Runner Profile:  Nigel McKibbin

Nigel McKibbin is a familiar face in the Northern Ireland running scene, if he’s not racing, he can regularly be found spectating and encouraging others.  He has enjoyed a ‘love affair’ with running since his Primary School days and is still a competitive athlete.

After a relatively quiet 2012, Nigel is back in training and looking forward to a successful 2013.  We are quite certain that this will bring some quality performances and category wins, despite his Vet40 category being one of the most competitive of all.

Full Name:  Nigel McKibbin
Age:  43
Current Category:  Male Vet40
Associated Club:  Dromore AC
Personal Bests:  1500m – 4:36.25, 3000m – 9:29.12, 5k – 16:23, 10k – 33:51

What is your favourite Northern Ireland event?  Just like a lot of other runners I really enjoy the Armagh International Road Races, around ‘The Mall’ in Armagh.  Having first taken part in 2010 I was amazed at the organisation and the atmosphere, not to mention the ‘Supper’ in the hall after the races finish.  I got a real buzz from the event, in which I have ran the 3km, finishing 3rd in my category 2010, 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2013 (I didn’t compete much in 2012).

When did you start running?  I have enjoyed running (racing) as far back as I can remember, even in Primary School I couldn’t wait for Sports Day. When I went to Secondary School, I got involved in Cross Country and have fond memories of the Inter-School Cross Country events on a Wednesday afternoon, and also the District Championships at Dundonald High School and the Ulster Championships at Mallusk.

After school I stopped running and played football for a few years, but as I thought it was lacking the buzz of running/racing I found myself getting involved in Sidecar Motocross, and yes…  I was the mad one that stands and hangs off the side!  However, in 1996 a colleague in work threw the gauntlet down to me to run a 10km, with a side bet that I wouldn’t break 40 minutes.   To complete my first 10km after not having raced for or eleven years and finish in 39:55 brought a great smile to my face.

The rest is history, as I soon joined Albertville Harriers and ran with them for four or five years.  Injuries and starting a family kept me busy for the next few years until my eldest son decided he fancied a go at athletics, so I took him down to our now local club, Dromore AC in 2009 and I again got bit by the bug.

Why do you run?  As mentioned above, the bug of training and the buzz of racing is what I really enjoy.  I do most of my training early in the morning with my two springer spaniel dogs, they help me get out on the cold, wet and dark mornings, but when I get back to the house I’m ready for what the day will throw at me.

What is your next race and what do you want from it?  The Queens ‘round the river’ 5k is my next race and I hope to get close to 16:37, which is the time I last completed it in.

What is your favourite training ‘session’?  I prefer the speed sessions when the distance reduces and the speed increases throughout the session, telling the mind that it’s not as far, so “go quicker”. This seems to work ok for me.

What is your favourite pre-race and post-race meals?  My pre-race meal is two Weetabix with homemade muesli, honey and soya milk, followed by tea and toast.  I try to have this about five to six hours ahead of the race, and a mandarin orange one hour before the start.  Post-race isn’t the same ritual, more a case of what I can get my hands on, usually junk!

What is your running ambition?  To be able to keep running for as long as my body allows me, it is a good healthy habit and one I feel those who don’t do it are missing out on.

What would you consider your greatest achievement in running to be?  In 2010 I made the Northern Ireland Masters Cross Country Team and competed in Dublin at the British and Irish International XC.  I was selected again in 2011 and took part at the same event in Glasgow, although the course that day was something else!

What other sports do you like?  I enjoy watching most sports; Rugby, Football, Formula 1 and Moto-GP.