Joel Juht: it’s wonderful that during those difficult times people did something special together
Wings for Life World Run is a charity run simultaneously held all around the world with an aim to raise money for spinal cord research foundation. Last year I ran 252 kilometres from Tallinn to Võru in the framework of Wings for Life World Run, this year, however, I had planned to hit the track in Japan. Unfortunately, this plan was cancelled because of the Corona virus.
Greater meaning than just a run
Despite the fact my trip was cancelled, I found strength in me and thought that if there’s an app, I could also run in Estonia. I shared my ideas with others, some of whom I probably exhausted with my talk, but I do believe they all hit the track finally.
Today I’m probably one of the biggest fans of this run. Moving has always played an important role in my life and it has also brought bread to my table. I also know how it feels when you cannot move yourself, I’ve experienced it. It has directed me towards helping the ones who are unable move.
Probably not everybody in Estonia is aware of the extent of Wings for Life World Run and definitely not all know about its unique structure. People from nearly 35 countries all around the world crossed the start line at the same time, they chose their distance, location and pace. Throughout the run the competitors could reach each other via a live stream. This year there were 77 103 runners participating – it’s unbelievable!
Competition with a car added adrenalin
Although the run was held with the help of an app, I still felt a little anxious in the morning of the competition. Just a bit before the start, I consulted with my trainer Eiko Toome, and we came to a conclusion that the most suitable pace for me would be 5-5.30 per kilometre. After the start I suddenly realised I was running faster, my pace was around 4.40 throughout the whole run.
I started in Tallinn, on the Kloogaranna road, in front of the Viti Alexela petrol station I headed towards Tabasalu. My route ran along the light traffic road towards the Stroomi beach and my finish was in Kakumäe. On the road, there were my trainer, Eiko Toom, and the photographer, Jakob Meier, to support me, and I can be sure they also motivated me a lot.
The format of the run is very unique as there is a catcher car in the app following the racers. If it catches you, you’re finished. This time the most difficult factor was the temperature since at the start it was 15 degrees but a bit later it fell significantly. The cold wind did its job, but it was nothing I couldn’t overcome. You know the golden rule – a real run starts at the 30-kilometre post.
This time the run was a success for me. I had passed 33 kilometres before the catcher car caught me. In addition to that, I made a personal half marathon record, which was just a great bonus and a sign of development. I came the fourth in Estonia and finished on the 1363rd position worldwide. I believe that you need to give time for everything in life, nothing comes in a hurry.
It was even more special to run with a big team this year. That is, I decided to create a team JJ-Street Active Sport in order to involve more people in the exciting process. In the end, our team of 98 people managed to collect 1294 euros to support the spinal cord research foundation. It’s awesome we could do something so great together. Those people who contributed in those difficult times will become history. I believe that every one of them who helped is a fighter and cares about others around them.
Here I would like to say a big thank you to the following people: Anna-Liisa Supp, Eiko Toom, Jakob Meier, Jaan Roos and the JJ-Street activists’ team.
It was all so great and powerful, and I hope that maybe real-time Wings for Life World Run, where a real car is chasing the runners, will happen in Estonia too.
Results of the JJ-Street Active Sport TEAM