Unique World Race to Combat Spinal Cord Injuries
08 May, 2014
Unique World Race to Combat Spinal Cord Injuries
Winners in Georgia were Georgian Man and French Woman

The World Run – a large-scale and spectacular charity event in the world of sport history took place yesterday, near Lopota in the Kakheti region, aside the Caucasus Mountains. On 4 May, at 2.00 pm by Georgian time, hundreds of thousands of runners in 35 different countries on 5 continents competed in the race which means that some runners were to run from dawn till dusk while others were to run
from dusk till dawn. Georgia was one of those 35 countries that turned it into a hub of interests for tourists, locals, and people of all ages and professions.
The racing began simultaneously at 3 am in California, US, 6 pm in Taiwan, and 4 am in Australia and Tokyo. All these people were joined in one slogan: to run for those who can't. Around 3000 people registered in Georgia, out of which about 300 were foreigners from 26 different countries.
Open to participants of all levels, shapes, sizes, abilities and ages, the outstanding feature of the first global sporting event is that a moving finish line will be chasing the racers from behind instead of the racers running towards a set finish line. Exactly 30 minutes after the runners set off at some of the most spectacular locations around the world, official Catcher Cars will set off behind the packs in pursuit of the runners. When a Catcher Car passes a runner, their race is over. The last man and last woman running will be declared the winners.
After around 2.5 hours, we already knew the winners: Anatoli Oleinikov from Georgia, with Ukrainian origins, but born and raised in Kakheti. We take pride in the fact that a Georgian won. “This tournament is dedicated to my lately deceased father. Thank God, I am the winner. I am very happy,” said the 31-year-old man who covered 52.65 km in 132.72 minutes.
The women were of course also participating. Marielle Carmagnolle, a French woman currently residing in Georgia, won the race. She revealed that she is 56 years old. Marielle had participated in two local marathons before. “It was a good opportunity to participate in this charity project.” Later on, the female winner noted specially for us: “I run 4-5 times per week. I do not like fitness clubs, I run outside. I run on the old hippodrome and around Turtle Lake.“
The world’s first and only simultaneous global endurance event includes a number of breathtaking routes, some passing through the deserts while others traverse some of the world’s most attractive country sides and others follow scenic coastlines.
In Georgia, Georgian National rugby team Captain Irakli Machkhaneli, famous Georgian sprinter Maia Azarashvili, successful basketball players Zaza Pachulia, football players Achi and Shota Arveladze, Levan Kobiashvili and Zurab Khizanishvili, as well as rugby players Mamuka Gorgodze and Davit Zirakishvili were some of the Wings of Life World Run ambassadors and supported the race. Among the world’s top athletes who took part in the race were Formula One racers David Coulthard and Sebastian Vettel, Alpine-skiing ace Lindsey Vonn, Brazilian football player Neymar and many others.
The proceeds from the Wings for Life World Run go to cutting-edge research projects aimed at healing the injured spinal cord. Internationally, the winners became: Lemawork Ketama (ETH)/ run in Austria 78.57 kilometres and Elise Molvik (NOR)/ Norway 54.79 kilometres. All the winners will have an opportunity to choose any country and participate in the race of 2015. The global champions will be awarded by an exclusive tour around the world. Georgian Journal cordially congratulates the winners on this victory and hopes that sporting for health will become more and more common. Wings for Life is the international foundation and the organizer of the event, which in Georgia was supported by Ministry of Sports and Tourism Department.
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