Here you can find out who is involved in running BADGERS.
Put a face to a name and learn a little about them.
Chairperson, Coach and Mental Health Champion
Karen started jogging/running in 2008 after joining a local kickboxing club to improve her fitness. During the last 5 years she has achieved a black belt in kickboxing, taken part in many races including 5k, 10k, half marathons and even a challenging, yet enjoyable extreme challenge, her biggest achievement to date is completing the Virgin London Marathon 2012 for charity Team PB.
A qualified gym instructor and currently studying a diploma in personal training she joined local running group BADGERS in June 2012 and is now Club Treasurer. Enjoying her role at the BADGERS so much, Karen has just completed the Leadership in Running Fitness Course so she can spend more even more time with us. Karen lives locally with her 2 children, wife Jo, 2 lazy doggies and four legged running partner Tia :-)
Club Treasurer and Run Leader
After the global financial crisis of 2008, Bank worker Jared needed to do something drastic to improve his popularity. He quickly found work as a stunt double for Sacha Baron-Cohen in the critically acclaimed Borat movie and then again in the follow up Bruno. But when the latter was poorly received in the film press, the acting work dried up and plucky Karim, 40, decided to try his hand at running.
With his trusty ability to operate a calculator, the Treasurer’s role was a perfect fit at his local club, BADGERS and the happy go lucky Baxterley boy has settled in famously since joining. He is also the club’s “go-to” man for items of equipment and miscellaneous sporting accessories. He specialises in the procurement and re-distribution of watches and DVD’s.
Social & Welfare Officer and Coach
After completing her brown belt at kickboxing, Clare decided she wanted to get fitter and saw running as the best solution. She struggled to get very far on her own, so she signed up to the BADGERS Beginners programme back in January 2013. "Since then I haven’t looked back."
She completed the 5K beginner programme and before long she was running 10K races and later half marathons. In 2017 she took the next step and signed up for the Ashby 20, she has since completed it every. In 2019 Clare completed her biggest ever challenge by running London Marathon for Muscular Dystrophy and raising £3000 in memory of my Auntie Jackie.
As well as developing to become a run-leader and now coach, Clare has also undertaken the role of Social and Welfare Officer for the club. "I love the social side of the club and have helped organise a variety of events including birthday celebrations, football matches, quiz nights, overseas tours, presentation evenings and Christmas do’s amongst others."
Due to her networking abilities, Clare has been honoured to receive the “Chatterbox” award three years running at our end of season awards.
Richard has always ran but just shorter distances on his own to keep fit. In 2011 Richard participated in the Knowle Fun Run, and that's where he found out about his local parkrun at Brueton park in Solihull. Richard started attending the parkrun regularly as well as helping out with result processing and occasionally volunteering as Lead Bike.
Richard was planning to move to North Warwickshire in 2013, and by this time he had decided that he wanted to start a new parkrun at Kingsbury Water Park. So he made contact with Badgers in the Autumn of 2012 to ask for our help, and he joined the club soon after that.
Since then Richard has completed nearly 100 races as a club member, including 3 marathons. He has completed more parkruns than any other member of the club, and it is parkrun that remains his main focus.
When it comes to times, Richard will happily concede that his best years are behind him. His only goals now are to take part as often as possible while still fit enough to do so, and he has the long term aim of crossing 500 finish lines, running and cycling, before his 60th birthday.
Publicity & Marketing Officer and Coach
Chris ran quite a lot at school but never kept it up opting to play cricket, rugby, football, hockey and darts instead.
In 2002, via work, Chris took advantage of a London Marathon charity place and ran 3h38m off just three training runs, 4, 5 and the longest 12, miles! Chris didn't run again until 2011 when he again participated, for charity, in the London Marathon. This time he trained properly yet ran two minutes slower than before!
The following year Chris decided to take his running a bit more seriously and joined BADGERS in late 2012 after recovering from a long-standing football injury. It was Serena Baker who convinced him it would be a good idea!
Chris's most proud achievement in running probably came in 2013 when he finished 221st in the Chester Marathon from around 3,000 runners. "I surpassed my expectations massively and felt that all the effort I had put into my training had paid off giving me a time of 3:12." That said, Chris has been lucky enough to actually win a race - the Coombe Abbey 10k and in February 2014 became the first BADGER to finish first at our home KWP parkrun, "I cannot deny that's a nice feeling too!"
At BADGERS, Chris is well known for two things, being late and being funny. He's a multi time winner of the 'Late BADGER' award and has also picked up the 'Humorous BADGER' award.
His running goals for the future are to try and be the best he can be, help others to improve and get pleasure from running, and run a sub 5 minute mile along with a sub 3 hour marathon.
Website Administrator & Coach
Danny got the running bug at an early age while still at primary school, he competed from the age of 10 until he left school in 2002 at the age of 16. During this time he represented both his school and county at numerous cross country and athletics events all over the country.
After volunteering at the Olympic Games in London 2012, Danny felt it was about time he made a return to running. Danny joined the BADGERS in February 2013, quickly regaining his previous fitness and running ability. In his first year at BADGERS he seen his 5k time reduce by almost 5 minutes.
Danny works for Jaguar Land Rover and in 2013 represented them at the UK Corporate Games in both the 5k and 1 Mile Relay Team. Finishing 4th in the 5k and the team taking silver in the relay.
Danny had a remarkable 2014/15 season with BADGERS, which was topped of by winning a plethora of awards at the Annual Awards Evening. These included 'BADGER of the Year', 'Runners BADGER of the year', 'Most Committed BADGER', and both 'Male Road Runner of the Year' and Male Cross Country Runner of the Year'.
At the 2016 awards Danny was again awarded 'Runners BADGER of the year'. "I've very happy to receive this award for the 2nd year running, It's the one that means the most to me as it's voted for by the club members"
2017 seen Danny help BADGERS take both XC and Road League titles. He also finished 2nd overall in the Leicestershire Road Running League overall individual men’s standings. After this success Danny wanted to help other to achieve their goals, so completed his Coach in Running Fitness course in early 2018.
Dave took early retirement in Aug 2015 and being 15st 8lbs decided to get fit and thought He’d take up running. So he put on his shorts and went out for a run making it only to get to the end of the drive and thought “I can’t do this”. Over the next few months to December he lost 2st 8lbs due to change of diet and a lot of walking.
In January 2016 he decided to try running again, this time by joining the Beginner BADGER Programme as he had heard positive comments about BADGERS. However at the time he didn’t think he would ever complete the full 12 weeks. “The support advice guidance I received from the Run Leaders was outstanding in a friendly environment where members made me welcome and were willing to help”. Needless to say he completed the 12 weeks and did his first ever 5k run in March 2016 and has gone on to completed a further two 10k runs in 2016. “Thank you BADGERS”. Dave hopes to do his first half marathon before Aug 2017, so he can say “I did my first at the age of 60”.
Don’t forget, “Get your BADGERS kit off……..Dave”.
Founder and Coach
Having not run since taking part in the school cross country some 20 years ago Nivette returned to running to improve her general health and fitness. Taking part in her first organised run in 2007, Nivette completed the Race for Life, a 5k charity run in just over 25 minutes.
Bitten by the "Running Bug" Nivette has now completed in excess of ten marathons with a PB of 3:27:52, numerous half marathon, 10 and 5 km events and parkruns. Nivette completed her first Ultra Marathon in December 2012, running 46.2 miles. Nivette has gone onto to complete the inaugural Race to the Stones, a 100km race in June 2013 and the Transalpine Race - crossing four countries in eight days covering 260 km, ascending and descending a massive 15,000 metres. It has been a great couple of years, having reached the dizzy heights of forty-something, Nivette is now considered 'good for age' and her collection of trophies and medals may well need a cabinet!
Wanting to share her passion for running and having supported a number of friends to achieve personal running achievements Nivette decided to complete the Leadership in Running Fitness and set up a recreational running group for the local community. With the support of her husband, son and some loyal friends BADGERS Run England was formed. The group has grown beyond all expectation and is the BADGERS you see today.
As someone, who for many years, said “I can’t run”, Alan started running at the age of 59 in 2012 after “discovering” parkrun. The first weeks/months were tough but as they got easier he felt the need to join a club try improve further. After considering a couple of local clubs he favoured the Badgers although the club was further away - the club members being the deciding factor.
However, hard the running feels, Alan constantly sets new personal challenges in trying and run faster or longer. He ran 7 half marathons in 2015 and his first marathon in 2016. More marathons are planned for the future.
Alan was delighted to be asked to be a Run Leader in 2016 and takes great pleasure in helping and encouraging members in their endeavours. He is also willing to help pace runners to achieve target race times, if it is within his ability.
Alan‘s proudest moment was when he was voted Badger of the Year by the Management Committee and Badger Role Model by the members in 2016.
Alan’s mantra is “Never say never”. He is convinced that if a goal is set, commitment given, success can be achieved. He loves to hear of other people’s success – especially when it’s followed by…..”and I never thought I could do that!”
Martyn joined our Run Leader Team in May 2013, our number one BADGER promoter and infamous for his 'bum wiggle'.
Martyn is one of the oldest runners in BADGERS and was one of the first to join in 2011, when there were three or four people running round Baddesley Rec with Nivette.
Running since he was 5 years old and winning the school sprints, Martyn's role as Run Leader often involves losing some of his group due to his hopeless map reading skills! He hopes that by turning out decent times at 5k, 10k and half marathons in his sixties he can be inspirational for the up and coming youngsters. He boasts one of the highest WAVA ratings of all the BADGERS.
Martyn tries to inject a bit of humour into his sessions which can take the mind off of the pain. His biggest achievements to date was to complete his 5th London Marathon in 2019 at the ripe old age of 60 and to win the annual prize for the ‘Best Legs in BADGERS in 2018!
Leesa lives locally in Atherstone and has worked as a chiropodist for 25 years so understands the importance of foot health for the 'runner'.
In July 2014, after been recommended to try the BADGERS beginner 0-5k programme by a fellow BADGER, Chris 'steam train ' Horton, Leesa decided to give it a whirl in a bid to get a 'bit fitter', aid an 8 stone weight loss, and put a tick against one of her life's bucket list - to run a 5k. Thinking after 12 weeks that would be that, not realising how much she would enjoy running (able to eat cake, and not put weight on!!) and being part of the BADGER family so decided to continue her running journey.
In her first year of running she managed to achieve 10 pb's on the trot at parkrun and was voted beginner BADGER of the year 2014-15 season.
Leesa was honoured to be asked if she would consider completing the Leadership in running fitness course in 2016 and successfully achieved this in the summer enabling her to assist at training sessions.
Leesa has completed several half marathons and is aiming to complete Ashby 20 in the spring of 2017.
Gavin first started running approximately 3 years ago after joining a local slimming world group. With no regular exercise and having topped 17 stone, he took his first running steps on the treadmill with a view to losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle. After signing up at the gym he struggled to run for 10 minutes.
As the weight loss journey and regular exercise continued, just over 5 months later Gavin was 3 1/2 stone lighter and reached his target weight. In September of that year he ran his first 1/2 marathon The Great North Run, and completed the route without stopping. (A proud personal achievement.)
Reaching a good level of all round fitness and maintaining his weight loss, The Nuneaton based Coventry City FC fan felt the natural progression was to then join a running club.
Several slimming world members and friends were already BADGERS members and spoke highly of the club. Needless to say that was all the convincing that was needed and he became a full member.
Since joining Gavin has competed in both club road and cross country league races and various regional relay events. He has gone on to run distances ranging from 5k - 10miles and has since completed 13 1/2 marathons.
Favouring the shorter distances, his biggest running achievement was to finish his first full marathon this year at Manchester.
Gavin (aka Norman Cook) has recently completed his 50th parkrun event and often writes the weekly run reports at both Bedworth and Kingsbury Water Park. Approaching 2 years with the club now, Gavin was voted Newcomer BADGER by fellow members in his first year and has submitted the daily exercise posts on the club Facebook page for the last 15 months. This year Gavin was delighted to qualify as a club run leader and also contributed on the committee for the clubs BA10K event. (all achievements he is proud of)
A supporter of mental health he started off in group C, progressed to group B and now trains with group A. Gavin is looking forward to passing on these experiences and encouragement, including on the Beginner BADGERS Programme and working on his own 5k distance times.
In January 2014 Judy saw a facebook post from one of our members for the Beginner BADGERS 0-5k Programme.
As a mum of two boys she had spent the last 14 or so years taking them swimming, cricket, football and rugby training - being a general taxi and supporter. As the boys became more independent it has given her more free time and she decided to give the Beginner BADGERS 0-5k Programme a go.
People told her that the hardest part would be getting to the first session. "I am so glad I took that step. I won’t lie, I found every week difficult. I made a commitment to go to every single session of the 12 week course and it was the best decision I ever made. I have made some great friends through BADGERS and this is the longest that I have kept up activity since the school netball team."
Judy was asked to be a Run Leader in 2016 "I was flabbergasted when I was asked if I would train as a Run Leader. I didn’t think I was fast enough or good enough at running up hills but I realised that it's not always about that. I can encourage others starting out and can genuinely say to them on the Beginner BADGERS course that if I can do it, so can you."
After a failed football career in the NDSFL Adrian began training to pass the TA fitness test back in 2013. Adrian was then duped by friends into entering The Spartan Race in September of that year. For training he began running around the local woodlands and roads. The race experience that followed got him hooked on running.
During the remainder of 2013 and during 2014 Adrian entered several more OCR’s around the country and began annoying facebook friends every month with hundreds of sweaty, muddy, heroic racing pictures. One memorable race for him was beating 2 BADGERS (Carl Holyoak and Mark Stokes), in a race around Merevale Estate whilst thinking to himself "I'm not going to let these soft, puddle dodging road runners beat me".
It was in November 2014 that he was lured into joining the BADGERS by international DJ Carl Holyoak after he told Adrian about the XC races and training they do. By the end of November, he was a member of the BADGERS family.
Since joining the club Adrian has gone on to become the Men’s team Captain for 3 years running and a qualified run leader.
Adrian has now run events in America, Europe and even across the Swizz Alps. From 5km to 24hr Endurance events. His proudest running moment has been winning the Continental 24hour race within a team of 7 other BADGERS.
Having been a solitary runner for over 30 years, starting with Sutton Fun Run in 1984, Andy completed the London Marathon in 2016 feeling demoralised and as if running had become a chore.
Needing to refocus, he stumbled across Kingsbury Water Park parkrun. A friend who he had persuaded to go to parkrun suggested that she wanted to join a running club, and had decided to join Badgers as they seemed to be so well represented at the local parkrun, so Andy decided to join too.
Since becoming a Badger in 2016 he has realised his love of running again, completing over 150 parkruns, numerous 10ks, a handful of half marathons, and more recently the ultimate challenge of Snowdonia Marathon in October 2018. Becoming a run leader has allowed him to pass on his love and enthusiasm for running to others, and given him a new satisfaction in his long running career.
Ladies Captain Rachael got into running after seeing her boyfriend Danny becoming prolific at it, then she got really good too. She holds the record for the most consecutive personal bests when she ran for a 14 month period and improving in every single race she competed in. Her running highlight came when she scooped the top female in the Leicester Summer Series in 2015.
Many people do not realise that Rachael is actually 39 years old. She attributes the fact she looks ten years younger to her abundant usage of “Forever living” beauty products which have helped the former model retain her good looks.
Famed for her unique high arm action on finishing sprints, Warren gained notoriety last year when she casually helped herself to a bottle of wine at a post-race presentation ceremony, despite the award being for top men’s team! Warren quickly downed the evidence in just three glugs before tossing the empty bottle into some urine-soaked stinging nettles to avoid being apprehended.
Pete first started walking/running back in 2006 as part of a weight loss regime, in 2008 he completed his first half Marathon in Birmingham, which was and still is his proudest running achievement to date.
He was a member of Royal Sutton Coldfield Athletics Club, but after moving to Tamworth he joined BADGERS in 2012.
Pete's current aim is to complete Birmingham Half Marathon for the fourth time in October 2014 and in April 2015 to complete his second full marathon in Brighton.
Sarah Jane Chetwynd
SJ stated running in January 2014 when she and a few friends decided to enter the Derby 10k that April for charity. She built up her distance slowly but became injured due to ill fitting trainers and then not resting! SJ ended up unfortunately missing the race and doing one in the July instead, which to date is still one of her proudest moments. “I’d then got the ‘bug’ and was so motivated by what I had achieved physically and mentally”.
She met her now husband and fellow BADGER, Aaron about a year later, who spoke highly of his running club. SJ was hesitant about joining a club as she was under the impression they were all “elitist” and was worried she wasn’t the fastest runner. However in 2016 when she moved to the area, she was then persuaded to go to a BADGERS training session and her perceived perceptions of runner clubs where changed! “I’ve never looked back since that first session. I have made such amazing friends and we are more than a club, we are a family.”
SJ’s greatest achievements would include completing my first half marathon and gaining PBs in 5 distances after having a baby including finally getting a sub 60min 10k.
Her future aspirations are to continue running injury free, and to run for enjoyment and hopefully along the way to improve her times. “I want to encourage and support over runners and maybe just maybe one day complete the London marathon.”