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The 60-year old former Maghera man has had a remarkable year of running achievements, despite a much reduced programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Back in October, he set a record-breaking time for athletes aged over 60 when he clocked 1.11.09 at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon.
Commenting on that performance, the judges said: “Tommy set a stunning world masters half-marathon record of 71:09 at Larne to even overshadow Mo Farah’s victory.
“He also set a world indoor M60 3000m record of 9:41.24 and wins the world masters male award.”
It is a remarkable time for someone entering his seventh decade. However, Tommy says he is nothing but thankful to running for even getting him this far.
At the peak of his powers Tommy was ready to compete at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
He had qualified after running 2:13:59 in the Marrakesh Marathon in Morocco, but a stress fracture in his foot significantly affected him in Barcelona.
The men’s marathon was the last event and because of the closing ceremony taking place that night, anyone with a finishing time longer than 2:45 would redirected to a finish outside the stadium. As he soldiered around the streets, he was determined to finish inside the stadium. He managed to do it, finishing 72nd in 2.32.55.
Tommy got married at 21, moved to Maghera, and in his own words began ‘piling on the pounds.’
To counteract that, he played Gaelic football and went for runs on his own. That provided him with something of a revelation, a passion and a huge talent, for running.
At the Rotterdam Marathon in April last year, he ran 2:30:15, and in Frankfurt in October, 2019 he teamed up with his eldest son, Eoin, to become the fastest father-son marathoners of all time. Tommy ran an over-55s world record of 2:27:52, while Eoin clocked 2:31:30 for a combined time of 4:59:22.(12/10/2020) Views: 233 ⚡AMP
Welcome to the new Antrim Coast Half Marathon hosted by Larne AC. The redesigned P&O Ferries Antrim Coast Half Marathon (formerly Larne Half Marathon) course promises to be one of the flattest and fastest in the UK & Ireland, taking in many prominent landmarks & stunning scenery along the route. ...more...