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#SpaceWatchGL Op‘ed: You can make the difference

by Torsten Kriening, COO ThorGroup GmbH and Editor of SpaceWatch.Global

Courtesy of Red Bull Media House and Wings for Life World run

Myself and my colleagues are on a mission to raise 384,000 euros to help others. Do you think that’s possible?

I want to tell you about a new, great initiative from the Berlin-based Newspace company, PTScientists. They have created a team – named like their project – Mission to the Moon (here is the link) , to raise the equal amount in Euros as the distance from Berlin to the Moon in km – that’s 384.000! With all that today’s technology brings us, taking governments and private actors into space, we often forget what’s really happening on our own planet and on our own doorstep. The Christmas holiday season is a great occasion to slow down the pace and think about others. But why limit this to thinking – it is also about taking action.

We are asking for participation, in terms of either running or donating.

Running for those who can‘t’ is the motto of the annual Wings for Life World Run (here is the link). It sounds like one of the countless running events that happen all over the place at any time, but this is different. 100% of the donation and the entry fees go directly into spinal cord research – to push it to the next medical level.

Regardless of whether you are a long-distance runner or somebody that just began their running journey, you can participate.

Every participant is sure to finish. The Wings for Life World Run is a global charity event with a unique, and uniquely fun, format.

It’s a worldwide run where everybody starts simultaneously and the finish line chases you!

Here’s how it works: On one day each year, the Wings for Life World Run takes place at event locations across the planet. Everybody starts at exactly the same moment, 11am UTC. Whether it’s day or night, bright sun or pouring rain at your location – you’re running together with the world and sharing an amazing experience. Your name shows up on a global result list, too!

The Wings for Life World Run is perfect for everyone of every ability, because you set your own goals and you don’t head toward a distant finish line. Instead, the finish line catches up with you. A half hour after the race starts, a moving finish line, the “Catcher Car,” chases runners along the course, gradually getting faster until each one is caught. The first runners passed after a few kilometres are the first to celebrate their accomplishments, while the last man and woman to be caught are declared Global Champions (92.14 km is the current record!).

There are three way to participate

First, the event run. Run at one of the 12 event locations worldwide, with thousands of other participants where a real Catcher Car chases you.

Second, the organised App run. Run together with others at many organized run locations around the world using the mobile App and get chased by a virtual Catcher Car.

Third, an individual APP run. Run by using the mobile App alone or with friends and get chased by a virtual Catcher Car.

Remember, no matter which way you decide to participate, the start time will be the same – 11:00am UTC on May 5, 2019. Mark the date and choose how you would like to participate.

But what has PTScientists to do with this running event? Actually, nothing, but they decided to use the momentum of their ambitious Mission to the Moon to set the goal for something ambitious on Earth. True to their motto “Space belongs to everyone”, the PTScientists are inviting the world to join us not only on our Mission to the Moon but also on the Wings for Life run.

Help them to collect donations for a good cause that will equal the distance from Berlin to the Moon! Want to join their team? Here is the direct link to the Mission to the Moon Team.

You make the difference.

Who participates in the Wings for Life World Run? People who care – and who like to have fun while making a difference. People like you! So if you’re the crazy costume type, go for it. But if you’re serious about your result, that’s fine, too. Either way, you’ll be running together with athletes, casual joggers and wheelchair users. The young and the not-so-young. Everyday people and famous names.

When you participate in the Wings for Life World Run, you know you’re making an impact. 100% of all entry fees and all donations raised through fundraising campaigns go directly to life-changing spinal cord research projects and clinical trials at renowned universities and institutes worldwide. The non-profit Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation is a driving force behind the mission, and Red Bull covers the foundation’s administrative costs in full as well as costs for the Wings for Life World Run.

Running for me is a personal thing. Running is my therapy, the moment during the week where I am in my own world, where thoughts are free flowing and where ideas are born. Being an ambitious runner over the last two decades, I am aiming to run about 25-30km per week, resulting in a 1300km annual distance. I take part in selected running events, but I love the thrill and the motivation of the events and their special ambience. This year, I finished my 10th Berlin Marathon, which got me entrance into the prestigious Jubilee Club. I got my t-shirt and my eternal starting number. 4580 is mine forever – at least for the Berlin SCC events. Now I am excited to participate for the first time in the Wings for Life World Run. 2019 will be a great year – the year of the first humans on the Moon, and so the goal of PTScientists has great meaning. Ad astra!

Happy New Year and keep on running,




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