Sinead Kane is an extraordinary young woman from Cork, who has just 5% vision and is about to take on the World Marathon Challenge of 7 marathons, in 7 days, across 7 continents. Here, Sinead gives us an update on her departure to Antarctica, and her first meetings with her fellow participants.
Well, today I’m feeling more like an explorer now than a runner, mainly due to information I got this morning at a meeting with the Antarctica Logistics Team, which was very interesting! We were on standby from 7pm last night, and our departure was all dependent on the weather conditions. But we just got the go ahead, and are about to get on the plane!
Antarctica has no time zone, and for those arriving from Chile it's usually Chile time that's adopted. In our case, we will be early adopters of Sydney Time as that's our final destination. We will have 168 hours from when we cross the start line until when we cross the finish line in Sydney to complete the challenge successfully. A lot lies in between, but we didn't come this far to just come this far… We are so ready! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all of the other runners who are embarking on this challenge, who like me, all have a story. Speaking with them makes me realise I am not alone, and that we all have a story. There is a lady here called Beth Ann, who is suffering with brain cancer. She had received good media attention but there has also been a lot of bullies targeting her online at the moment saying she should stay at home. She is trying to promote the same message as me, which is to not let anyone pull you down, and to focus on your abilities and not your disabilities or your illness. She is just amazing.
Another of the participants asked John would he be allowed to run one mile of a race with me, as my guide runner instead of John, because he is in such admiration of what I am doing. I already feel like I have made friends for life, and I am just so ready for this challenge to begin. I just want it to start, and to get in the zone, but I’m so nervous about how my eyes will cope, and how I will deal with the cold. But, I am telling myself to all of these moments, even the waiting around, that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am unlikely to do again.
The support of the Irish people, my friends in Allianz and everyone around the world sending me good wishes, is what’s keeping me going, so I have to say a huge thank you for that. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow me @BlindRunner777, and get in on the conversation using the hashtag #BlindRunner777.
Looking forward to catching up with you all once I touch down in Antarctica.