Georgia to Run with the World for the 6th Time on May 5

The 6th Wings for Life World Run, the largest charity event in sporting history, is to kick off on May 5, at 15:00, at the turn to Lopota Lake on the Telavi-Kvareli Highway.

The Wings for Life World Run is a unique charity marathon which brings together professional sportsmen, casual joggers and wheelchair users aged 18+. The World Run has no restrictions, no defined running distance or time and no traditional finish line. Half an hour after the race starts, a moving finish line, the ‘Catcher Car’ will start chasing runners along the course, gradually accelerating the speed from 14 km/h to 34 km/h. In comparison with previous years, the ‘Catcher Car’ will speed up every half an hour (15:30-14 km/h, 16:00-15 km/h, 16:30-16 km/h, 17:00-17 km/h, 17:30-18 km/h, 18:00-22 km/h, 18:30-26 km/h, 19:00-30 km/h, 19:30-34 km/h). When the car “catches” a runner, the time is marked and they have finished the race. The results of the run will be controlled from the city of Salzburg, Austria. The participants and their supporters will have a chance to check their results on the official website.

There will be two local winners – one male and one female, who will choose the country they will run in 2020.

The registration of participants started on January 30, 2019 and will last until May 2 through the website The entry fee in Georgia is 30 GEL. All the money will be transferred to the Wings for Life foundation, which carries out research projects and clinical trials for spinal cord treatment. All the donations are transferred to the Foundation through the EMS (European Merchant Services) system.

The Nature and Neuroscience Magazine published a study supervised by the Swiss scientists Gregory Korton (EPFL and CHUV/Unil) and Jacqueline Bloch (CHUV/Unil) in December 2018. The research brought together three patients with severe spinal cord damage, all of whom were ultimately given the ability to walk unaided.

At the first stage of the research, wireless implants were installed in their spinal cords which were connected to their paralyzed leg muscles to provide electric stimulation. In order to control the electric stimulation, the scientists created a device like a wrist-watch that reacted to the owner’s voice to activate or deactivate the stimulator according to need.

Following several weeks of work, the three patients had ‘control’ of their leg muscles. Five months of exercise later and they were able to walk totally unaided.

The next stage of the research is to use the electric stimulator at the early phase of nerve damage, where there is a higher chance for the restoration of health.

The Wings for Life World Run’s popularity and success is in no small part thanks to the World Run Ambassadors.

Famous sportsmen will have the role of Ambassadors this year: Maia Azarashvili, the winner of the Seoul Olympiad prize in sprint (the Sports Director of the event); Rezi Rogava, basketball player; Varlam Liparteliani, silver winner of the Rio Olympics; Olympic Champions Vladimer Khinchegashvili (wrestler) and Lasha Talakhadze (weightlifter); racing drivers Mevlud Meladze and Data Kajaia; Iva Tsiklauri (skier); Vasil Lobjanidze, rugby player; Irma Khetsuriani, wheelchair fencer; Henri Kuprashvili, swimmer; amateur joggers Giga Dzuliashvili, and Tamar Gelashvili. Aside from sportsmen, there are Ambassadors from other fields: Giorgi Baqradze, intellectual; Elene Kalandadze and Achiko Guledani, musicians; TV hosts: Mariam Vashadze, Alexander Lortkipanidze, Irakli Kakabadze, Irakli Gaprindashvili, Nika Grogolia; public figures: Keti Khatiashvili, Ninutsa Makashvili, Mirian Jejelava, Merab Dukashvili; Nino Goguadze, fitness instructor; Mari Nakani, photographer and others.

Quick facts about the World Run 2018

• 7,000 participants were registered for the World Run in Georgia in 2018;

• The World Run was held on 200 locations in 66 countries in 2018. 100,000 participants covered 934,484 kilometers in total;

• Nina Zarina (47,45 km) and Alexander Cheburkin (74,728 km) were the local winners of the World Run 2018. They will run in Australia in 2019;

• Aron Anderson, who covered 89,58 by wheelchair and Vere Nunis (53,78 km) were the global winners last year;

• The winners of different countries ran in Georgia in 2018: Giorgi Shekrelidze from Georgia (35,43 km), Sebastian Hallmann from Germany (68,47 km), Veysi Aslan from Turkey (57,51 km), Iosha Zakrzhevki from Poland (52,26 km), Iana Khmeleva – the winner of Kakheti 2016 (34,95 km) and Anatoli Oleinikov – the winner of Kakheti 2014-2015.

By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

08 April 2019 17:24