Member: Tommy McClellan
Name: Tommy McClellan
Hometown: Mayfield, NY
High School: Mayfield High School
College: Iona College
Occupation: Philadelphia Runner
Favorite Place to Run in Philly: Baltimore Pike and it’s rolling hellish hills! Once ran along a river too... that was cool!
2nd place at USA Beach Half Marathon Championship
48th place at USA Mountain Running Championship
Competed at Iona College for 4 years and contributed to a Division 1 program that placed 5th, 6th, 8th, and 10th in the nation while there
By: Kevin Brandon (11/02/17)
Tommy, thanks for taking some time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC?
Sure thing! I'm Tommy, I'm a comedian - recording my debut album next month in New York. I love running, it's my favorite! I ended up in Philadelphia because I fell in love while working at Disney World, moved here to be with her, and that's all she wrote. If we break up I'll be homeless... so that'll be hilarious! Started running with PRTC because I love running and my good buddy Josh Hibbs talked you guys up!
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?
I became a runner going into my first year of middle school. I was way overweight for my age - I weighed 120 pounds when I was 10, and at the time the television shows I watched depicted middle schoolers getting bullied. I figured I could either learn to fight or to run, so I chose run (thanks for the flighty tendencies dad!). Then I fell in love with running pretty quickly. I've attached a photo from my first year of running below.
Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.
Jesus. I sucked! I just really loved running so I kept going and through the years I gradually got better. My teammates were obsessed with the best runner from our area, Otis Ubriaco, so one day I reached out to him and asked him for tips on how to get better. I took up his advice, along with some things I read, and I started really improving at the end of my junior year of high school. Then my senior year I became a contender. Then I went to Iona College and was no longer a contender hahaha.
You (along with Josh!) are Iona alumnus. What was it like running for their program?
Great! It definitely opened up my world of running. I didn't really understand training and what workouts were (I just ran far and hard in high school), until I got to Iona. I learned what a championship mentality is at Iona, because the focus was always winning conferences and being a top 10 team at Nationals. I also learned to NEVER eat Clam Chowder from the airport. I got food poisoning and ended up in the hospital!
Can you tell us about a favorite running accomplishment or moment?
The best is always the first, I think? When I was a sophomore and my team and I went to states in high school. Those were exciting times. Either that or when I got 2nd at the USA Beach Half Marathon Championship.
How about a not-so-great moment?
Hahaha, so many moments. Constantly throwing up during workouts in college could get fatiguing. I once cut a lap short in the 5K at our indoor conference race. I thought I had gotten 2nd with a really big PB, celebrated in my head, then was told I was DQ'd.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
Idk man, I just love running, and I like new challenges. Possibly Club XC Nats in December. Eventually I'd like to do the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Maybe the Pikes Peak marathon? Sky's the limit!
Before your current job (Philadelphia Runner!), you spent time working at Disney World. Do you have any favorite memories from your days in the Magic Kingdom?
Nope! Kidding. It was fun... the best was meeting my girlfriend Anastasia, which actually brought me to Philly because she's from here. If we break up next week this question will be awkward to read. I also met a couple who named their child Lasagna. They should not be parents.
Speaking of cool jobs, you've worked for Stephen Colbert on the Late Show. How did you land a job there and what was the work environment like?
Honestly I don't know how I got the job there. I applied, they interviewed me, all I talked about was doing comedy and how much I loved it, and then I got hired. The environment was fast and crazy but awesome. Everyone is very nice there, and it was fun to watch Stephen during rehearsal, on the days I was able to, and watch a pro at work. Also they let me be on the show a few times... which was my main selling point on Tinder before I met my girlfriend.
Aside from running, you are also a talented comedian. What inspired you to become a standup? Where can we go to hear your work?
You're going to regret asking me this. I fell in love with comedy when I was 12 years old, my first year of middle school. We were in computer class, and to teach us how to use PowerPoint, the teacher had us each make a PowerPoint of our favorite movie. Then, when everyone was finished, we voted on the movie and we watched the movie that got the most votes. I lost, but the person who chose the movie Big Daddy won, so we watched that. It's an Adam Sandler movie, and I quickly fell in love. The next day I went to F.Y.E and bought a bunch of Adam Sandler movies with money I had saved up from Christmas. From there, I discovered SNL which introduced me to so many more comedians I admire like David Spade, Chris Rock, and, of course, Chris Farley. I started to want to do it myself so I began writing jokes (which weren't funny because I was 12) and would perform them for my friends and family against their will, and perform them at talent shows. Then I moved to NYC when I was 18 and began doing it professionally relatively quickly.
You can see/hear my work on my YouTube page - But I'm also recording my debut album in November and that'll be released on Itunes/Spotify/Amazon/ETC... sometime in December.
Any other non-running related hobbies, hidden skills, or talents we may enjoy hearing of?
Auto - Erotic Asphyxiation. Also I'm somewhat musical and make musical comedy songs from time to time. See here!