Inspiring Runners

Stories of Inspiration from Our Amazing Clients!

We first started featuring inspiring runners in our newsletter starting January of this year, and I’ve been absolutely blown away by every one of these people!  The stories of our clients are more than inspiring, they are absolutely phenomenal! Our featured March runner, David McClintock, most definitely falls into that category as well!

If I could sum up David in one word, it would be determined!  I mean that with deep awe, respect and admiration!  You see, David has more reasons to stop running than anyone I’ve ever met, yet still he pushes on because he’s just that passionate about it!

David McClintock (1)

DTC – When and why did you get into running?
DM – I got into running in my late teens as part of my conditioning for water polo. In the off season, I would run to stay active. This would have been in the late ’60’s, early ’70’s. Once water polo was over for me (1984 I was the last cut for the Canadian Olympic Team for Los Angeles), I decided to take up triathlons. I did my first marathon in Toronto in the fall of 1984 as part of my preparation for doing triathlons. Having no idea about proper hydration and fuel intake, I just showed up and ran. Almost died but finished in 3:16. I said, “never again!”
DTC – How many races have you run?
DM – 53 marathons and roughly 10 10K’s.  I did about 20 5K’s too.  As my focus has always been triathlons, running was just a component of my training. I probably did about 75 triathlons including 2 fulls in Kona, about 15 halves, 20 Olympic distances and about 45 sprint events.
DTC – Have you had any major obstacles in life you’ve had to overcome?
DM – I guess the main one is my heart disease which I inherited from my mother. In the fall of 2014, while preparing for Boston that next spring, I felt chest discomfort while running. I got checked out (stress tests etc..). They found a 98% blockage in my LAD. They said I dodged a major heart attack. I had an angioplasty and was all set to resume, which I did. Unfortunately I have had two more since, 2019 and 2021. The first and third ones were caught before any heart attack occurred. Unfortunately, the middle one caused a minor heart attack (no damage) as my stress test missed the blockage. The good news is that overall, there is no damage to my heart so I keep plugging along. I have run 11 marathons since my first episode.
DTC – What’s your “Why”?
DM – Good question. I love staying in shape. Running is the best barometer to gauge how fit you are. It’s the anchor of a triathlon. I feel so energized after a run, regardless of distance or time. I love being outside running whether it is 30 or -30 degrees C.
DTC – Who inspires you?
DM – My family. They are always there for me, always encouraging me. We travelled to many races and made vacations around those events. Also, Dr. Don Johnson of Ottawa really got me into running. I looked up to him. My first race was with him and a bunch of his friends in Sarasota in 1981, The Law Week 4 Miler.  He did many races including Kona and the Western States 100 many times.
DTC – Do you have a favorite distance to run?
DM – My favourite race distance is the marathon while my favourite training run is probably a 6-7K route.

Of course that’s not all David has done. He’s run the Ottawa Marathon 36 consecutive times, once sub 3 hours and an astonishing 9 Boston Marathons!

When not running marathons, David has completed roughly 75 triathlons including 2 Ironman in Kona, about 15 half Ironman, 20 Olympic distances and about 45 sprint events.  This year, at the 2024 Ottawa Marathon, David will run his 54th marathon while celebrating his 70th birthday as he was born in 1954.

Less than a week later, he’ll be walking his daughter down the aisle!  Now that’s celebrating life!

DTC – What was your favorite race and why?
DM – I have to say my first Boston in 2006. Why? The organization, the people, the course and the aura of running Boston. The most famous race in the world. The “Masters” of running.
DTC – What’s your biggest running achievement?
DM – There’s actually 3, a 2:54 In Ottawa in 1990, doing Kona twice (’86, ’87) and doing the Ottawa Marathon 36 consecutive times (was severely ill last year so the streak ended but will resume this year)
DTC – What’s your biggest non-running achievement?
DM – Representing Canada at the 1982 World Championships in Water Polo (Ecuador).
DTC – What’s the biggest piece of advice you can offer other runners?
DM – First, as I have averaged only 1-2 runs per week for over 40 plus years, I’m a huge cross train guy. I train 6-7 days per week so I cross train, cross train, cross train! Second, people say to me that they could never run a marathon, I reply, yes you can, Start short, cross train and mix your run routes up. If you get to 5K, build to 10. If you can run 10, build to a half, If you can run a half, you can run a marathon. Too many people google run programs comprising 4-6 runs per week. I believe it’s too much. New runners get hurt after a while then quit. Have fun, mix up the training, run a couple times a week but add a swim, a cycle, long brisk walks etc…. Most of all, have fun.
DTC – Do you have any race day superstitions or habits?
DM –  I wear the same white old running hat for every race I do. I have the same breakfasts, park my car in the same street near the race, get up at the same time before the race, and I have the same dinner the night before.
DTC – Anything else you want to share, either personally or regarding your running?
DM – I ran in Boston in 2013. I just made it over the finish line before the first bomb went off. Diane was across the street watching. All hell broke loose when the second one went off. I was about 15 meters away. I had 2 medical staff with me as I had the dry heaves at the finish line as I needed to sprint down Boyleston in order to come in under 4 hours (I did. I hadn’t ever been over 4 hours)). The medical staff initially thought someone had let off fireworks. Thinking back, if I didn’t care about my time I would have been in the middle of the bombs. Thankfully my determination paid off.

Also, our daughter Julia is getting married on June 1st. That’s 6 days after the Ottawa Marathon Race Weekend. We are all looking forward to that wonderful day. Another fun fact, that marathon will be my 54th. I was born in 1954. I will turn 70 on race day. I feel so blessed.

Looking to get in touch with David, contact him via Linkedin by clicking here