Atlantic City Pegged for (Confusing) New International Race in 2014

Okay, so track with me on this one: has the scoop on a new race hitting our area next year that involves simultaneous runs in countries around the world, a moving finish line, a questionable race distance, and a car that chases runners on the course. I know—I’m a tad confused, too.

The May 4, 2014, race, sponsored by Red Bull, is called the Wings for Life World Run, and it’ll run at the same time, simultaneously, in up to 40 countries on six continents, with U.S. races so far planned Denver, Colorado; to-be-named cities in Florida and California; and—wait for it …—Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Here’s where it gets weirder: Runners around the world will start running at the same time (10 a.m. UTC, which is 6 a.m. in Atlantic City), and 30 minutes after the start gun goes off, a pursuit car called a “catcher car” will take off from the starting line in the direction of the runners, going faster and slower at certain intervals. As the car passes runners, those runners are considered “caught” and out of the race; caught runners will then board a shuttle bus back to the start area. The last man and woman remaining in the race will be crowned winners of the local race, with country and global winners also being designated (i.e. the last runners in a country and internationally who are still high-tailing it in front of the catcher car after everyone else has been eliminated).

This, of course, means there’s no set distance for a race—you might run a 5K or a 50K, depending on how quickly the car eliminates your race’s runners.  So … good luck training.

The least confusing aspect of this race is that 100 percent of the $50 entry fee goes to the Wings for Life Foundation, which backs research and clinical trials aimed at healing spinal cord injuries. Learn more about the race and register here.