Wings for Life World Run: Oldest participant competes in Georgia charity race

Participants run in the 2015 Wings for Life World Run in Kakheti, Georgia. Photo by Nikoloz Paniashvili/Wings for Life World Run., 08 May 2016 - 14:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

In less than an hour’s time thousands of people in Georgia will join in the largest charity running event in the world’s sporting history. Some will run, others will jog or walk, or even race in a wheelchair, but all of them will participate in the 2016 Wings for Life World Run.

The World Run is an annual international charity event that sees people line up and race as far as they can before being caught by the ‘catcher car’ to raise money for research into finding a cure for spinal cord injuries.

Georgia has cemented itself as a regular participant country after being involved for the two past year, with this year being its third edition.

Today amateur and professional runners in Kakheti, Georgia will line up and run alongside tens of thousands of others in races held simultaneously in 34 countries.

Here are some interesting facts about this year’s Wings for Life World Run in Georgia:

  • The world’s oldest World Run participant is Georgian; his name is Shota Samushia and he’s 93 year’s old. He raced in last year’s Wings For Life World Run and is motivated to run many more.
  • The driver of the "catcher car” is top Georgian car racer Mevlud Meladze - which translates as the fastest man in the country will today drive the slowest car in the country.
  • Last year’s World Run Brazil winner is running in today’s race in Georgia.

The race is being held in the midst of eastern Georgia's beautiful vineyards in the Lopota Gorge in Kakheti.

A special zone for children will be set up where parents can have their younger ones entertained while they run.

Georgian bands will host a concert and entertain the crowds once the race ends.

Instead of a traditional static finish line, competitors will run for as long as they can along a designated route until they’re passed by an advancing ‘catcher car’ (which accelerates over time from 15- 25km/h), at this point their race is over.

The final contestant to be passed by the ‘catcher car’ will be crowned the winner.

The winners of each country are given an opportunity to choose which country they want to run next year’s race in. The ultimate winner of the global race will win a world tour.