New Delhi: Seoul Olympics silver-medallist hurdler Colin Jackson, cricketer Gautam Gambhir and ace shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa on Wednesday came together to launch the India edition of the 'Wings For Life World Run' aimed at raising funds for spinal cord research.
Former 110m hurdles world record holder Jackson is the global race director for the event set to take place on May 4 in Sonipat, Haryana simultaneously along with across 34 countries, starting at 1530 IST or 1000 UTC.
Along with the two-time world champion Jackson, were the Indian ambassadors of the race, Gambhir and Ponnappa. Also present at the event to support the cause were some of Haryana Olympic Association's top athletes Vijender Singh, Sandeep Singh, Yogeshwar Dutt, Jai Bhagwan Singh, Dinesh Kumar and Raju Godara.
"The Wings for Life World Run is not just an exceptional sports event, but also a completely new endurance format for everybody, everywhere. Moreover, 100 per cent of the funds gathered from the race will go towards the Wings for Life - a foundation that funds research into finding a cure for spinal cord injury," Jackson said.
Starting at 11 am in London, 2 am in Los Angeles, 6 pm in Australia, and 3:30 pm in India - this one-of-its-kind race will take place simultaneously across 40 different locations worldwide. Over 150,000 runners will race at exactly the same time - regardless of whether it's day or night.
With no finish line to end the run, the runners will be chased by a catcher car, which marks the end of the race for a runner as it passes him/her. The catcher car takes off 30 min after the run begins and once it goes past a runner, his/her race is over and he/she is given the final world rank.
As the race progresses, the cars will eliminate competitors as they pass them, until there's a single man and woman left running - who are then crowned the Global Champions of the Wings for Life World Run.
Additionally, there will be country winners; as well as recognition for the last man and woman left on the track in each country.
In India, the Wings for Life World Run will kick off from Rai Sports Complex, Sonipat and is expected to end at Karnal. The run is being organized under the aegis of the Haryana Olympics Association.
Competing in the Wings for Life World Run will be professional athletes, passionate amateurs, medal-winning Olympians, charity ambassadors, and everyone who chooses to participate. Expected to last for six hours, this is a race for runners of all levels.
Gambhir, however, would not be running at the event due to his participation in the Indian Premier League as the skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders.