From Factory Floors to Victory Laps: The Remarkable Journey of John Craig, the DJ-Turned-Runner Who Sprinted to Silver in Italy

October 02, 2023

John Craig swapped the Annadale Striders vest for the colours of GB & NI last week as he arrived in Italy to compete in the M40 5,000m at the European Masters Athletics Championships.

John, also well known as a DJ in Belfast and an employee of the Shorts aircraft factory, came to the sport very late, in fact he began running to try and shed a few extra pounds. He has never looked back though and enjoyed roaring success over the ensuing decade. Equally at home on cross country, road or track, he is coached by former international athlete and Annadale Striders stalwart, Paul Lawther.

John is well supported at local races by his wife, parents and very vocal kids; two daughters and twin sons.

As a veteran athlete, John has already run sub 14:30 for the distance. However in Italy, the race became a very slow and tactical affair. With four laps to go, John made his move and began a surge for home.

In the last 50m, a Spanish athlete Garcia managed to get past to win the gold medal in a time of 16:29, John taking the silver less than a second later.

John will now have a break at the end of a long season, allowing a foot injury to clear. But hopes to be back in time for the Northern Ireland Senior Cross Country Championships.

Related News