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Episode 60: Athlete Nutrition Profile - John Kelly


John Kelly Barkley Marathons

Welcome to episode 60 of the Eat for Endurance podcast! My guest today is John Kelly - an elite ultrarunner, triathlete, father of four, and an engineer.


John is perhaps best known as one of the few finishers of the infamous Barkley Marathons. In 2017, he was the fifteenth and, until today (March 16th), the most recent finisher in the race’s history. It just so happens that the 2023 Barkley Marathons occurred this week, culminating in three finishers tonight! John completed all five loops yet again, making him the third runner in history to finish the race more than once. And in case you're wondering, we recorded this interview on February 23rd, about three weeks before this year's race, and I swear that the timing of this episode being published immediately after is pure coincidence! 


But enough about the Barkley Marathons, as John's  athletic accomplishments extend far beyond this race, of course. He has completed many Ironman events, including two finishes in the Kona Ironman World Championships, and he is a 2x Ironman Age Group Champion. John has run numerous road marathons, including a 2:26 last year at CIM. He's a Tennessee native but lived in the UK for awhile and during his time there, he won the Spine Race in 2020 - a brutal winter ultra marathon that follows the 268-mile Pennine Way. He also broke a 31 year old record on the Pennine Way, winning an award for the men’s 2021 FKT of the year. He was the first to complete “The Grand Round” - a combination of the UK’s 3 big fell running rounds, while biking between them - there’s an awesome short film on this that I’ll link to in the show notes. This past summer, he placed tenth at Hardrock. The list goes on.


Oh and did I mention that he works and has four kids too?! So you know, he’s not busy at all!We chat all things nutrition as we always do in these Athlete Nutrition Profiles, and I think you’ll enjoy this one, especially if you're sad the recent Barkley Marathons coverage is over and you're craving some more content.


Thanks John for sharing your nutrition story with us, and a huge congrats to you on your second Barkley finish! Now time for lots of rest and recovery (or as much as you can get with four kids...), and for some of those Little Debbie cakes you love so much. ;)





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