The Challenge of a Lifetime Begins - Corkman prepares for

The Challenge of a Lifetime Begins - Corkman prepares for "Atacama Crossing 2009" in aid of Build4Life

05 March 2009

Invited guests joined Corkman, Rob O'Brien, in the Mardyke Entertainment Complex on Wednesday 4th March to wish Rob the best of luck before he leaves to attempt the "Atacama Crossing 2009" this March in Chile in aid of Build4Life.

Cobh man Rob, is the sole Irish competitor taking part in the challenging "Atacama Crossing 2009' in Chile later this month. In this extreme ultra marathon event, competitors must cover a distance of 160 miles over some of the harshest terrain imaginable. The "Atacama Crossing" is one of the toughest footraces on the planet; and takes place across the driest desert in the world, it begins at 11,000 feet, and it is the equivalent of six marathons.

Rob is raising vital funds for Build4Life (Cork Cystic Fibrosis Appeal), and family, friends and other Build4Life supporters joined Rob in the Mardyke for a drinks reception, to give him as much support as possible before he leaves.

Rob's quest for Build4Life began after watching an RTE "Prime Time" programme early this year on the plight of cystic fibrosis patients. Speaking at the event, Rob said "I was stunned to find that facilities for patients in Ireland were abysmal and grossly underfunded!   Shockingly, the life expectancy for a CF patient in the Republic of Ireland is only 21, whereas it is 33 in Northern Ireland and up to 60 in America! In light of this, I chose to run the Atacama Crossing 2009 for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers in the Cork & Kerry region and to raise funds for Build4Life. Also, I really would like to thank everyone here for the wonderful support I have received."

MC for the evening was Paul Higgins, Chairman of the Southern Branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland (CFAI), and introducing Rob he said "Build4Life would like to wish Rob the very best of luck in his upcoming challenge, and would like to say a massive thank you to Rob for choosing to support the charity, it is through people like Rob and our other great supporters that we will continue to raise awareness for CF, and reach our target so we can develop Ireland's first dedicated CF treatment unit in CUH." The Lord Mayor, Brian Bermingham, also attended the event in the Mardyke, and extended his best wishes to Rob.

If you would like to support Rob in his daring challenge, please visit or contact Build4Life at or