Philly Running Legends: Neill Clark

Running coach Ross Martinson chats with the 12-time Bar Run winner on everything from how he avoids injury to what keeps him motivated year after year

Neill Clark

Neill Clark, a class action lawyer for Berger & Montague, won the 2010 lawyers division of the Philadelphia Bar Association 5K for the 12th consecutive time on Sunday, May 16th. I gave him a call to ask him about everything from how he avoids injury to what keeps him motivated year after year. Check out our Q&A below.

What keeps you motivated year after year?
A passion for the sport, for staying fit, and the process of staying fit. It’s important having people to train with and the camaraderie of a shared purpose.

How have you avoided injury?
Stop at the first sign of trouble, rather than wait and hope it gets better.

What was your hardest race?
One year I went to a wedding in D.C. the night before and showed up at the line with no sleep.

What do your four daughters think of your running?
As my kids have gotten older they’ve cared less about my success in the race and more about the embarrassing fact that their Dad is running half-clothed in broad daylight down the streets of Philadelphia. They now sleep in on race day and wait to read about it in the Legal Intelligencer.

Is the Bar Run the most important race of the year?
No doubt. It’s the most exposure I get from any race, and clients often recognize me as a runner before they know me as a lawyer. The race also comes just before my birthday [39 this year], and has become a good barometer of my fitness.

What’s it like having a bounty on your head? For the past two years, Philadelphia Runner has offered $200 to any lawyer that beats him

It adds pressure and excitement, both of which you need to race well.

ASK THE RUNNING COACH: Have a question for Ross? Email him here.

Ross Martinson is the running coach for Team Philly and co-owner of Philadelphia Runner. Read more about him and his role at Be Well Philly here.