Marathon legend, Paula, races in to start Birmingham charity fun run

Paula, Bud, Hannah

Marathon legend and TV star Paula Radcliffe (handicap 10.5) will race into Birmingham this autumn to help raise money for Parkinson’s UK. She’s on a flying visit to start “Bud’s Run”, a family-friendly 5K at the University of Birmingham on Saturday 4th October

“Bud’s Run” is the idea of Bud Baldaro, the former GB Endurance Coach who’s been based at the University for over ten years. During his forty year career, Bud’s helped and encouraged hundreds of distance and middle-distance runners of all ages and standards. Bud was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009, and is keen to use his love of running to help fund research into this long-term condition.


Paula was originally due to fly from her Monaco home directly to Edinburgh, where she is attending the Great Scottish run on Sunday 5th October. But when she heard about “Bud’s Run”, she was determined to stop off in Birmingham first - even though it means a quick dash to the airport straight afterwards. Paula said:


“Bud is a special man who has always been so positive and supportive for as long as I have known him.”


Bud said:


“We're so grateful to Paula for getting involved. She’s one of the finest British athletes of all time and is a true hero.”


“The course is traffic-free and loops round the main campus,” he continued. “There will also be a junior sprint track, barbecue, jazz band, stalls, and 1k loop for Parkinson’s sufferers. So whatever kind of runner you are, please come and join us for a great family day out.”


Other famous guests include World Championships Silver Medallist Hannah England (handicap -1.7) , who Bud coaches. University of Birmingham alumnus Hannah will run the 1500m for England at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games later this month.


Top steeplechaser Luke Gunn (handicap -4.6) will give a light-hearted commentary on events. Luke's married to Hannah, and joins her in the English team for Glasgow. He works in the University of Birmingham’s Hi Performance Centre.


Although Bud has now stepped down from being their Head Coach, Bud continues to play an active mentoring role with University of Birmingham athletes. Zena Wooldridge, Director of Sport at the University of Birmingham, said:


“Bud has been instrumental to the sustained athletics success of the University of Birmingham in national and international arenas, particularly in middle-distance. Bud’s reputation has attracted so many bright and talented students to study and train at Birmingham. His passion and expertise as coach and mentor has changed the lives of so many of those young people through their athletics. We have a lot to thank Bud for, and we are delighted to be supporting his event in aid of Parkinson’s UK.”


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