Race Recap: Wings For Life World Run – Melbourne

Event: Wings for Life World Run
Date: 8th May 2016
Type: Continous one way
Where: World Wide
Melbourne Start: Patterson’s Reserve, Hawthorn 9 pm
Event Partners: Spinal Cord Research, Red Bull, Garmin, Puma, LED Lenser

When registrations for the 2016 Wings for Life World Run opened up, I of course had to sign up to do it again.

It’s such a unique event, with a moving finish line, you run as far as you can before the catcher car passes you.

2016 Niagra Falls Wings for Life

With 33 countries, 34 locations, 6 continents, and covering 12 times zones, it’s the only global running event.

No matter the temperature:

  • 42° degrees C in India
  • 5° degrees C at Niagara Falls

No matter the height from sea level:

  • Brazil: 1159m
  • Holland 3m

Day or night, global we run as one.

Do you know of any other event like that? It’s one of a kind, and I’m glad that I could take part again this year.

Wings for Life Ireland 2016

This year the location moved from Beach Rd, Elwood, to Monash Fwy, Hawthorn.

I’m not sure the new location was a better choice, but it was ‘boasted’ to be a faster flatter track.

Last year, I left at about 6:30 pm and then took the curtsey bus.  The queue for the bib collection and the portaloos were quite lengthy and left me feeling anxious.

With the new location, there meant more parking options.  I still opted to leave a little earlier to allow for the queues.

When I arrived, there was no one waiting for the bib collection.  It was such a smooth and hassle-free transition.

After handing in my waiver, and collecting my race kit, I sat down (on the ground, as there were not many chairs) and ate my dinner.

Eating didn’t take very long, which then meant a really long waiting game.

I wandered around the event village, took some selfies and visited the sponsor stands.

2016 Selfie World Run

When they asked for volunteers to take part in a #WORLDRUN photo.  I knew I had to join in.

I’m on top of the L, with long blue socks, and bright pink shoes.

It was fun to participate in this photo.

We also did a human #WORLDRUN, but no image of that has been posted.  I can only assume it was a dud.

Tom is normally with me at these sorts of events. But as this was a Sunday night event, and being that we live in the country, and Monday being a school day, he stayed home with the kids.

Without my companion with me, I got bored.  No one I knew was there yet, so I had no one to talk to.

Not only was I lonely, but I also had to do a lot of waiting around.

At about 8 pm, they started doing the warm-up, which I thought was quite odd as the run wasn’t starting for another hour.

2016 RunMum Wings for Life

It became apparent 15 minutes later why the warm-up was done early.  They were starting to process people to the start line which was a 500m walk away.

When you enter this event they still allocate a ‘wave’ to you based on a 10km or half marathon time.  I was in the orange group, the blue group being the elite wave.

There were also pace groups this year.

Pace Group options were:

  • Marathon distance
  • 30km
  • Half Marathon distance

I made myself known to the 30km pacer, as I knew that I could run that pace, and then just back off, to get to 25km.

That was the aim.

With all the runners now in the starting chute, you could really feel the vibe of excitement.

When the clock ticked 9 pm, we were off.

2016 Wings for Life Melbourne start

It was a privilege to be able to run along the Monash Fwy.

However, it wasn’t completely closed off.  Us runners had to keep to the two right lanes, and the two left lanes were rolling with traffic.  Not exactly ideal, for some runners, but I was ok it.  I mostly kept to the emergency lane.

The first 5km I felt like I was running pretty well, and was keeping a good pace.  However, my legs felt stiff.  Could this have been because I didn’t participate in the warm-up? Possible, but normally my legs feel quite good by 3-4km into a long run.

By 10km my legs were tired, and achy, and I really felt like quitting. My pace was all over the place, and the aim to get to 25km was well and truly gone.

After consuming some of the fuel I had in my quantum belt, and some water at the aid station, I felt better mentally.

At the 17km, I knew something wasn’t physically right.  My right hip was achy, and it was starting to hurt.

Knowing the catcher car wouldn’t be far off, I just wanted to get to the 20km mark.

The catcher car passed me at 20.45km (W4L) / 20.6km (Polar).

2016 World Run Finish AUS

It was then only a 300m walk to the pickup zone (rest station 4).

At the aid station, I consumed some water, Red Bull and a banana.  I also did a good stretch and sat in the squat position to relieve some of the pain in my hip, which helped immensely.

After everyone had arrived at the aid station, it would be an hour’s wait for the collection buses would arrive.

On the bus, we had the option for space blankets.  I didn’t take one because I felt like I didn’t need it.  Big mistake.

By the time I got back to the event village.  I was cold, hungry, and in pain.

The pain was exacerbated because I was cold.  A fellow runner gave me his space blanket, as he could tell I was suffering. To you fellow runner I am extremely grateful.

Upon collecting my bag, I changed into warm clothes, went to one of the food vans and grabbed a pie from the Gourmet Pies Truck.

Oh, it was delicious and made me feel so much better.

The Pro’s & Cons of the 2016 Wings For Life Melbourne


  • Running along the Monash Fwy
  • Better parking options
  • Easy bib collection
  • Lots of toilets at the event hub & at the aid stations
  • Volunteers at the aid stations were excited, cheerful, helpful and friendly
  • The event hub had Good music, with a live singer as well.
  • Group photo
  • No Rain! (We were foretasted for 10-20mm)
  • Better starting chute.


  • Running along the Monash Fwy
  • Noisy course
  • Dirty (My face was quite dirty, thanks to the fumes of the passing traffic)
  • Not a flatter course  (The 2015 course was flatter)
  • Wait time for the buses (We waited over an hour)
  • No space blankets at the aid stations (Only on the buses)
  • Having a cold

9 thoughts on “Race Recap: Wings For Life World Run – Melbourne”

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  2. It was great reading your account of this race – I also participated
    & thought that although it was well organised, at times things felt a
    little flat. I was also running without buddies and found there was
    too much waiting around, and I didn’t enjoy running up the freeway at
    all. The inclines really did me in (I wasn’t at all prepared for that,
    mentally or physically) and I fell well short of my target. I got
    really cold waiting for the bus too, standing around in the middle of a
    busy freeway wasn’t much fun.
    That said, I liked the uniqueness
    of the race and that all the entry fees went to charity, but I think I’d
    only do it again next year if the course was different.

    1. I properly would have enjoyed this a lot more if I was running with someone. But I don’t have any friends that run at my pace unfortunately.

      Not sure if I will do this one again next year. Yes it’s a great cause, but didn’t really care for the Monash Fwy, preferred Beach rd. My shoes were so dirty! Didn’t realise this until I got home and was putting away my stuff 2 days later.

      If the event moved to Sydney or Adelaide then yes I would do it as a destination run. But 2017 may give it a miss, and look to do another run instead.

      Thanks for your comment Jo.

    1. It’s much better Carol. I did a really good dynamic stretch on the Monday when I got home.
      Not too sure why my hip ached so much, the only thing I can think of is that my running form was off.

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