For some keeping fit is more of an occupation than a hobby. For others it is more of a struggle, an ongoing battle with no real outcome. However, fitness fanatics and couch potatoes alike are being encouraged to take part in the fundraising event ‘Run in the Dark’ which takes place in Wexford on November 13.
Organised to raise funds for the Mark Pollock Trust, the run begins at 8 p.m. with both 5k and 10k routes taking runners through the town.
Mark Pollock has been blind since the age of 22, a detached retina halting his career and forcing him to reevaluate his life. Rather than be bowed by his condition he embarking upon a series of athletic challenges and won bronze and silver medals for Northern Ireland in the 2002 Commonwealth Rowing Championships.
He ran six marathons in seven days across the Gobi Desert, China in 2003 raising tens of thousands of euro for the charity Sightsavers International. And in 2004, he competed in the North Pole Marathon on the sixth anniversary of his blindness.
Mark then became the first blind person to race to the South Pole before, in 2010, a fall from a second storey window left him paralysed. From that point forth he made it his mission to find a cure for paralysis.
The Mark Pollock Trust was set up to support Mark to deal with the ongoing physical, psychological and financial impact of this catastrophic spinal cord injury.
Karl Fitzpatrick is the President of the Rotary Club of Wexford and organiser of Run in the Dark Wexford, he explained why he decided to get involved: ‘I have been inspired by Mark’s journey and his endeavours to find a cure for paralysis in our lifetime is something that is very close to my heart. Finding this cure is a mammoth undertaking and therefore, it is important that the Run in the Dark events which are held throughout the world receive the support that they deserve and as the President of the Rotary Club of Wexford, I am delighted to champion this year’s Wexford event.’
Wexford will be one of 50 cities and towns across the globe to host a Run in the Dark event. The cost of entry is €25 and in return you will receive admittance to the run, a flashing armband and Run in the Dark buff.
The Run in the Dark event in Wexford will start and finish on the quay. Participants will follow a route which includes Paul Quay, Trinity Street and the Faythe. The runners and walkers will then travel past Wexford Park before returning to the quay via Summerhill Road and Waterloo Road.