Biography - Robert Heffernan
Robert is an Irish race walker. Having been seen as one of Ireland's best hopes of an athletics medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, he came eighth in the 20km Walk. His wife Marian Andrews is also national women's 400 metres champion and was on the Irish women's team that finished 4th in the European indoors. On 27 July 2010, Heffernan finished fourth in the 20 km walk, in a time of 1:21:00 (only 11 seconds away from a bronze medal). He also finished 4th in the 50km walk in a national record time of 3:45:30. This was an amazing achievement due to the fact it was just 3 days after the 20 km event.
Biography - Marian Heffernan
Marian Heffernan started running at the young age of 7 under her maiden name of Andrews. Competing for her local club Mahon A.C Marian won countless county and provincial sprinting titles. The break down of her local club forced her to join Togher A.C, here guided by volunteer coaches she commenced another chapter of her early sporting life. Starting off as a 100/200m runner Marian found her niche in 2002 while being entered in a national league in the 400m. Following this Marian trained as a 400m runner and competed at a high level nationally until 2004. Marian went into semi retirement from 2004-2007, stepping away from the sprinting scene Marian trained with her husband Robert running his 20k sessions and competing in the occasional 5k/10k races While on a training camp with Robert in 2007, Marian started to get the itch back for the sprinting life. She aimed to run the 2008 indoor championships with the hope of the women's 4*400m relay team being sent to the World Indoor Championships. This plan was short lived as the team wasn't sent, but this gave Marian the push needed to have championships in her sights.
In 2008 Marian brought her personal best from 55.15-53.97, under the direction of herself. The Irish 4*400m relay was on the border of qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, being ranked 18th in the world, where as top 16 teams in the world were sent.
Failing qualifying for the Olympics in 2008 Marian approached 2009 with a new drive, she was introduced to Coach Stuart Hogg. Stuart Hogg took Marian on and with in 3 months Marian had broke her p.b. Qualifying individually for the 2009 European Championships and also for the relay, she finished 9th overall. A massive achievement considering she only was under the direction of a coach for such a short time. Her career blossomed under Stuart qualifying in competitions like European Championships and World Championships. . Marian studied Applied Psychology for 1 year in 2008/2009 and then qualified as a sports injuries therapist in 2009/2010.
Marian was on the Irish team who broke the Irish record in Daegu in the 400m relay. They qualified provisionally for the Olympic Games in London.