The Bud Baldaro Story

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Coach, mentor and friend to generations of athletes and students. Charity fundraiser. Champion wind up merchant. But where did the Bud Baldaro story start?

Contrary to popular belief, Bud wasn’t born with a full beard and wearing a tracksuit. Showing early athletic talent, he was picked to run cross country in The Birmingham Grammar Schools competition. But Bud’s big love was still football. So what inspired him to get involved with running?

The answer’s simple. . .

It was seeing Ron Clarke shatter the world record for three miles at the White City. Bud was hooked. Fifty years later and his passion for running still burns as brightly. During his career Bud’s coached at Cardiff and Loughborough Universities. Teaching at Wednesfield High, he helped the school to county and area titles. He also met Tony Milovsorov there. Bud later guided ‘Milo’ to a 2.09 marathon and the Commonwealth Games.

Successful teaching stints at Shire Oak and Park Hall Schools followed. Taking early retirement from teaching, Bud became the University of Birmingham’s endurance coach.

Tipton triumphs

Bud’s long history with Tipton Harriers goes back to 1972. He started feeding lots of youngsters from Wednesfield to the club, with great results. One big highlight was having the club and school enter a 100 x 1 mile relay. As Tipton coach Bud looked after many of their top runners. Athletes like Tony Milosorov, Eddie Wedderburn, John Wheway, Tony Graham – the list goes on. The 80s and 90s were golden years for the club. Under Bud’s guidance, they once won all eight national titles in a year.

Tipton often trained at the University of Birmingham, a tradition started by Andy Holden. This has forged strong links between club and campus, to everyone’s benefit.

Athletic stars from across the world

As a coach, Bud’s worked with a host of athletic stars. Regular visitors to his home included Tegla Laroupe, Olga Bondarenko, Arturio Barrios, and Hendrick Ramaala. Bud’s also coached top athletes like:

  • Hannah England – World 1500m silver medallist
  • Bev Nicholson – Commonwealth Games 1500m bronze medallist
  • Marion Sutton – twice Chicago marathon winner
  • Eddie Wedderburn – World Student steeplechase silver medallist
  • Hatti Dean – GB track and cross country star
  • . . . plus numerous GB internationals and national champions

Bud’s been GB coach for both cross country and the marathon. As well as coaching, Bud’s worked widely with charities especially Mencap, Shine and Age UK.  Bud recently retired from his role as National Coach mentor with England Athletics.

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Hannah England, Bud Baldaro & Luke Gunn

In October 2016, Bud was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame at a prestigious ceremony in Birmingham.  Luke Gunn and Hannah England, two of Bud’s athletes and proud supporters of Bud’s Run presented the award to him.

 

Your chance to say thanks

Has Bud Baldaro ever helped or inspired you? Then now’s your perfect chance to say thanks. Please enter Bud’s Run and come to Bud’s Bash. Can’t come along? Then please donate.