Running In The Dark with Paula Cunniffe

The Run in the Dark takes place next week with more than 50 events around the world. It’s a great run to take part in, a brilliant cause to raise money for in the Mark Pollock Trust and as we saw at the Sport for Business Partners 2019 event, a real potential winner for sponsorship.

We sat down this week with Paula Cunniffe amid the madness of getting everything ready, to have a chat about the event, which is sold out in Dublin but does have limited space available in other venues across Ireland and around the world.

SfB: Run in the dark takes place on Wednesday 13th November, how big has it become now?

PC: Run in the Dark started off as an idea on a notepad while Mark Pollock was still in hospital after suffering a catastrophic spinal cord injury. Nine years on, it’s grown to an international event series with 25,000 participants worldwide. We have 13 events in Ireland this year and 40 others across the globe in cities such as London, Paris, New York, Washington D.C., Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong.

How important is the run in terms of raising money for Mark’s research and projects?

Through Run in the Dark, Mark Pollock aims to inspire people to build resilience and collaborate with others so that, together, they achieve more than they thought possible. For some, that means gathering a group of friends or colleagues to train hard and get fit with a 5k or 10k run. For others, it means building a team of experts to perform better. For us, at the Mark Pollock Trust, it means supporting Mark to deal with the ongoing physical, psychological and financial impact of his catastrophic spinal cord injury, while also allowing him to pursue his personal mission to cure paralysis in our lifetime.

In a world where social good is becoming a key element of sponsor’s thinking, what kind of sponsorship opportunities do you have for anyone wanting to get involved?

We’re always interested in talking to brands who align with our core values of collaboration and achieving more, and have a number of sponsorship tiers from activation/supplier partner to global title sponsor covering all 50 Run in the Dark events.

Get your organisation race ready for 2020 with a Sport for Business membership, just like Run in the Dark

The race is sold out in Dublin how would anyone who wants to get involved in Cork, Belfast or your pop up locations get to do so?

We’ve had phenomenal interest this year and now our events in Dublin and Cork are sold out. If people are interested in Belfast and our pop-up events across the country they can visit

How do the Pop-Up races work?

Our pop-up runs are led by dedicated volunteers worldwide. They are smaller, casual events but are loads of fun. We’re really lucky to work with great people all around the world to make these happen and each location is totally unique. And, each year we’re approached by people in new locations in Ireland and abroad interested in supporting Mark’s personal mission by setting up a Run in the Dark. We work with volunteers every step of the way in setting up and managing the run. This year we have new runs in Ballina, Kenmare and Wexford.

How many people do you imagine will take to the streets next week?

Altogether 25,000 people around the globe and 16,000 in Ireland will take to the streets to Run in the Dark. 9,000 people will take part in Dublin alone and 2,500 in Cork.

Give us one reason why if people are thinking about it that will persuade them to take the plunge.

Run in the Dark is a unique experience running on a crisp November night. The pop-up events have a fantastic community feel and are ideal for casual runners, in particular. Everyone who runs is part of an event sweeping the globe from Sydney to San Francisco.

You can find out more and even decide to run at


Similar Articles