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Learn What Drives Athletes To Run Ahead Of Wings For Life World Run

Athletes the world over will line up today for the Wings for Life World Run looking to raise money for spinal cord injury research.

The Podcast ‘Why I Run’ explores the psychology of running speaking to several sports stars each week who reveal what drives them to hit the pavement, and what it is about their mindsets that keep them going. 

Colin jackson wings for life
Courtney Atkinson performs during the seventh edition of the Wings for Life World Run – App Run in Surfers Paradise, Australia on May 3, 2020 / © Adam Weathered for Wings for Life World Run

Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly is a big fan of running as it “allows you to have a conversation about something a bit more personal” with Syrian marathon runner Rahaf Khatib adamant running can help people with their mental health – a big global topic since the pandemic.

Race Director Colin Jackson points out that humans are physiologically built to run, while tennis player Nico Langmann extols the beauty of the mountains when he gets outside for fun in his wheelchair.

American dancer Angyil McNeal loves the fact that running “slows things down” for her, while Wings for Life World Run Ambassador Sandile Mkhize claims “the world doesn’t seem so scary and it doesn’t feel like you’re alone” after he became isolated following a motorbike accident.

Courtney atkinson
Courtney Atkinson performs during the seventh edition of the Wings for Life World Run – App Run in Surfers Paradise, Australia on May 3, 2020 / © Adam Weathered for Wings for Life World Run

Athlete Mario Rigby originally fell in love with running due to its feeling of “moving your body to your fullest potential and purest form”, while Danish obstacle course racer Ida Mathilde Steensgaard enjoys running during the sunrise hour to “feel the vibe of the new cities that I explore”.

Ultrarunner Dylan Bowman loves “connecting with nature and moving efficiently at whatever pace you choose” when he hits the trails at home in California with DJ Charlie Dark’s Run Dem Crew in London a revelation for young people as it provides a crucial sense of family and community.

Nine-time BMX Flatland World Champion Matthias Dandois is hooked on running because “it’s like plugging myself into an energy station and after an hour feeling so much better”.

Estonian freeskiing star Kelly Sildaru has cultivated a better relationship with her husky dog when they head outside, while hobby runner Adolfo Salgueiro’s regular runs with his father down the years helped them get through his “rebellious teenager years” and grew stronger thereon.

American rock climber Sasha DiGiulian’s relationship with nature has propelled her running as “we really create this affection for the places we live and strive to protect them”, Swede Erik Ahlström building on that theme as he advocates ‘plogging’ – running and picking up litter.

Finally, fun is a massive part of the annual Wings for Life World Run and Belgian Wesley Butstraen’s bright pink suits are a regular feature after he started running for health reasons so keep an eye out on Sunday for him.

Explore their stories on the ‘Why I Run’ podcast HERE.

To take part in the 2022 edition, register HERE or to join the App Run, HERE is everything you need to know to get you started.

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