Nighttime run has personal meaning for local organisers

Hannah Foreman and Sarah Lewis were strangers a few months ago. Now, they’re working together as part of a global effort to fast-track a cure for paralysis. They’re the lead organisers of Cayman Islands Run In The Dark, a nighttime run held on the same date as similar events around the world.

For both Hannah and Sarah, the mission is personal. 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 part of 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.

Then there is the Cayman connection. That’s where Hannah and Sarah come in. Last year, Hannah organised the first Cayman Islands Run In The Dark, having suffered a serious back injury a few years before.

“I broke my back in 2009. So, it was a really personal reason to raise money for a cure…I was lucky enough to be okay from my spinal cord injury but there are tons of people out there who weren’t. So, I heard about this event and I participated – in 2013 and 2014. I then decided to bring it here and champion my own race,” she explained.

As Hannah looked ahead to this year’s event, Sarah had a similar thought process. Sarah went to university with Mark Pollock and helped organise a Run In The Dark event in Dubai for a few years before she moved to Cayman in 2016.

“When I came over here six months ago, I thought I was going to be starting the first ever one in the Cayman Islands and then I was introduced to Hannah. We’ve become great friends ever since and we are planning to make this year’s event the biggest and the best,” Sarah said.

Ran In The Dark takes place on Wednesday, 16 November at 8:00 p.m. starting outside Margaritavile on Harbour Drive. There will be a 5K route and a 10K route. About 50 people showed up last year and the hope is to at least double participation this time around.

Hannah and Sarah described the event as a spectacle worth witnessing or being a part of, as runners will be fitted with flashing wristbands and headbands.

Registration costs $25 and can be done at All proceeds raised will go to the Mark Pollock Trust, which champions the cause of working toward a cure for spinal cord injury.

The local organisers hope to attract runners who will be competing in the Cayman Islands Marathon on 4 December. “We’re offering a 10K route. So the people who are training for the marathon in December, it will be a nice warm up,” Hannah suggested.

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