TOMMY: I started runing in 1981. I was 21 and playing for the local football team so at first it was about fitness, but it turned out I was better at running than I was at football! The first marathon I ran I didn't train that hard. At 16 miles I hit a wall and I had to walk and run, walk and run, all the way to the end. But I still ran it in 3 hours 1 minute. I thought if I trained a bit harder I can get it under 3 hours. The next year I ran it under 2 hours and 35 and I thought, there might be something in this.
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 am 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 oftern 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 marathon.