John McClafferty, Creeslough, Co. Donegal
I am a middle of the road runner and am not affiliated with any running club. I ran as a teenager competing in mostly cross country races with Cranford AC but then fell away from the sport at about 18 or so. I did have a few very brief stints at running during the first decade of this millennium before getting back into it in 2014 at 32.
I always remained a runner in my mind whether I was actively running or not. There is something special about the absolute pureness of a run and somehow trying to embrace that burn you feel as it gets tough. One running ambition I always had was to complete at least 1 marathon in my lifetime.
I ran my first half marathon in 2014 and then went on to run my first marathon in Dublin in 2015 a month after Aaron our first son was born. It’s hard to believe I have now completed 9 full marathons. I have ran the Dublin city marathon 4 times and am hoping to make it 5 this October. I have also completed the Donegal marathon in 2017, the Wild Atlantic marathon in Killybegs in 2018 as well as running both the Derry and Belfast marathons once each. The Berlin marathon 2019 became number 9. In addition to these I have taken part in 11 half marathons along with shorter races here and there.
I train 3 – 4 times a week in conjunction with my 2 running mates Noel and Darren. We are not overly structured with our training and just run as we see fit. We are also flexible with our days and times for training and try to fit our running around whatever is happening in our lives. Sometimes only two of us will run together and sometimes we train on our own. We generally compete in the same events though and the banter certainly helps before and after races.
Current Personal Best Times
5K – 17:11 -Letterkenny October 2020
10K – 36:36 -Kilmacrennan January 2020
Half Marathon – 1:24:36 -Omagh April 2019
Marathon – 3:09:51 -Berlin September 2019