Birmingham runners lead the race to find a cure for Parkinson's

Bud's run 5k start

A charity fun run and gala dinner held recently in Birmingham raised over £20 000 for Parkinson’s UK, with the aid of some famous sports people past and present.

“Bud’s Run” and “Bud’s Bash” were held at  the University of Birmingham in honour of top running coach Bud Baldaro, who has inspired hundreds of distance and middle distance runners of all standards in his forty year career. Bud has coached students at the University for over 20 years, and continues to perform a mentoring role there despite his illness. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009, and is determined to raise as much money as possible to try and find a cure for his condition.


World marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe is a great admirer of Bud, and has known him for many years. She flew in especially from her Monaco home to start “Bud’s Run”, a 5K staged on the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus.


Paula said: “It was great to be part of such a vibrant and powerful event. Bud has always  been a huge support for me. I particularly remember Bud after the Beijing Olympics, when I was struggling to get back into shape and struggling with injury. He was a real help. Well done to all for the funds and the awareness raised.”


Bud said: “I’m overwhelmed at the positive response we had to these events, and delighted at the money everyone raised. It was amazing to see so many people pull together for such a good cause. Having Paula there was a big bonus, as she is a true hero in our sport. I’d also like to thank all our sponsors and partners for making the events possible.”


Hannah England, who Bud coached to a World Championships silver medal, was there to lend her support. Hannah’s husband, international steeplechaser Luke Gunn, gave a light-hearted commentary on events.


527 runners entered the packed 5K, with lots of familiar faces from Bud's career turning out. There was also a 2K “INEOS Go Run for Fun” for kids, and a 1K loop for elderly runners and those with small children. Some of Bud’s athletes baked cakes to raise extra money, and many wore special running vests made for the day.


Later that evening, the University’s majestic Great Hall held host to “Bud’s Bash”, a charity gala dinner. The 500-strong audience heard from four unforgettable speakers, who all paid tribute to Bud’s kindness, wisdom and generosity.


Hannah England, former world 5000m record holder Dave Moorcroft, West Bromwich Albion hero Daryl Burgess, and champion fundraiser Bryn Williams shared their stories, jokes and memories of their adventures with Bud. A raffle and online charity auction also helped raise extra funds for Parkinson’s UK.