On 7 May, the third international fund-raising run Wings for Life World Run took place in Kolomna. For the second time, the students of Voronezh State University took part in the event. This time the team included 18 athletes from different faculties. Among the participants were representatives of the Faculty of International Relations, the Faculty of Philosophy and Psychology, the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Informatics, and Mechanics, the Faculty of Mathematics, the Faculty of Economics, the Faculty of Geology, and the Faculty of Physics.
The Wings for Life World Run is one of the most large-scale and unusual events. Exactly at 14.00 Moscow time, over hundred thousand participants simultaneously started on six continents. These included professional athletes, amateurs, and wheelchair people. This year, the project included 24 official tracks in 24 countries. All participants are united by the same goal, i.e. to make a contribution to the study of spinal cord trauma. 100% of the money that is raised during the event is given to the Wings for Life Charity Foundation. The foundation raises money that is necessary for the treatment of spinal cord traumas. Since 2004, it has been selecting and financing the most advanced projects and clinical research that will be able to change lives of people from all over the world.
The peculiarity of the Wings for Life World Run is that it does not have a usual finish line. Each person decides for themselves how much they are going to run and only stop when they are caught by a special finish automobile with a special reader. Catchers set off 30 minutes after the start and move with increasing speed. Their task is to “catch” each participant and register the distance that they have managed to cover.
This year, the participation of Voronezh State University team was organised by a third year student of the Faculty of Mathematics, Dmitry Mokhov.
“I heard about this event for the first time last spring when they were making a team at VSU. I was late to join the team but I was very eager to take part in the marathon. This winter, I heard about the event and started looking for information about it. It is a global event, that is why I wanted our university to be represented in such a prestigious event and to make a contribution. I started looking for team members who could show good results. I talked personally with each person and checked how optimistic they were about their abilities: how they trained for the event and what they were capable of,” said Dmitry.
The result was not long in coming. In the team total our guys took 173rd place and 3,310 place in the world. All in all, they covered 441km.
The best result belonged to the student of the Faculty of Mathematics, Vadim Kvartnikov. He ran 48.06km (the total track distance is 90km). He could achieve such results thanks to daily training sessions which he had done for a month.
“I would love to take part in the run next year. I think the track was easy. It did not go uphill a lot. It was mostly flat. The organisation of the event was at the highest level. I liked it most of all. This year the global winner was a man with a spinal cord injury. I think it is very symbolic. It shows that whatever difficulties you meet on your way you can always overcome them,” said Vadim.
Among the participants were those who ran the marathon for the second time. Konstantin Pavluchenko could not beat his record this year but made his contribution:
“In general, 25km is a good result if you have just recovered after an illness. But I wanted to do more. We were lucky to run in such weather. Last year, it was 24 degrees Celsius and it was very difficult to run, but this year the weather was perfect. It was 12 degrees and a bit windy. Although it is a fund raising run it is still a competition. You want to do as much as you can. What’s more you can add kilometres to you team’s total. And you want to be as high as possible on the list.”
A student of the Faculty of Economics, Natalia Prikhoda, covered 18.68km and also shared her emotions about the run in Kolomna.
“I have been skiing for seven years and before every competition my coach set a goal for me and made me show good results. I found Wings for Life World Run attractive because there is no finish line, you don’t know the other competitors, and basically you don’t know the distance you have to cover. You just do what you can and nobody demands a good result from you. Unfortunately, one of my classmates was injured and now he can’t walk. This is another reason why I decided to run. I want him to walk again. I can’t say that I prepared in some special way for the run. I just had training session several times a week, just as usual. I had already had a good basis. I enjoyed the marathon. I liked how it was organised and the atmosphere when two thousand people run together with you for the same cause. And you also understand that over 100 thousand people at the same time are doing the same thing in other countries. That is unforgettable! I am sure that I will take part in the event next year,” said Natalia.
Among other participants of Wings for Life World Run in Kolomna were an actress Kristina Asmus, the rowing Olympic champion, Alexei Svirin, the chairman of the All-Russian society of disabled people, Mikhail Terentiev, seven-fold winner of the Dakar rally, Vladimit Chagin, and many others. According to the results, the winner among men on the track in Kolomna was Konstantin Shishov from Kaluga. He was invincible. The result of Konstantin Shishov was 70.4km.