• Rob and Marian Heffernan
  • Rob and Marian Heffernan


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Cork City Hall was packed to the rafters last night (Nov 3) as champion race walker Rob Heffernan received his Olympic Bronze medal from the London 2012 Games.

In a spectacular ceremony watched by hundreds of enthusiastic fans, the much coveted medal was presented to Rob Heffernan by the Acting President of the Olympic Council of Ireland William O’Brien in a special event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Des Cahill and Cork City Council.

Cork’s Lord Mayor Des Cahill said “I am honoured on behalf of the people of Cork to facilitate the presentation of the Olympic Bronze Medal to Rob Heffernan, a proud Corkonian and a model and inspiration to the youth of today. It is only right and fitting that we recognise the tenacious efforts by Rob in representing his country on the international sporting stage”.

Rob Heffernan replied: “This is always what I dreamt about: being presented with an Olympic Medal. It would of course have been wonderful to have received it in London but now to receive it on Irish soil in my home city of Cork, with my own family, friends, supporters on the 100 year anniversary of 1916, is a fitting and very special way for Irish people to celebrate Irish Olympic sporting success”.

William O’Brien, Acting President of the Olympic Council of Ireland said: “This is the first time an Olympic Medal has been presented on Irish soil. It is a very proud occasion for the Olympic movement in Ireland, for Rob’s national federation Athletics Ireland and of course for Rob, his family, friends and supporters”.

The civic event was attended by many top athletic personalities, Cork City dignitaries, representatives of the Olympic Council of Ireland, as well as representatives from many other sports. Images by Stephen McCarthy © Sportsfile


Rob Heffernan to fulfil Olympic 'dream' at Cork ceremony

Rob Heffernan is to be presented with his Olympic bronze medal in two weeks' time at a special ceremony in Cork's Concert Hall.

The 38-year-old finished fourth in the 50km Walk in London four years ago, but was promoted to third following the disqualification of Russian race winner Sergei Kirdyapkin last year for a doping violation.

And the Olympic Council of Ireland have confirmed that the Cork athlete's long wait to have that medal placed around his neck will finally end at a special event at the city's Concert Hall on 3 November. Read more


Rob Heffernan to get Olympic bronze in Cork next month

Over four years after the event, although clearly better late than never, Rob Heffernan will receive his Olympic bronze medal at a special presentation on Thursday, November 3rd at the City Hall in Cork.

Earlier this year Heffernan was retrospectively awarded the bronze medal from the 50km walk at the 2012 London Olympics, after Russia’s gold medal winner Sergey Kirdyapkin was finally disqualified for doping: the Cork athlete had deliberately delayed any medal presentation until after the Rio Olympics, where he finished sixth in the same event.

Now, in a joint presentation by the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Des Cahill and the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), Heffernan will receive his Olympic medal in the company of his family and friends and other representatives of the athletics community in Ireland.

“This is always what I dreamt about, being presented with an Olympic medal,” said Heffernan. “It would of course have been wonderful to have received it in London but now to receive it on Irish soil in my home City of Cork, with my own family, friends, supporters on the 100 year anniversary of 1916, is a fitting and very special way for Irish people to celebrate Irish Olympic sporting success”. Read more


Be All You Can Be - Rob Heffernan

Nissan are proud to sponsor Rob Heffernan, the first person in Irish history to make it to 5 Olympic Games.


Nissan fuels Rob and Marian Heffernan’s Olympic dream

Irish race walker Rob Heffernan’s bid to secure gold at his fifth Olympic Games took a giant step forward today when he kicked off Day 1 of his ‘Road to Rio’ training programme with the backing of Nissan. The popular Cork athlete and his wife and coach Marian, a retired elite athlete, have embarked on a unique journey to achieve their Olympic dream while balancing life as parents to four young children. Nissan is proud to announce that it has appointed Rob and Marian as brand ambassadors and that the Nissan X-Trail will play an integral role in ensuring that Rob is in the best condition possible to secure a medal as Ireland’s longest serving Olympian. Read more

IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

Rob Heffernan has finished fifth in the men's 50k walk at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Having been in the medals for most of the race, the Corkman was edged out in the final five kilometres by two Japanese athletes as Maciej Toth of Slovakia took gold ahead of Jared Tallent.


Rob Heffernan one step from Olympic bronze

Rob Heffernan is now one step away from an Olympic bronze medal after the IAAF – the governing body of world athletics – confirmed its appeal against the “selective disqualification of results” applied to the recent doping offences by Russian race walkers. Read more


Women in Sport: Marian Talks Cycling, Coaching And Children

This week as part of our weekly Women in Sport series, we caught up with the inspiration that is Marian Heffernan. Not only is Marian a former Olympic athlete for Ireland – and we’re certainly used to seeing her on the running tracks around Europe – but she was also recently revealed as an ambassador for the An Post Cycling Series. Read more


Robert Heffernan makes Olympic qualifying standard for 50k walk

Rob Heffernan has qualified for a fifth consecutive Olympic Games following a fourth-place finish in the 50km event at the IAAF Race Waking Challenge meeting in Slovakia. Read more


Robert Heffernan's St Patricks Day Memories

St Paddy’s Day is great. It embraces that whole Irish culture of music, dancing, the people and, of course, overindulging – the drinking. There are lots of other aspects to the day and it is celebrated all around the world. When I was younger growing up in Cork [Ireland’s second city] we would get dressed up, put on our Sunday best complete with shamrock, and walk the parade. Read more


Get on Your Bike This Summer with An Post Cycle Series

The 2015 An Post Cycle Series was officially launched today by the 2015 ambassadors; eight time All-Ireland winning hurler and former Kilkenny wing-back JJ Delaney, women’s 400m runner Marian Heffernan, comedian PJ Gallagher, musician Bressie and cycling legend Sean Kelly. The five event series which is a joint initiative between An Post and the Irish Sports Council will take place over the summer months between May and September. Read more

Personal bests – Robert Heffernan

With the 2015 IAAF World Race Walking Challenge having started on Sunday (22), there is no better time to ask Robert Heffernan about his ‘personal bests’. After just missing out on making the podium at several major international championships, the popular Irishman claimed an emotional gold medal in the 50km race walk at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow. Read more


Rob Heffernan could be awarded London 2012 Olympic bronze

Fresh allegations of doping offences involving Russian athletes could now result in an Olympic bronze medal for Irish race walker Rob Heffernan. There could also be a retrospective World championship gold medal for fellow walker Olive Loughnane. The IAAF have confirmed the provisional suspensions of three Russian Olympic champion race-walkers as part of their continuing investigation into doping in Russian athletics. Read more


Rob Heffernan on doping in athletics

World Champion race walker Rob Heffernan speaks on Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 about performance-enhancing drugs in athletics, being retrospectively awarded medals and his fight against injury. Read more


Centra Pink Walk - Baltinglass

What a great turnout for Centra Baltinglass Pink Walk yesterday, where world champion Rob Heffernan led the charity walk in aid of Action Breast Cancer!


Walker Rob Heffernan set for Baltinglass fundraiser

The campaign is to raise needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society's Action Breast Cancer programme. Read more


Fitness, Focus And Why You Should Walk For Breast Cancer

Rob talks about starting out in racewalking, how he maintains his fitness routine, staying focused during training and why you should pull on your runners and stretch those legs for a good cause… Read more


World Champion Rob Heffernan Gets into the Pink with Centra’s
“Let’s Walk” Campaign

Irish athletics star and current World Champion walker Rob Heffernan launched Centra’s “Let’s Walk” initiative which aims to get thousands of people walking in their local community to raise much needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society’s Action Breast Cancer programme this October. Read more

Heffernan carries hopes of a nation on Zurich track

Set the alarm clocks early as the best 50km race walker in the world, Rob Heffernan, will attempt to add the European title to the World Championship gold he won last summer in Moscow at 8.0am on Friday morning. Read more


Strong Irish contingent capable of stirring Letzigrund showing

That’s because at age 36, and with 14 years of major championship experience latched on to his slender shoulders, Heffernan knows the exact meaning of the word “peak”, and that’s what Zurich has been all about. Not many Irish athletes, no matter what the sport, replicate a championship winning season the following year, although so far Heffernan has got everything right. Read more


Heffernan to get upgraded to Euro bronze after Russian banned

Ireland's world 50km race walking champion Rob Heffernan is to be upgraded to a European bronze medal after one of his opponents was retrospectively banned for doping back in 2010. The feisty Cork athlete finished fourth in both the 20km and 50km races at the 2010 Europeans in Barcelona, which was the first time he doubled up and raced the 'marathon' distance at a major championship. Read more


Rob Heffernan training smarter ahead of Euros

World 50k walking champion Rob Heffernan has given an insight into the intense and intelligent training regime he hopes will lead to success at next month’s European Championships. Heffernan will lead a highly promising Irish team in the Europeans in Zurich from 12-17 August. Read more


Heffernan to lead Team Ireland at Euros

Reigning 50k walk world champion Robert Heffernan will lead a team of 30 Irish athletes to compete at the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich between 12-17 August. Last August the Cork man made history by becoming Ireland’s third ever world champion when he struck gold in Moscow. Read more


Heffernan to lead Irish athletics team in Europe

Rob Heffernan will lead an Irish team of 25 athlete’s to Zurich for next months Europeans, which take place from August 12 – 17. "I am really looking forward to the huge challenge that lies ahead in Zurich and look forward to bringing more national pride to Ireland”. Heffernan said at the teams announcement. Read more


Official opening of LloydsPharmacy Kinsale with Rob & Marian

Rob Heffernan was on hand in Dublin to launch the network and provide his own take on the power of positivity. He said, “For me, it is vital to have a positive attitude with the work load I have to undertake. Also staying around positive like-minded people can help you achieve your goals. I don't feel there is anything I cannot achieve if I put my mind to it, combined with a desire to work hard.”

Rob Heffernan to lead the charge in China

World 50km Race Walking Champion Rob Heffernan will lead the Irish Team at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Taicang, China from 3-4 May. Heffernan, last year’s Athletics Ireland athlete of the year, made his competitive comeback on the race walking circuit at the Lugano Race Walking Grand Prix in Switzerland last month. He finished fifth in the 20km race in Lugano in a time of 1:20'57". Read more


Heffernan fifth in Swiss comeback

World champion Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) came fifth on his return to the international race walking circuit in Switzerland. Ireland's 50km world champion opened his season over the shorter distance of 20km and was understandably happy with his time of 80 minutes and 57 seconds. Read more


An Post series stamp of approval

Having taken up stationary cycling as a way to stay fit during pregnancy, former Olympic sprinter Marian Heffernan was this week announced as one of five ambassadors to the An Post Cycling Series, where she will tackle the 60k Cork Rebel Tour on September 13. Read more


Retired Marian steers clear of the slow lane

It’s just over a year since the 31-year-old Cork athlete drew the curtains on a career that had peaked just months earlier with an appearance at the 2012 London Olympics in the 4x400m relay. Read more


Rio still on the radar but Zurich the main goal for 2014

Robert Heffernan is continuing to aim to feature at the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 but next August’s European Championships in Zurich are his immediate focus for 2014. Heffernan finished second at a mile race at the Millrose Games in New York recently and is gearing up for the season ahead after winning the gold medal in the 50km walk at last year’s World Championships in Moscow. Read more


Become a Series Cyclist!
Get on Your Bike This Summer with the An Post Cycle Series

What do Bressie, Paul Galvin, Matt Cooper, PJ Gallagher and Marian Heffernan have in common? They’ve all committed to getting back on their bikes this summer and becoming Series Cyclists for the 2014 An Post Cycle Series. The five event series, supported by An Post in partnership with the Irish Sports Council, take place over the summer from May to September in Sligo, Clare, Meath, Waterford and Cork. Read more


Up & Running: Heffernan walks away with city award for the third time

A couple of days before travelling to New York where he finished second to Sweden's Andreas Gustafsson over one mile at the Millrose Games, World 50k Walk champion Robert Heffernan, pictured above with the chairman of Cork City Sports Tony O'Connell, received the Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Year award for the third time. Read more


Irish race walker Rob Heffernan on how Irish athletics can catch up

World champion Rob Heffernan wants to help walking gain popularity in the US and today’s 107th Millrose Games in Upper Manhattan will give him that opportunity. He spoke to John Riordan. This is the tough part, Rob Heffernan admits. He’s away from his new baby girl Regan for the first time since she was born late last month. Read more


Heffernan taking a walk on the wild side

World champion Rob Heffernan wants to help walking gain popularity in the US and today’s 107th Millrose Games in Upper Manhattan will give him that opportunity. He spoke to John Riordan. This is the tough part, Rob Heffernan admits. He’s away from his new baby girl Regan for the first time since she was born late last month. Read more


Marathon labour delivers 12lb girl for Rob and Marian

Writing on the Rob & Marian Heffernan Facebook page just after 6pm yesterday, the world 50km walk champion said: “Life doesn’t get any better than this. New baby daughter, so proud of my wife Marian and the magnificent staff in the Cork CUH. Thanks to everybody for the well wishes.” Read more


Humbled Heffernan walks Cork Person of the Year award

It came as little surprise to the 250 guests at the awards ceremony in Rochestown Park Hotel yesterday that the judges had chosen Rob Heffernan as the winner. The 35-year-old was always going to be a frontrunner after his triumph in the 50km walk in Moscow last August. Yesterday’s announcement was greeted by huge applause. Read more


Aoibhinn & Company with Rob and Marian Heffernan

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin is joined each week by a guest who talks about their life, passions and influences, as well as choosing their favourite music. This week, Aoibhinn interviews World Champion walker Rob Heffernan and his wife Marian, an athlete herself and also his coach. Read more