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Run-Fast Birmingham: team launch

by Press Release
Friday 9th October 2015
Tags  RUN-FAST BIRMINGHAM   |   Run-Fast   |   Birmingham University   |   Bud Baldaro   |   Buds Run   |   Buds Bash   |   Jonathan Davies   |   Ben Waterman   |   Andrew Heyes   |   Rich Peters   |   Pippa Woolven   |   Sara Treacy   |   Alison Leonard   |   Julia Cooke

Tomorrow, Saturday 10th October, sees the launch of RUN-FAST BIRMINGHAM, a team of eight elite middle and long-distance runners based at Birmingham University


The launch of this new team is happening alongside the second edition of Bud’s Run which takes place later the same afternoon.

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 will be sponsored by adidas and all eight team members are aiming for selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

Peter McHugh, Managing Director of Run-Fast, says that the formation of the team is “an attempt to bridge the gap” in British distance running between athletes who receive WCPP funding from UK Sport and athletes aiming for international success with far lower levels of financial support. “Making that step-up to international level is never easy, and for many can be even harder without adequate support. By forming this team we hope to offer more support to athletes at a critical stage of their development and foster a more professional approach to their sport.”

Aged between 21 and 27, the eight athletes on the team represent a stock of rising talent. Five of the eight athletes have already won national titles; six have represented their country at international championships. All eight live and train at Birmingham University under the guidance of former international athlete Luke Gunn and renowned national endurance coach Bud Baldaro. In recent years Birmingham has come to be considered as one of Britain’s elite performance centres for middle and long-distance running.

The Run-Fast Birmingham team members:

Jonathan Davies,
aged 20
5000m runner: 2015 England U23 5000m Champion

Ben Waterman,
aged 22
800m runner: 3rd at the 2015 England Athletics 800m Championships

Andrew Heyes,
aged 25
5000m runner: 5th at the 2015 British 5000m Championships

Rich Peters,
aged 25
1500m runner: 2014 Commonwealth Games representative


Pippa Woolven,
aged 22
3000m steeplechase runner: 2014 Commonwealth Games representative


Sara Treacy,
aged 26
3000m steeplechase runner: 2015 Irish National 3000m Steeplechase Champion


Alison Leonard,
aged 25
800m runner: 3rd at the 2015 British 800m Championships


Julia Cooke,
aged 27
1500m runner: 2015 Welsh National 1500m Champion


Speaking about the new team, Luke Gunn, Head of Athletics at Birmingham University, said: “Run-Fast Birmingham will make a real difference for our top athletes. Our programme is built around group training, so the formation of this new team will only strengthen this. Partnering with Run-Fast will increase the support we can offer to the athletes and help raise their sights towards achieving greater international success.”

The Launch of Run-Fast Birmingham takes place at 11.30am on Saturday 10th October 2015 at the Aston Webb Building at the University of Birmingham.


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