Running for Those Who Can’t: SAP Supports the Wings for Life World Run

Every runner who’s ever taken part in a competition has experienced it: that moment when your quads are burning, your strides are getting heavier, and the finish line still seems a long way off. What helps when the going gets tough? The support of your friends and family, and sometimes even the encouragement of random spectators along the way – “Come on! You’ve got this! Keep it up!”

To show how technology can also offer assistance in situations like these, SAP is teaming up with the Wings for Life World Run 2019, a charity event set to take place simultaneously all across the world, including through a corresponding app, on May 5, 2019. Whether it’s day or night, all runners across the globe will start at the same time with the same goal: raising money for the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation. Even though the Wings for Life World Run has a unique format that accommodates the fitness level of each individual participant — every runner sets his or her own pace until a “catcher car” overtakes them all — everyone still gives it their all.

On-Site for the First Time: The EmPulse Zone Created by SAP

In cooperation with the Wings for Life World Run, SAP has come up with a very special form of motivation for the local events scheduled in Munich, Germany; Sunrise, U.S.; and Yilan, Taiwan. The EmPulse Zone created by SAP will be installed along the route. For around 150 feet, the runners will be cheered on by short video messages from their friends and relatives. Each runner will be carrying a chip that will let the EmPulse Zone know who is approaching. As they pass through, the video recorded for them will be projected onto a large screen along with encouraging audio clips.

“Friends and family members can record a 10-second clip prior to the run and send it to Wings for Life through SAP Cloud Platform,” explains Hans-Jörg Czernotzky, head of Innovation, Global Sponsorships, SAP. “The clips will be matched to the participants based on their runner IDs. The link to the video portal for friends and family will be published by SAP and the Wings for Life World Run in January 2019. We look forward to all the motivating videos for next year’s participants.”

Running for Those Who Can’t

Supporting the Wings for Life World Run is a passion project for SAP. Stefan Ries, chief human resources officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, explains the reasons behind the company’s involvement: “As the world’s leading provider of business software, it’s both our goal and our responsibility to improve the lives of others in order to work toward a successful future. Every last cent of the fees paid to enter the Wings for Life World Run and all the other funds raised through this global event will be used for spinal cord research. This means that every step taken anywhere in the world is a step in the right direction.”

Those interested in registering for the Wings for Life World Run 2019 can do so at www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com. The “catcher car,” a type of moving finish line, will ensure that the race is exciting for every participant — from beginners to top international athletes. Regardless of whether you make it to a local event, take part in an organized app run, or set out with the app on your own, anyone can get involved for a good cause!

About the Wings for Life World Run

On one day each year, the Wings for Life World Run takes place simultaneously at numerous locations around the world, as well as through a corresponding app. It features a unique format in which participants run as far as they can while being chased along their route (or virtually in the app) by a “catcher car,” a moving finish line that keeps speeding up until it has caught up to every runner. This enables every athlete to finish the race; those on the slower side are overtaken early on, while the best of the best wind up running far more than a marathon. One hundred percent of the entrance fees and donations go toward efforts to heal spinal cord injuries. In the fifth iteration to have taken place since its debut in 2014, the Wings for Life World Run has motivated more than 500,000 people from 193 nations to take part in over 66 countries on all seven continents.

About the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation 

Millions of people around the world rely on wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries, which typically result from traffic accidents or serious falls. Wings for Life is a non-profit spinal cord research foundation focused on a single mission: finding a cure for injuries like these. Since 2004, it has funded life-changing research projects and clinical studies across the globe. Although it may still take some time to find an effective method of treatment, constant progress has been made – find out more at www.wingsforlife.com.