It’s been three years since Mark Pollock last returned to Inst to encourage staff and pupils to Run In The Dark in support of one of its bravest past-pupils. Mark’s name has become synonymous across the world with success in the face of adversity; he has long refused to allow circumstance to dictate his limitations. In 2009 Mark became the first blind man to reach the South Pole. Other highlights in the catalogue of Mark’s impressive achievements are winning Silver and Bronze medals for Northern Ireland for rowing in the 2009 Commonwealth Regatta and running six marathons in seven days in the Gobi Desert, and taking his first steps after paralysis threatened to prevent him from walking again.
Mark came in to speak about facing his most imposing challenge yet; the prospect of learning to walk again after an accident left him paralysed. Mark’s latest expedition traverses the terrain of spinal cord injury, a road infinitely less travelled than the South Pole journey he already has behind him, but one with a goal he is no less determined to reach. He is resolute that he and others in similar situations will help to find a solution to the seemingly insurmountable problem of spinal cord injuries. To assist him on his way, the Mark Pollock Trust established the Run In The Dark, an event which will take place simultaneously in more than 50 cities across the globe on the 16th November and will further facilitate him in his quest. For the last three years a large number of pupils, staff and parents have run, walked and cheered at Stormont to support Mark and we are hoping that this year will see an increase in numbers. For further information on how to get involved in Run In The Dark please visit www.runinthedark.org or see Mr Archibald or Mrs Johnston.