The image of 5,000 people running through the night lit up by red armbands is as inspiring as the story behind it. The brainchild of the Mark Pollock Trust, The Run in the Dark is now in its third year and is going global with 5km and 10 km runs happening across 7 continents. Mark is the brains and motor behind the trust, with his own personal story giving the run its momentum and mission. Mark’s story will be known to many as he is a highly-regarded motivational speaker who tours the country continually spreading his message with unparalleled optimism and candour. Mark lost his sight at the age of 22 and in 2010 fell out of a second-storey window, doing damage to his spinal cord that left him paralyzed. In spite of the unimaginable difficulties and challenges Mark has faced he has become an incredible source of hope since creating the Mark Pollock Foundation. Funded mainly by the Run in the Dark events, they have raised awareness around the issue of spinal chord injuries whilst also funding research. Mark has devoted himself to exploring frontiers, using his own body as a research subject, making use of state of the art technology. He was the first person in the world to own and regularly walk in an Ekso Bionics robotic suit and he trains in this €150,000 piece of equipment on a daily basis. Supported by his trainer, Simon O’Donnell, he is following an aggressive physical therapy programme in conjunction with innovative electrical stimulation sessions on his legs.
His story continues to motivate and energise the campaign of information on spinal chord injuries and the Run in the Dark events in conjunction with Lifestyle Sports on Wednesday November 13th is a different and incredible way to get involved.