THE TARTAN RUNNER
I am known as the runner with the tartan legs. I started wearing tartan tights when I dressed up for my first London Marathon. The out-fit got such a tremendous reception from the spectators that I decided to wear it in all my races. When I joined Roe Valley Athletics Club I wore their kit but continued to wear the tartan tights in all my races.
I started running when a friend told me that he had completed the 1981 Belfast Marathon and had found it easier than the 22 mile Mourne Wall Walk. I had taken part in this walk, over the highest mountains in Northern Ireland, four times.
I decided that I would like to run a marathon so I started to train for the 1982 Belfast Marathon. I completed it but found it and all other marathons much more difficult than the Mourne Wall Walk - but I had caught the running bug. I have now completed over fifty marathons, Belfast, Derry, Dervock, North Coast, Dublin, Finglas, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Loch Rannoch, Berlin, Athens, New York, Boston. The most disappointing was Athens. Its only a slight exaggeration to say that there were more spectators at Dervock. The best would be 1989 Berlin, breakfast run, pasta party, spectators, the course, and the food after the race. No other city has managed this complete package.
My proudest achievement has been being selected to run for the Northern Ireland Vets in cross-country events.
Best of all is that I have met so many good people. People that I would not have met if I had not taken up running and then joining first Roe Valley and then Springwell Running Club.