Run-Fast Birmingham’s elite squad join the race against Parkinson’s disease

buds runFast- Dougie Musson credit

The Run-Fast Birmingham squad took time out of their busy schedules to show support for Bud’s Run 2017.  Run-Fast Birmingham is an initiative that supports a team of eight elite middle and long-distance runners based at the University of Birmingham. 

The team is the brainchild of Run-Fast Sports Management Agency and marks the first time that a British university is partnering with a management agency for the purpose of establishing a more professional training environment for its elite athletes. The team is currently sponsored by Adidas, and all eight team members are aiming for selection for the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London. 

 

“Bud’s Run” is a 5k fun run around the University campus and will take place on Saturday 21 October 2017. Bud’s Run was the idea of much-loved athletics coach Bud Baldaro, the former UK Athletics Marathon Coach who’s been based at the University for over a decade. Bud’s encouraged and helped hundreds of distance and middle-distance runners of all standards and ages, in a career spanning over forty years. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2009, Bud’s determined to use his love of running to help fund research into this long-term condition.  Now in its fourth year and having raised just over £53,000 for Parkinson’s UK, Bud’s Run aims to reach £70,000.

 

Peter McHugh De Clare, Director of Run-Fast says, “Our partnership with the University of Birmingham, simply would not have come into being without Bud’s vision, enthusiasm and passion for running. The performance of the team in year one exceeded our expectations, with three athletes achieving Olympic qualifying times (‘A’ standard), and three competing at the 2016 European Athletics Championships. Those achievements are in no small part down to Bud, who has dedicated a large part of his life to helping athletes reach their full potential. He continues to be a source of inspiration to all of us. With that in mind, it is only fair that we give this year’s Bud’s Run our full support. We hope that the 2017 edition is the biggest and best yet”.

 

Alison Leonard (handicap 1.3), 800m athlete and Run-Fast Birmingham team member has been heavily involved in Bud’s Run including running in fancy dress and baking delicious cakes to sell at the events!  Alison says, "Bud's Run is one of my favourite days of the year; running around our beautiful campus and having a great time while saying a huge thank you to Bud for all his help and support, and at the same time raising lots of money for Parkinson’s UK. What's not to love? "

 

Entries are now open for this year’s run and along with the 5K, there will be a fun run for the under 11s, interactive team games organised by Rabble, a raffle, sports masseurs on hand, a sizzling BBQ and plenty of tea, coffee and cake. Although very much a family fun run, previous Bud’s Run events have attracted athletics stars both past and present. They include world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe (handicap 8.0), middle distance legend Steve Cram (handicap 30.4), Olympian and 1500m World Championship Silver Medallist, Hannah England (handicap -0.4) (currently coached by Bud).  Members of the Run-Fast Birmingham team will be participating in October and look forward to another fantastic event, raising money for Bud’s chosen charity.

 

Sarah Wakeman, Regional Fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK says, “Bud’s Run is suitable for all levels of fitness and is a great day out.  It’s wonderful that elite athletes get involved in the event and it’s a true testament to how respected Bud is within his field.  We’d love everyone to run or walk with us on Saturday 21 October and help us fund vital research into Parkinson’s disease.”

 

Registration is £18 per adult (concessions are available), further information at www.budsrun.co.uk

 

For media enquiries please contact Becky Baldaro Booth at budsrun@gmail.com or 07584 168610

 

Photo: L to R: Will Gray (handicap -4.0), Louise Webb (handicap 3.1), Sara Treacy (handicap 4.2), Becky Straw (handicap 8.0), Julia Cooke (handicap 0.2) and Alison Leonard (handicap 1.3)

 

Photo credit: Doug Musson (handicap -5.1)