World champion Rob Heffernan supporting teen spirit

 World champion Rob Heffernan and his wife, 400-metre runner Marian Heffernan, with students from Glanmire Community College 2013 and Cork City Learning Support Service. Picture Clare Keogh

World champion race walker Rob Heffernan has backed a call for teen spirit in next year’s Cork city marathon.

Rob and his wife, Marian, encouraged teenagers aged 16 to 18 to sign up for the Youth Challenge section of the 2014 marathon which takes place on the Monday of the June bank holiday weekend.

Last year more than 100 youth teams took part in the 26.2 mile marathon relay challenge.

Organisers are hoping that even more will sign up for next year’s event.

The Youth Challenge — a five-person team relay — sees each team member completing a stage of the marathon, with a maximum distance of 5.8 miles (9.3km).

Training for the non-competitive relay can take just 13 weeks, but early sign-up of teams is vital.

“The Youth Challenge is specially designed for our young people — it’s about getting involved and making the year count for something special,” Lord Mayor Catherine Clancy said.

“Participants can walk, jog or run the Youth Challenge relay — it’s about taking part, having fun, keeping fit and enjoying the unique excitement and buzz on marathon day.”

Mayor of Cork County, Noel O’Connor, said being part of a team is something special.

“As a team relay, the Youth Challenge is a fun, engaging team experience that shows character and commitment,” he said.

Schools, youth clubs and groups should apply to take part in the Youth Challenge now by contacting Eucharia Savage, Cork City Council, by email, by emailing

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