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Cork Independent


Runners in the dark get more than they bargain for

Thursday, 21st November, 2013 12:00am

One runner got more than she bargained for when partcipating in the Run in the Dark race in Cork last week. The annual race is organised by Mark Pollock, an adventurer-racer who became the first blind man to reach the South Pole.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, another racer, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she noticed a drunk man appraoch a woman racer, but it was in fact the racer's reaction that really got her attention.“I was doing a 5k leg of the run but there was also the option of doing a 10k which is what that woman was doing. I had finished up and was walking to collect my pack, that every racer get, when I noticed a drunk man kind of jump at the racer. Next thing I knew she had pinned him to the ground and then she continued on with the race, it was unbeliveable!”

Over 2200 people partook in the night-time race which follows a course around Cork city. The race began on Oliver Plunkett Street and finished on the Grand Parade. 5K particpants do the course twice while 10k runners have to do the course four times.

“I would think since I had just finished up with the 5k then that woman was only halfway through her race so to watch her pin that drunk man down and then carry on was very unusual, she was a brave woman! Not only was she standing up for herself but she was also warding him off so that he wouldn't interupt the race for others. "I honestly couldn't believe it when I saw her carry on as if nothing had happened, i'd love to know what her time was in the end. The 10k is particularly hard as you are running the same course four times so for that to happen to her halfway through it and too pin the man down and then carry on like nothing happened, you'd have to see it to believe it! Myself and two friends that I was with were wondering if we should go over to help but she had everything taken care of it seems, he didn't go near anyone else after she had dealt with him so fair play to her, she was very hardcore!”There was further Run in the Dark events in Dublin, Belfast, London and Manchester as well as Sydney, New York and Frankfurt. The Mark Pollock Trust, which was set up by Mark Pollock, is using the funds raised by the race to try and find a cure for spinal injuries.Speaking on the incident, Deputy Lord Mayor Lorraine Kingston said: "It's a shame that one person acted in that way on the night from the thousands that took part. It is a hugely positive event and fair dues to that lady for dealing with the incident with dignity so that people could carry on after. I'd also say congartulations to the organisers of the event, as this was just a one-off incident and we look forward to next year's event already."  

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