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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Carlisle United star in unique cross-border fun run

Carlisle United hero Peter Murphy will be among hundreds of runners making history at a unique event crossing the Border this weekend.

Peter Murphy photo
Peter Murphy at home with fiancee Lisa Armstrong and son Oscar

The Blues defender will be joined by partner Lisa Armstrong as the pair bid to raise money for charity to celebrate his testimonial year.

Tomorrow’s Cross Border Challenge is a 10k fun run launched to coincide with the start of the Olympics. It will see participants running from Gretna to Carlisle and is one of only a few running events in the world to cross between countries.

The Irishman, who joined the Blues from Blackburn in 2001, is marking his testimonial year with a series of events in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation, based in his home country.

It is one of three official charities – along with the Eden Valley Hospice and Olivia Story Trust – chosen by organisers to benefit from the run.

The 31-year-old footballer, who has just signed a new contract at Brunton Park, said he and Lisa, 26, were keen to support the event by putting on their running shoes.

“It was great of the Cross Border team to invite my charity to be part of the race. We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “My pre-season training has been pretty tough so I think I’m ready and Lisa’s been out on the road with her friends doing a lot of miles.

“It’s something not many people can say they’ve done – ran across two countries. It’s great to be part of it.”

The run will set off from the Garden House Hotel in Gretna at 10am tomorrow.

It will then follow the new road south, running parallel to the motorway, and cross the finish line at Kingmoor Park North, where a special ‘finish village’ – sponsored by Kingmoor Park – will be set up.

The Marie Keating Foundation was set up to raise awareness of cancer in memory of Boyzone star Ronan Keating’s mother. Peter said he chose it after several of their family members were also affected by the disease.

“It’s quite a close subject for Lisa and myself. One in four people are affected by cancer so we need to raise awareness,” he explained.

“Even at a time like this when people haven’t much money we have found them to be incredibly generous.”

A special good luck message has been sent to all of the charity runners by Ronan’s sister Linda Keating. She said: “The fact that Peter hails from Ireland and has done so well in his career as a footballer makes us very proud that he has chosen the foundation to be his testimonial charity.

“Tomorrow Peter and 400 runners will be participating in this weekend’s Cross Border run and we would like to wish them the best of luck in their endeavours.”

For details of the run visit visit www.crossborderchallenge.gbevents.net.

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