It promises to be a belter of a sunny weekend which may be a mixed blessing for those taking part in the Irish leg of the Red Bull sponsored Wings for Life World Run in Dun Laoghaire on Sunday.
Starting on the seafront in Dún Laoghaire, Irish participants will run south towards Bray and Greystones, trying to stay ahead of the Volkswagen sponsored catcher car for as long as they can.
Among them will be Bernard Brogan, Michael Conlan, Joe Canning, Mark Pollock, Ashland Thompson and Felix Jones from the world of sport.
The 2015 Irish Race winners were David Sheehy and Orna Dillworth who ran 52.1km and 39.2km respectively. For this year, the Irish Race will feature the 2015 California and Dubai winners, Shannon Rahlves who ran 37.01km and Sami Al Saidi who ran 44.92km.
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The Wings for Life World Run was launched in 2014 to raise funds for the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation.
Pioneering the concept of a synchronised race where participants across the world run simultaneously, the event introduced the Volkswagen Catcher Car format, in which a celebrity-driven vehicle gives the runners a head start, chasing the field at a predetermined pace.
One-hundred percent of all entry fees and donations contributed by the Wings for Life World Run participants, and by the friends and families who support them to maximise their financial impact, goes to spinal cord research projects to help find a cure for spinal cord injuries.
The 2015 event saw 101,280 participants in 33 countries across 12 time zones raising 4.2 million euros for Wings for Life’s single goal. Japan’s Yuuko Watanabe was crowned 2015 Wings for Life World Run Female Global Champion with 56.33km, while Lemawork Ketema of Ethiopia repeated as men’s Global Champion in running to a distance of 79.9km.
As it will be in 2016, the entire event was followed by viewers across the globe, thanks to a live-stream experience, which shares the effort, elation and emotion of the runners.