Night run raises nearly $4K for spinal cord research

Cayman Islands Run in the Dark 2016.

Streets in Cayman’s capital were filled with an unusual sight Wednesday night, as more than 100 runners with flickering lights attached to their bodies made their way down South Church Street, across Denham Thompson Way and Walkers Road before making their way back to the George Town waterfront.

They were all part of a global movement – Run in the Dark, an event organised to raise funds for fast-tracking a cure for spinal paralysis. The 134 people who turned up for the Cayman 5K and 10K runs on 16 November did so on the same day that thousands of others laced up their cross-trainers in countries around the world.

Cayman Islands Run in the Dark gets going.

And they’re off.

The man behind the global event is Mark Pollock. Despite losing his sight at the age of 22, he became the first blind man to race to the South Pole. Then in 2010, Mark suffered a catastrophic fall that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Being blind and paralyzed, Mark thought it was over and had no hope to live on. After a year of recovery and an attempt to be the former adventurer he was, Mark realized that he’d become a part of something bigger – a global community effected by paralysis.

Having an already strong support in Dublin, Ireland, Mark sought to find the cure for paralysis. The Run in the Dark is one of the major fundraising events which supports this ambitious goal. More than 6,000 runners turned out this year in Singapore alone.

The cool evening air made conditions good for running.

The cool evening air made conditions good for running.

Hannah Foreman started Cayman Islands Run in the Dark in 2015, having a personal connection to the cause. She suffered a major back injury a few years ago but is now back on her feet. Joining her this year was Sarah Lewis, who went to university with Mark Pollack and helped organised the Dubai Run in the Dark previously. With both Foreman and Lewis in the Cayman Islands, they decided to join forces.

“This year was bigger and better than last year and we are hoping to be even bigger and better next year! The support and energy from the Cayman community is more than I had hoped for this year,” Foreman told

“Having organised this last year by myself, having Sarah Lewis help me this year has been absolutely brilliant. I know we wouldn’t have been able to make it as great as it was without each other,” she added.

They raised just under CI$4,000 that will be donated to the Mark Pollack trust, which champions the cause of working toward a cure for spinal cord injury.

This runner was clearly enjoying himself.

Thumbs up to you too: This runner was clearly enjoying himself.


The following are the race results:

5K Male

1st Tobias Muchene 21m 21s

2nd Phil Thompson 24m 55s

3rd Kevin Higgo 25m 30s


5K Female

1st Jayme Farrell 23m 57s

2nd Ginger Bane 24m 24s

3rd Laura Louise Forbes 24m 46s


10K Male

1st Sean Lilley 41m 45s

2nd Thomas Cowling 45m 48s

3rd Ben Strangeway 46m 11s


10K Female

Joint 1st Pam Abbott and Elaine Heausler 52m 13s

3rd Tracey Walker 52m 35s

A special mention to the youngest participant, Chris Luijten, age 12 who finished the 5km with a smile

The event was sponsored by Back to Health, SteppingStones Recruitment, Bliss Living Yoga, Island Naturals, Fat Fish Adventures and Margaritaville.

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