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SBD Global/May 2, 2014/Events and Attractions

Red Bull Gears Up For First Wings For Life World Run Featuring Unique Race Format

Red Bull's Wings For Life World Run will feature a unique global format.
Red Bull will launch its first world race to benefit spinal cord research with more than 45,000 registered runners from across the globe set to take part in the event. The Wings for Life World Run will begin Sunday at 10am UTC and take place in 34 race locations in 32 countries. In the U.S., Universal Sports will broadcast the event from 6am-noon ET, with 70-80% of its coverage focused on the three U.S. locations: Sunrise, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Santa Clarita, Calif. During the broadcast, highlights from int’l race locations will be woven in to show the status of male and female race leaders from across the globe.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: The race boasts a unique format that features a moving finish line in the form of a “Catcher Car.” Thirty minutes after the start of each race, a Catcher Car will be deployed to “chase” runners. Starting at 9.3 mph, the car will increase in speed each hour, ending the race of each runner it catches. The race officially ends when the last male and female runners are finally passed by the Catcher Car. Because the int’l event will declare an overall male and female winner, each race’s Catcher Car is synched via GPS. Florida Wings for Life World Run Race Dir Zoltan Polgar said he expects a global race winner to be declared by noon.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Polgar told SBD Global the concept of no set race distance sets the event apart from other races and echoes Red Bull’s innovative approach to sports. “It’s Red Bull. They don’t do anything normal. They put a man in space and say, ‘Let’s jump you out and we won’t call NASA,’” Polgar said. “Not having a set distance and allowing people to set their own distances … makes it very unique for runners from a participation standpoint because they always want to do something different.”

FAMILIAR FACES: Race participants include former F1 driver Mark Webber, F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel and Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner. All race registration fees will go toward spinal cord research. In addition to Universal Sports’ broadcast, races will be streamed live at wingsforlifeworldrun.com.

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