Paddy O’leary

Trail Runner

Paddy O’Leary is an Irishman, a cancer biology PhD, professional trail runner, mountain adventurer and community organizer who devotes himself to strengthening community, exploring the outdoors and improving science communication.

Paddy grew up on a dairy farm in south east Ireland and spent his childhood and college years playing team sports: hurling, Gaelic football and lacrosse. Moving to San Francisco for a cancer biology postdoc at UCSF, he learned about the world of trail running and its powerful community. Over the past eight years, he has competed in elite trail races and ultramarathons all across the world with both the Ireland national team and The North Face’s Athlete team. He has spent his time leading local running communities such as the November Project and SFRC encouraging people to get out and explore the public spaces across Northern California.

Storytelling is a skill that Paddy has been focusing on lately. Working with the filmmakers, Dooster Film, they have made multiple award-winning trail running short films – “Coming Home – Ag Teacht Abhaile” about the Irish mountain running community, and “Urban Oasis” about the urban trails of San Francisco. Expanding on his passion for science education and outreach, he has hosted events and moderated panels and speaker series across a wide variety of subjects – covering everything from cancer and systems biology at UCSF to subjects all across the outdoor adventure space.


San Francisco, CA

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