Held in association with the Mark Pollock Trust, the run was first organised to provide assistance for those with paralysis and now the stated aim is help in the drive to find a cure.
The official locations on November 15 are Cork, Belfast, London and Manchester (Dublin takes place a week later), but pop-up events around the globe mean that approximately 25,000 people in 50 cities will take part.
Pollock acknowledges that, in terms of the quest, short-term is still measured in years rather than months, but he is optimistic.
“People are starting to engage in the idea that there is no cure but if enough people get involved, we can change that narrative,” he says.
“The easy storyline around this is that some guy who’s really determined will find a cure but, as so many of us know, just because you want to be cured or win a gold medal or a championship doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen.
“What we need is ambitious individuals working together to ultimately find a cure. There’s no individual who’s cracking the problem, but there are loads of labs and technology companies doing brilliant things.
“By finding and connecting those people, we believe that we will fast-track a cure. In this world, fast-tracking a cure means 10 to 20 years, rather than six months.”
Assisting Pollock as an ambassador for the Run In The Dark is Jamie Wall from Kilbrittain, Co Cork. He has been in a wheelchair since 2014.
Having represented Cork in hurling and football, Wall turned his attention to coaching and led Mary Immaculate College to the Fitzgibbon Cup this year.
“It’s a release, but, more than anything, it’s being engaged in something,” he said.
“For some guys, they can go back to their work and their family life and be engaged with that and be happy, and there’s absolutely nothing in the wide earthly world which is remotely wrong with that.
“Doing the things that drive you and engage keeps you happy. For me, sport has always been one of those things, so to be engaged in sport again, that for me is huge.
“At the same time, I don’t want to be doing something I’m not engaged in. I’m looking around now and there are two things which grab my attention and make me say: ‘I want to be engaged in that.’
One of them is being actively involved in hurling and football, and the other is be actively involved in the physical side of this, being involved in things with Mark.
“Right now, as a 25-year-old, unmarried, with no kids and, for want of a better word, no major responsibilities, my only responsibility is to me and I want to get involved in these things. I want to commit 12 months or two years of my life to this and, when you’re engaged, it’s that bit easier to do these things.”
For more information, visit runinthedark.org
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