the option to travel to one of the cities hosting digital events or the physical chase car. 

Ready to run? Here are tips to get you in shape for the race.

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