Meet orienteer and distance runner Kris Jones who will share his journey throughout 2019 on Fast Running.

Orienteering is Kris Jones’ first love but he is also an established distance runner who continues to impress whether it’s track, road or cross country.

After winning orienteering medals for Great Britain, the Welshman made his GB athletics debut at the European Cross Country Championships at the end of 2018.

Looking ahead to this year, and with no sprint distance at the World Orienteering Championships, Jones has more flexibility than he usually has with his season. The 27 year-old plans to make use of this time by exploring a few new things, including taking on the marathon for the first time.


Name: Kristian Jones
Age (Jan 2019): 27
Hometown: Swansea
Club: Swansea Harriers and Dundee Hawkhill Harriers (Athletics), Forth Valley Orienteers and Lillomarka OL (Orienteering)
Main discipline: Orienteering, focusing on the sprint discipline and relays
Other disciplines: I’ll try my hand at a bit of anything: Track, cross country, hill running and road running. My preferred distance is probably 5 km – 10 km.
Full-time athlete/work/studying: Full time / Research engineer

Goals or targets for 2019

1) Continue to progress as a runner and to push myself out of my comfort zone
2) Marathon debut – learn about the distance and have a positive debut experience
3) To represent Great Britain

*There is no sprint distance at the World Orienteering Championships next year, as a new alternating schedule kicks in. This gives me a little bit more leeway to explore other things, rather than building a season around the World Orienteering Championships as I would normally do.

Running highlights

1) 2018 European Orienteering Championships, Sprint – bronze
2) 2018 European Cross Country Championships, 12th
3) 2016 World University Orienteering Championships, Sprint and Sprint Relay – gold

Personal bests

1) 5000m: 13:45 (Loughborough BMC Grand Prix, June 2018)
2) 10,000m: 29:05 (Highgate Night of the 10,000m PB’s, May 2018)
3) Half Marathon: 63.55 (Cardiff Half Marathon, October 2018)

Interesting or fun facts

I have just completed a PhD studying the biomechanics of the golf swing, but I have never played a round of golf myself.

I’ve never had a ‘proper’ running coach.

I listen to podcasts and audiobooks almost every day on my commute but rarely listen to anything while running. If I am listening to something, then you know it’s because I’ve had difficulty getting out the door or that I’m on a really good bit.

I run because…

I enjoy it. The reasons change quite regularly; the scenery and getting outdoors, the feeling of progression or achievement and often just because I can relax and switch off.

I rarely come back from a run feeling worse than when I started.

Favourite training session

Long runs in the hills are always nice, but I get a lot of satisfaction from the routine of everyday training, so one type of session doesn’t stand out as a favourite.

Least favourite training session

Anything that keeps me indoors; so mostly strength training.

I try to maintain one session a week because I think it helps me stay relatively injury free, but it isn’t something I look forward to.

Favourite pre-race food

Porridge or cereal.

Favourite post-race food

Anything sweet and sugary.

Favourite runner or runners

Steve Ovett and Charlie Spedding from a running standpoint. Jamie Stevenson and Jon Duncan from an orienteering standpoint.

Rather than pure achievement, it’s the work ethic which inspires me. I also get a lot of inspiration from my competitors, it inspires me to up my game when I see others working hard.

Kris Jones features in the ‘Fast 10: class of 2019’ and over the course of the year will share his running journey. You can follow Kris on Instagram and Twitter, while further information about the ‘class of 2019’ can be found here.

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