19 Oct

John’s Masterful Comeback At Birmingham

Veteran Runner John Watson Wins His Age Group At The Birmingham Marathon
John Watson showed that a comeback is possible at any age with a win at the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon. Absence makes the marathon heart grow fonder...

The 72-years young Kingfisher Harrier won his age category (70-74) in 4:44:21 – an impressive result and one that many younger runners would be proud of. What makes this even more remarkable is that John had retired from marathon running more than 20 years ago but decided to return after hearing about this new event.
 
John took part in the original Birmingham Marathon or People’s Marathon as it was known, which was held from 1980 to 1985. It was the first big city marathon in the UK and created for everyday runners rather than elite athletes, introducing them to the sport and its associated benefits. This heralded the growth of mass-participation running events with new races, e.g. the London Marathon setting up to cater for the demand. 
 
After a long gap, Birmingham played host once again to a marathon, inspiring John to dust off his running shoes and join the thousands who pounded the streets last Sunday (15 October). The race started at the Alexander Stadium, Aston with runners following a city centre route that featured well-known landmarks including Matthew Boulton College, the Selfridges Building, Edgbaston and Bournville.
 
Taking place on the same day was the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run, one of the most popular half marathons in the country that along with the Marathon made for a successful weekend in the West Midlands capital. 
 
Photo courtesy of Kingfisher Harriers.