Athlone will be among 50 locations around the world taking part in ‘Run in the Dark’, a 5k/10k event on Wednesday, November 16 at 8pm.
The fundraising run/walk will be hosted by Athlone Community College and hopes to being people of all abilities together to raise critical funds for The Mark Pollock Trust.
‘Run in the Dark’, now in its sixth 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 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 two years ago. After they saw the documentary about his life story, 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.
“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 120 runners complete the fundraising effort, so we are hoping to make the event bigger and better this year, so we need people’s help.”
On November 16 all participants must arrive at 7.30pm to be ready for the 8pm start. The start and finish line of the run will be located beside Donegans Spar shop Garrycastle, Athlone. The 5km route will be along Cartrontroy, Retreat Road, out around AIT 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.
“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 added. “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.”