Franschhoek (South Africa), 5 May 2014 – Staying ahead of the catcher car for 59.84 kms, 35 year-old marathon runner Coolboy Ngamole is the South African winner of the very first Wings for Life World Run. He ranked sixth in the global men’s race, beating thousands of runners participating around the world.
South African women’s race winner Ntombesintu Mfunzi was third in the world. She ran 47.57 kms before the catcher car eliminated her.
Raising over three million Euro, 100% of entry fees from all races goes towards funding research to help find a cure for spinal cord injury.
“This race was a very new experience and I was happy to be running alone at the front – I was very comfortable. I unfortunately started cramping at around 52kms, but I tried to maintain my pace and go as fast as I could,” said Ngamole.
“Knowing I was running for people who can’t, and not just myself, made the experience so worthwhile,” said Mfunzi.
At 12:00pm SAST yesterday, hundreds of runners of all ages and abilities set out from Boschendal Wine Estate in Franschhoek, the South African venue of this very unique event. A total of 35 397 runners in 32 countries started at precisely the same time, racing ahead of a catcher car instead of towards a finish line.
South African Ambassadors Ryan Sandes (ultra-trail runner), Hlubi Mboya (actress) and Vanessa Haywood (actress) ran the World Run with the local participants. Ambassador Pieter du Preez (C6 quadriplegic athlete) was on hand to fire the starter’s gun. Internationally, F1 drivers David Coulthard and Sebastian Vettel, Olympian alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, All Black Dan Carter and NFL star Reggie Bush all ran for those who can’t.
The global Wings for Life World Run men’s winner is Lemawork Ketema from Ethopia who competed in Donautal, Austria. He ran a total of 78,57km. Norwegian Elise Selvikvag Molvik who ran in Stavanger, Norway is the global women’s winner, completing 54,79km.