Taking strides for those who can’t

South African runners start their run under the Wings for Life arch.

Runners from across the globe gathered at their respective chapters for the annual Wings for Life World Run. MARISKA MORRIS, sponsored by Budget Rent a Car southern Africa, ran for those who can’t.

Under the blazing Centurion sun, South Africans gathered at the SuperSport Park on Sunday, May 6, for the Wings for Life World Run. At 13h00 (local time), runners from across the globe took off with the aim of outrunning the Catcher Car. Among the crowd was the ROLLING INSPIRATION journalist, Mariska Morris.

She was able to attend thanks to Budget Rent a Car southern Africa, which was also the official car rental partner of the World Run. Chief executive Rainer Gottschick says: “Budget has identified this event as a way to support a great cause while creating fun and memorable experiences, that will go a long way to give people hope and making a lasting difference in their lives.”

Racers finish when the Catcher Car passes them.

Journalist Mariska Morris poses with Budget brand ambassador at the World Run Mike Sema.

A number of Budget brand ambassadors also took part in the event in support of the initiative with many finishing between five and 17 km. Proceeds go towards the Wings for Life Foundation, whose aim is to research a cure for SCI.

The Pretoria racers faced an uphill battle for the first three kilometres. After the first water station, the run was slightly easier. Nevertheless, in the fierce heat, it remained a challenge. South African female winner, Dominica Stelmach agrees. In an interview with Red Bull, she commented: “This was my toughest race yet. The weather was brutal, it was really hot!” She ran a total of 49,4 km before the Catcher Car overtook her.

The South African male winner Admire Muzopambwa ran a total of 67 km and overall title winner wheelchair user Aron Anderson covered 89,85 km. Mariska ran a total of 4,54 km before the Catcher Car caught up with her.

“I was planning on jogging, but I soon realised I would not survive the heat if I ran,” she recalls. “I ended up speed-walking the race.” Mariska has resolved to return next year with even more determination and hopefully a few more friends and family alongside to help support
the cause.

Budget will also again sponsor the Wings for Life World Run. It will be the car rental company’s fourth year as part of the event. The 2019 World Run will be held on Sunday, May 5. Hope to see you there!

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