Athlete Watson celebrates England honour and British title

Kristian Watson in his England vest at the Great Birmingham 10K.
Kristian Watson in his England vest at the Great Birmingham 10K.

A memorable run in an England vest, followed by a British title. It’s been quite a month for Kirkby runner Kristian Watson.

Watson, 35, only took up the sport four years ago after a career in football, playing mainly for Shirebrook Town and Clipstone.

But he’s certainly not regetting it, showing his versatility at a variety of distances from 5K to half-marathons. Later this year, he will even tackle a marathon for the first time when travelling to Berlin.

For now, though, he is celebrating victory in Sunday’s British Masters Ten-Mile Road Race Championships at Dorking in Surrey. About 1,000 athletes from across the country lined up, but Watson was second overall and won his veterans’ 35 age category in a best time of 53.52 minutes.

It came only a week after he finished a magnificent 12th overall, from 7,000 runners, when representing England against the Celtic nations in the Great Birmingham 10K.

“My time wasn’t the best, but it was a race I’ll never forget,” said Watson. “It was a massive occasion, and an honour to wear the England vest.”

Watson is a member of Heanor Running Club, but has strong links with Sutton Harriers, where wife Claire and daughters Sophie, 9, and Isabella, seven, are also enthusiastic runners.