On Sunday the 3rd of May I ran the Wings for Life World Run. I love the concept of this race. The race has no finish line. Instead of a finish line, 30mins after the runners have departed, a car sets off to chase you down, when the car catches you, your race is over. The winner is the last person standing. And better still, the race starts in 34 countries at once, so the competition is global. It made for some dramatic television, which I got to enjoy after I was knocked out.
The Dublin event started out needlessly stressful. Race bibs with timing chips were being handed out on the day, but due to under-staffing or bad preparation or I don’t know what, the handing out of bibs was far too slow and there was no way the race was going to start on time. Ultimately, event staff had to hand out race bibs really quickly without checking names in order to make the start time. So while I was meant to be runner number 30793, I was given number 86185. Its not a big deal, but because of the confusion, when I look up my race time online, I see the name “Daithi Mooney” instead of Mark Havel. I wonder what name Daithi ended up running under? And it seems no one ran with my number.
As for the race itself, it was a punishing course. I don’t think I’ve ever run a course with so many hills, and with the sun beating down, it made for a tough day out. But a punishing course only increases your sense of satisfaction once the race is over. I was caught by the chaser car at 17.44km – having been running for 1 hour and 38 minutes. I was exhausted but very pleased with myself. The race follows a very scenic route, the views out over the coast were spectacular at points, if a car had not been chasing me, I might have stopped for some photos.
Unlike the race bibs, the organisation of buses and free DART tickets to bring you back to the start once you’re caught was well managed. Overall, this race is well worth the €20 entrance fee, all of which goes into research for spinal cord injury. I’m already looking forward to next years race, hopefully I’ll be running with the correct race number next time.