Marian Heffernan: Olympic dream is very much alive and a huge part of my 2012. Today in Korea the women’s 4*400m relay team made Irish History smashing the old record set only one year ago in the European Championships in Barcelona. Myself leading the team out on the first leg had an immense feeling of pride and achievement, this coupled with the commradory I felt being part of such a strong team, this made it all more sweet. A big part of this is down to the great coaching I have with Stuart Hogg. The confidence I had on the start line was down to precise coaching and planning I had throughout the year. Having our last runner cross the line in a very respectable time of 3.27.45 made us wake up and think this isn’t a million miles away from Olympic final standard. Great as it was to run in a World Championships we watched the final the day after the heats and all said “ girls this is where its at”. We need to be running under lights, packed stadium only a stones throw from Ireland in the London Olympics.
The event that surrounded the championships for both me and Rob couldn’t have been worse , three days after we landed in Korea we got the terrible news that Roberts mother had passed away suddenly. You plan and plan your whole year around hitting it just right on the day but nothing prepares you for dealing with such a huge loss. It shook both of us to the core a whirlwind of emotions, questions and doubt quickly grounded us as we made our journey back to Ireland. The three days of the funeral were surreal. Between us we came to the conclusion that so much was lost already, I would return to Korea to compete. Being a married couple you always imagine that at the most critical or important times of your marriage that you would be there by each others side through good times and bad. The hardest thing for me as a wife was to leave rob and return to korea, but knowing on the other hand my shot of making it to an Olympics rested on getting a good result in the World Championships. Trying to come to terms to what had happened with rob was unimaginable. There will always be a bitter sweet feeling for me surrounding the Championship. But looking forward we need to back up what we have done in Korea and aim to pull from every fibre toward making sure that we as a team can stand on the track after the competition and say “I gave it everything”.