Thousands to run in the dark for the Mark Pollock Trust

Thousands to run in the dark for the Mark Pollock Trust
Heading off at last year's Run in the Dark in Cork City. Picture Dan LInehan

THE Cork streets will be filled with night-time runners on November 14, as the eighth Run in the Dark takes place in the city centre.

Participants can join the 5k or 10k run taking them through the city centre in a unique night running experience while Mallow will host a “pop-up” run.

“Run in the Dark is one of the highlights of the running calendar in Cork, not just because of the unique experience, but also due to the important cause powering the event,” Eleanor Wallace, champion of Run in the Dark Mallow said. 

“Every run entry, every donation, every step moves us towards a cure for paralysis and enabling people to walk again.”

The event, which takes place in locations worldwide, is the main fundraiser of the Mark Pollock Trust, which is named after blind Irish adventure athlete Mark Pollock. Mr Pollock, who had previously been an ultra-endurance athlete, suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury in 2010 when he fell from a second-storey window and was paralysed. 

Since then, he and his friends and supporters have grown a global fundraising movement for the Mark Pollock Trust. The Cork event will leave from Patrick Street at 9pm while the Mallow pop-up begins at 8pm. The Cork route for both distances takes participants on a loop around city centre streets, while Mallow runners will start and finish at Ocana’s on Bank Place.

Participants in Cork will be joining thousands of people in 50 cities across the world, all hitting the streets to raise funds for the search for a cure for paralysis.

In the past year, fuelled by Run in the Dark, the Trust has secured two new sets of Ekso Bionics robotic legs worth more than $400,000. Both exoskeletons are used as research devices in Irish universities in studies with paralysed people.

“We believe we can cure paralysis in our lifetime,” Mr Pollock said. 

“Breakthrough therapies have been discovered and some will be made available to paralysed people within the next 10 years. By making these therapies available, we will change the lives of up to 500,000 people worldwide who suffer the injury each year.”

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