Yesterday at the end of the working day, in the cold and the dark and the rain I (Helen) headed to Battersea Park to take part in Run In The Dark.
Run In The Dark takes part in multiple locations (Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Manchester and Taipei) on the same day and is raising funds for the Mark Pollock Trust to help find a cure for paralysis.
Mark Pollock lost his sight in 1998, and went on to become an adventure athlete competing in ultra endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps including being the first blind person to race to the South Pole.
In 2010, he suffered a fall from a second story window. He broke his back and the damage to his spinal cord left him paralysed. Now he is working to fast track a cure for paralysis.
So each year Run In The Dark takes place to help raise funds and awareness for the Mark Pollock Trust.
It was raining after work as I headed to meet some friends and make my way to the run (after a cheeky little stop at Nando’s for dinner).
We arrived at about 7.30pm, there were already a lot of racers ready. Quick queue for the loo (obligatory – happens before every race). Then we popped our bags into the bag drop and headed to the start line.
It was not a staggered start, so everyone was in one long queue, we were a little way from the front and therefore didn’t hear the warm up or the start announcement but we were soon on our way, after a failed selfie (it looked awful) and a more successful picture taken by another participant.
The first km or so was a little crowded as people began, it always takes a while for people to find their pace in a run and spread out a bit, but by halfway round the first lap it was ok. The run has options for either 5km (2 laps) or 10km (4 laps). I was running with a friend and colleague Georgina and we were doing the 10km. Although there was a suggestion at some point around 4km that she was considering the 5km!
Runners are given a flashing florescent armband with their race pack so as you look up around the park there is a stream of red lights flickering in the distance which is actually really nice to see. It’s a flat course and the park is lovely, a really nice place to run.
I am doing a lot of running this week, I have a duathlon on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday so I was not going for a PB at this event, I was acting as Georgina’s pacer trying to make sure she had a good run. I’m not sure she felt like it was a good run, but I promise I tried. It can be really hard helping someone else to run, its sometimes difficult to explain what you think would help in a manner that won’t upset someone who is already trying their best. Especially if you want to remain friends after the run! But Georgina puts up with me well!
The rain held off during the run and we actually had a really good time. I think I’ll be back next year – and I’ll be signing up early as there was an early bird offer on a running top and they looked amazing!!!