Athlone will be among 50 locations around the world taking part in ‘Run in the Dark’ - a 5k/10k event taking place on November 15 at 8pm.
The fundraising run/walk will be hosted by Athlone Community College and hopes to bring people of all abilities together to raise critical funds for The Mark Pollock Trust.
‘Run in the Dark’, now in its seventh year, is taking place in Dublin, Cork, London, Manchester and Belfast. This year these official events will be joined by 45 pop up events in locations including Sydney, San Francisco and Athlone.
Four-time All-Ireland winning hurler and Athlone Community College teacher, Leo Smith, is behind this fundraising effort.
“Basically, Mark Pollock came to Athlone and spoke to ACC students three years ago,” Leo said. “After they saw the documentary about his life - Unbreakable - his story really resonated with staff and pupils, so we decided to take part in ‘Run in the Dark’ and organise a pop-up run again this year for the third year running. The money we raise will go toward research into spinal injuries and paralysis, and we hope it will make a difference in the lives of thousands of people who have suffered spinal injuries in Ireland.
“Last year saw over 150 runners complete the fundraising effort, so we are hoping to make the event bigger and better this year with the help of the public.”
On November 15, all participants must arrive at 7.30pm to be ready for the 8pm start. The start and finish line of the will be located beside the top class Donegans Spar shop in Garrycastle, Athlone. The 5km route will be along Cartrontroy, Retreat Road and then out around Athlone IT and back to the Spar shop in Garrycastle. Those wishing to complete 10km will repeat this loop. The event is open to everyone regardless of age, experience or fitness level.