It's always inspiring to hear of people pushing themselves to achieve extraordinary feats. Especially when they do it to benefit others. We were thrilled with the success of the 2023 Wings for Life Run and the incredible showing of the great #JMextraMile Team.
On 7/5/2023, 12 brave runners from Johns Manville set out to make a difference by running 157 km / 98 mi—an average of 13 km / 8 mi per runner. Not only was this a great showing, but their efforts also helped to raise money for spinal cord injury research. The team consisted of two runners from the United States and ten runners from Slovakia.
What makes WFL special is that all runners have 30 minutes to get ahead of the Catcher Car before this moving finish line passes every last person in the race.
A special congratulations goes to Steve Payne, Southwest Regional Services Manager, who was able to cover 19.72 km / 12.25 mi before he was overtaken by the Catcher Car. With this impressive performance he was the runner with the longest distance on our team. As all participants start running at the exact same time, it was 5 AM when Steve went to his virtual starting line in Colorado, his headlamp and the full moon providing minimal light.
For Anthony Hugs, Batch Mixer at our Defiance plant, it was already daylight when he started running at 7 AM in Ohio. However, he also had to contend with nature’s influences running in heavy wind and rain. Despite all odds, he fought his way through and was able to run 18.38 km / 11.42 mi.
“The motivational content that was broadcast through the WFL mobile app kept me going,” Anthony reported after the race. “It praised runners when going at a good pace, and immediately urged to push harder when it noticed that one was slowing down. The stories of people affected by spinal injuries also helped keep me running—nothing compared to the battle those guys are fighting.”
Our runners in Slovakia did not join the flagship run in Vienna, Austria as usual, but took part virtually close to our Johns Manville site in Trnava. Peter Lazicius, Strategic Sourcing Specialist, was their quickest participant with 18.29 km / 11.36 mi.
The beautiful weather at their location not only ensured a positive atmosphere during the run, but also afterwards, when the team came together for a well-deserved isotonic sports drink. Some call it beer.
Ultimately, the group finished 1,097th out of 7,604 participating teams. 206,728 total runners raised €5.8 million for spinal cord injury research. Our hats off!
Best overall male and female runners were Jo Fukuda from Japan with 69 km / 43 mi and Kasia Szkoda from Poland with 55 km / 34 mi.
Congratulations to our teammates and thanks to everyone for going the #JMextraMile! We are already looking forward to next year’s edition of Wings for Life.
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