May 4 (Reuters) - Tennis player Dominic Thiem and skiers Lindsey Vonn and Marcel Hirscher were among 77,000 people to take part in a charity race to raise funds for spinal cord research.
The original race was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but runners and wheelchair users from 104 countries competed individually on Sunday, using an app to follow their own course and local social distancing guidelines.
Participants in the Wings for Life World Run ran or rolled as far as they could until being caught by a virtual “Catcher Car”.
“There being a virtual finish line instead of a physical one, I think it just makes it really inclusive for everyone, and easy for everyone to participate even during this time,” two-time Alpine skiing world champion Vonn said.
Russia’s Nina Zarina covered 54.23 km to win the women’s race for the second successive year, while Britain’s Michael Taylor captured his first title after running 69.92 km in the men’s race.
“It was a very good endurance session, so it’s a very good day for me,” two-times French Open runner-up Thiem said.
The event raised 2.8 million euros ($3.06 million).
$1 = 0.9144 euros Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams