Making his Mark on the Ring of Beara

Mark Pollock with Simon O’Donnell and Paula Cunniffe on a training cycle for the big event

MARK Pollock, the international motivational speaker, explorer and author who became the first blind man to race to the South Pole, has been hitting the road in preparation for this year’s Ring of Beara Cycle which will be based in Kenmare.

The inspirational Northern Ireland man will undertake the grueling 110km cycle with tandem pilot Simon O’Donnell, a team mate on his trek to the South Pole, and a team of 35 other cyclists. They hope to help raise awareness of his mission to cure for paralysis.

The Ring of Beara Cycle Kenmare will take place on Saturday, May 25 and it will see more than 4,500 cyclists take to the roads and hills of the Beara Peninsula.

Mark Pollock said when he lost his sight he rebuilt his identity as a blind adventure athlete but when he became paralysed, he feared he would never be able to compete again.

Mark rebuilt his identity when he lost his sight

“Thanks to a custom-made tandem hand bike, I’m back in the saddle with my former South Pole teammate Simon O’Donnell and looking forward to the Ring of Beara cycle in May. I believe we all achieve more than we thought possible when we collaborate so I’m excited that 35 supporters are joining our Team Unbreakable,” he said.

Event Director Oliver Kirwan remarked: “We are delighted and privileged to welcome Mark and his teammates. We have a huge respect and admiration for his work and having the team with us is going to make the day even more special for all involved.”

Since 2011 Mark and his team have co-created projects valued at over €2.5 million involving rehabilitation, robotics, exercise physiology, neuro modulation, neuroscience, bioengineering, and pharmacology.

Mark believes many of the world’s greatest scientists and technologists have discovered breakthroughs that have the potential to impact paralysed people’s lives in the next five years.

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