Birmingham University and Run-Fast Sports Management Agency have formed an exciting partnership to support a team of eight Midlands-based middle and long-distance runners.
The initiative, entitled Run-Fast Birmingham, has been set-up to provide an improved training environment for the athletes. All eight will be sponsored by Adidas and are aiming for selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.
Launched alongside Saturday afternoon’s Bud’s Run, the team will live and train at Birmingham University under the guidance of former international athlete Luke Gunn and renowned national endurance coach Bud Baldaro.
The Run-Fast Birmingham team members are Jonathan Davies (20), Ben Waterman (22), Andrew Heyes (25), Rich Peters (25) Pippa Wolven (22), Sara Treacy (26), Alison Leonard (25) and Julia Cooke (27).
Luke Gunn, Head of Athletics at Birmingham University, commented: “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.”
Peter McHugh, managing director of Run-Fast, said 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.”