AS darkness sweeps around the globe on Wednesday, November 11th, hundreds of people will pull on their running shoes and red flashing armbands and head for Glenveagh Castle.
The Run in the Dark Donegal team will join other mass participation 5k events, held simultaneously in Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Manchester and London, as well as thousands of more volunteers in pop-up events in cities world-wide at 8pm. They want to support Mark Pollock to explore the frontiers of recovery for people with spinal cord injuries by creating a global fund-raising community through sport.
The Donegal team is being led by Gweedore woman Sonia McGarvey whose daughter Noirin (11) has a spinal cord injury after a car accident in Dunlewey seven years ago. All-Ireland winning Donegal defender Eamon McGee has also offered his support.
The walk and run is 5k with a mix of tarmac and gravel paths. It starts at the castle and ends up at the visitors centre.
“We welcome wheelchair users and there is the option to continue along the bus route which is all tarmac and not negotiate the gravel path but this reduces the walk to 4K,” Sonia explained.
“My dad Seamus McIntyre and James Doherty have been crucial in designing a route. They have become a regular sighting with their big wheel measuring the 5K. I must thank all the marshals that have offered up their time and the sports and social club in Letterkenny Hospital, VHI and United Healthcare for encouraging their staff to attend through financial aid,” she said.
Buses will start running to the castle at 6.40pm with the last bus leaving at 7.30pm to ensure an 8pm start. It is essential that people take flashlight/head-torches as there is limited lighting with some places completely unlit.
“I never realised there was so much involved in hosting a fund-raising event but I am loving every minute and have met some great people,” she said.
“I know that Noirin is not prepared at present to put her all into restorative therapy as she is too busy being a teen but there will come a time when she is and it would be nice to know that there are options open to her and of course to others living with a spinal cord injury.
“Big thanks to Noirin for being my inspiration to try to make a change in the lives of people living with spinal cord injury,” Sonia said.
People are encouraged to register at www.runinthedark.org/donegal/ as there will be limited registration on the night. Registration will be open 6.30 to 7.15pm. Participants are asked to come early so as to receive their flashing arm band and run in the dark head buff.
Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark Pollock suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury in 2010 that left him paralysed. As Mark strives to walk again, his most complex journey is ahead of him – to find a cure for spinal cord injuries for him and the millions of paralysed people around the world.
The Life Style Sports Run in the Dark plays a vital role in funding The Mark Pollock Trust’s mission to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis.
Posted: 8:21 am November 2, 2015
Donegal Together For Yes will launch its campaign at 6pm this evening, Friday, in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey.