herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Duff's brother on final leg of marathon challenge in aid of children's charities

THE soldier brother of soccer star Damien Duff is set to complete the final leg of an epic four-marathon charity challenge tomorrow.

Sgt Gerry Duff, who is a member of the Irish Defence Forces, has already completed the Kildare and Waterford marathons earlier this year.

Then on August 1 he ran the entire 132kms of the Wicklow Way in under 24 hours while still wearing full army kit weighing 45lbs. The Longford race will be the final leg of his challenge.

His efforts are to raise funds for children's cancer charity Aoibheann's Pink Tie and Crumlin Children's Hospital's St John's Ward. And tomorrow afternoon, hundreds of people are expected to line the streets of Longford to cheer on Sgt Duff.

Spokesman for Aoibheann's Pink Tie, Mick Rochford, said yesterday: "It's hard to put into words just what an achievement this has been. There's no one else I know who could run on their own for 24 hours with a heavy backpack and often in terrible weather. It's just one hell of an achievement.

"The Longford marathon will be relatively easy compared to the others. He's looking to break five hours for this run. He'll certainly be getting a huge cheer at the end of it."

Aoibheann's Pink Tie was set up three years ago by Jimmy Norman, from Dunboyne, Co Meath, after he lost his seven-year-old daughter, Aoibheann, to a rare form of cancer.

The charity was founded to help families of children across Ireland who are battling cancer.

Earlier this year Damien Duff also took part in a series of fundraising efforts for sick children.

hnews@herald.ie

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