Athlone Community College to host ‘Run in the Dark’ for The Mark Pollock Trust

Mark Pollock

Mark Pollock

Athlone will be among 50 locations around the world taking part in ‘Run in the Dark,’ a 5k/10k event taking place on November 11 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 fifth year, is taking place in Dublin, Cork, London, Manchester, and Belfast. This year these official events will be joined by 45 pop-up events, including in Sydney, San Francisco, and now 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 last year after they saw the documentary about his life story,” said Leo. “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 this year.

“Race entry costs €25 and 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.”

On November 11, all participants must arrive at 7.30pm to be ready for the 8pm start. The start and finish line will be located beside the Spar shop in Garrycastle, Athlone. 

The 5k route will be along Cartrontroy, Retreat Road, and then out around Athlone IT and back to the Spar shop at Garrycastle. Those wishing to complete 10k will repeat this loop. The event is open to everyone regardless of age, experience, or fitness level.

“We hope as many people as possible will join us to raise money for The Mark Pollock Trust and the amazing things he hopes to achieve,” Leo said. “Having met Mark I know he is incredibly committed and driven, and we are very hopeful that with enough support and backing Mark will achieve his dream of finding a cure for paralysis and spinal injuries.” 

To register or for more information, log onto or email [email protected]


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