Wings For Life World Run: The largest running event in history is right around the corner

The excitement is really building up! Photo by: Philipp Carl Riedl for Wings for Life World Run

Houstonians and beyond are invited to be a part of the Wings for Life World Run on May 8 to raise funds for spinal cord injury research.

In exactly 4 days, runners, walkers, and wheelchair rollers have the chance to participate in what has become the single largest running event in history. With 184,236 registered participants across 195 different nations in 2021, the Wings for Life World Run has become a true global phenomenon. On May 8, 2022 at 6am CST, the start signal will sound for the 9th annual edition as participants around the globe will be united during the run via the Wings for Life World Run App and the unique Audio Experience that will inform, entertain, and motivate the participants.

If running in a group is what motivates you, have no fear! Those located in the Houston metroplex are invited to join their choice of organized Wings For Life event runs. One taking place at the University of Houston outdoor track, which will feature a DJ, breakfast snacks, plenty of Red Bull and water, and perhaps even a visit from a Red Bull athlete. This event is welcome to runners, walkers, and wheelchair users. Those looking to explore the Houston landscape and challenge their personal record, there will also be an organized run at Eleanor Tinsley Park (within Buffalo Bayou Park) accessible from Allen Parkway, where participants can load up on pre-run snacks, fruit, Red Bull and water.

Both events will begin at the same time as all others around the globe - in Texas at 6am CST/7am EST/4am PST/1pm CET, etc. There is no set finish line. Instead, 30 minutes after the start signal, the virtual Catcher Car will start moving within the App and gradually accelerate to overtake the participants one by one. As soon as the virtual Catcher Car has passed the runner, their race is over, and they are knocked out of contention.

A total of nearly $5 million dollars was raised for spinal cord research in 2021 through entry fees and donations, while a total of 1,029,513 miles were completed - the equivalent of running more than 41 times around the globe.

“The excitement is really building up. Last year was overwhelming considering the circumstances, and this year we want to grow even bigger because we have created a really bold vision that by 2025 we aim to have 1 million runners in the Wings For Life World Run,” said Anita Gerhardter, global CEO of the non-profit foundation Wings For Life. “Everyone can participate, this is the beauty of this run because the finish line comes from behind. So if you stroll or take a power walk you might just be covering a few miles, but if you’re sportier you might complete 10, 20 or even 30 miles. But it doesn’t matter, it’s just you against your own personal goal.”

Anyone who feels like participating can now download the Wings For Life World Run App, register, and train with the virtual Catcher Car during a Preparation Run. All information about Wings For Life World Run and how to participate can be found at

  • About Wings for Life Foundation and the MissionMillions of people are currently dependent on a wheelchair after having sustained a spinal cord injury. Every year, at least 250,000 people sustain a spinal cord injury, followed by paralysis. That’s one person every two minutes. Scientists agree: injured neurons are able to regenerate, and spinal cord injury will be curable one day. Wings for Life USA – Spinal Cord Research Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation with a mission to find the cure for spinal cord injury. In order to realize its vision, Wings for Life supports world class scientific research and clinical trials aimed at healing the spinal cord. Since 2004, Wings for Life has funded 239 life-changing research projects and clinical trials around the globe, including 23 current projects plus 10 newly approved researched projects in the U.S.A. While the cure is still to be found, steady progress has been made. Wings for Life guarantees that 100% of all donations are spent on spinal cord research, ensuring all monies raised will help work towards Wings for Life’s ultimate goal. To learn more or donate please go to

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