Couple go the distance with 50-mile trek

Possibly the fittest couple in Ireland stole the show at a gruelling 50-mile walk through the rugged countryside at the weekend.

Kieran and Teresa Murphy from Sneem, Co Kerry, still had plenty in reserve when they almost casually crossed the finish line in the stamina-testing JFK memorial challenge.

The super-fit duo completed the 50 miles — or 80.46km — in a remarkable 10 hours, 58 minutes and 24 seconds which shaved over an hour off their own personal record set at the same event last year.

The JFK memorial challenge has become a major event in Sneem which is the birthplace of Bridie O’Sullivan, a former housekeeper for JFK’s sister Jean Kennedy-Smith.

Joining the Murphy’s on the route was a sure-footed contingent from the army who followed in the footsteps of hardened US marines who undertook the inaugural trek in the US in the early 1960s.

President John F Kennedy was anxious to ensure his troops were sufficiently fit to meet the challenges of an increasingly dangerous age and set the task for his soldiers, who were joined on their inaugural mission by the president’s brother Robert.

Well in excess of 150 participants took part in the event which got under way at 5am on Saturday.

The route took in narrow rural roadways and spectacular rolling hillsides.

It was a family affair for one Sneem family with Michael and Teresa O’Sullivan joined on the walk by son Kieran.

“This event has helped put Sneem on the map as a location for quality walking routes,” said organiser John Vincent O’Sullivan.


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