Local man completes 102 marathons

A Larne man who has completed a staggering 102 marathons in the last 35 years is hanging up his running shoes.

Thursday, 5th July 2018, 2:59 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:10 pm
Jonathan Turner.

Jonathan Turner, 62, took part in Larne Athletic Club’s Antrim Coast Road Marathon on June 30.

He completed his first 26-mile trek at the inaugural event in 1983, when it was known as the Nescafe Antrim Coast Road Marathon.

The event was revived this summer by Larne Athletic Club to mark their 30th anniversary.

Original advertisement for the second Coast Road marathon in 1984.

A former pupil at Larne Grammar, Jonathan first took up running during his school days, competing in 800m and 1500m events.

“I stopped for a while after leaving school and then took it up again around 1980,” said the retired civil servant.

Having previously ran with Larne Athletic Club, he was also a member of County Antrim Harriers, but is currently unattached to any particular club.

Over the years, the local man has competed in numerous races across the UK, along with around 14 ‘ultra-marathons’ - including a 56-mile race.

His love of athletics has taken him as far away as San Francisco, where he completed his 100th marathon.

“I thought that San Francisco would be my last one, but then the Larne club rang me up and asked did I want to take part [on June 30] as one of the original runners from ‘83,” the local man said.

And although he may have completed his final 26-mile challenge, Jonathan hopes to stay active with smaller-scale events.

“I’ll still keep running Monday to Friday but I think that’s it for the marathons; it’s been hard going training for them,” he added.

Almost 200 competitors stepped out on June 30 to take part in the Antrim Coast Road Marathon, with the route from Cushendall to Larne following the scenic County Antrim coastline.

Ballymena’s Ben Morrow and Springwell’s Karen McLaughlin were the top medal winners following the landmark event.