In 1984 I got my big break, winning the Derry marathon. The following year I won again, setting a course record at 2 hours 19 minutes. They stopped it for 30 odd years after that but in 2013, when I was 53, they held it again. I ran and I won - so that’s three in a row!
Going to the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 was amazing. I’d got a stress fracture in my foot and the doctor said that it wouldn’t heal in time but I was determined, I just wanted to be there. I came 72nd out of 144 but to finish in the packed Olympic stadium - that was an amazing feeling.
After that I took a bit of a break from running. I’m a self-employed electrician, so I was often working seven days a week, sometimes working away. I was also drinking quite heavily. I’m the type of character who is either totally on it or not at all, I have to work really hard to be obsessive.
None of my four children ever really took to running until Eoin started later in life. Seeing him progress was really inspiring. When he came up with this idea of going for the father and son world record I thought, “Why not?” He organised it all. That was his first real attempt at a fast marathon.
I remember coming into the last 3 or 4 miles, I knew he was struggling and I thought, what do I do? I decided I’d better run even harder. So I crossed the line before him. When he got there, I asked, “Did we do it?” because he was the one who was working out the times. And he said, “Yes, we did, we got it.” It was an amazing feeling.
I’ve haven’t had a drink in nearly a year and a half and that’s a real achievement. I’m focused on running again and this year Eoin and I are planning to do the London marathon. I’ve just turned 60 so if I manage it in less than 2 hours 30 I’ll be the first 60-year-old to do that and I’ll have run that time every decade for five decades.