The England Athletics Experience — Meet the athletes

Join us and our lucky five athletes as we embark on ‘The England Athletics Experience’.

Brad, Stuart, Joanne, Shamir, and Alison have been selected to participate in The England Athletics Experience.

Immerse yourself in the thrilling world of running as we showcase the talents of our exceptional athletes.

From achieving new PBs to completing their first Marathons, witness their journeys as England Athletics and our partners;, Kukri, KT Tape, goodr, Pressio and Shokz, unleash their potential.  


  • Goal: Sub 3-Hour Marathon
  • Motive: Boston Marathon Qualifying time.
  • Run Club: Telford AC
  • Race: Morecombe Marathon – Sunday 8 October 2023

Brad describes himself ‘as the kid who was never athletic’ but really got into running during 2022 and has his eyes set on a Boston Marathon qualifying time. Having joined Telford, he had previously never run track sessions before. He is also hoping to run London and the other Majors all under 3 hours!

How long have you been running?

I have been running since March 2020 just after lockdown. I wasn’t a runner at all before and decided to give it a go. I didn’t really take it seriously until January 2022 when I signed up for my first marathon, the rest is history! In this last year I have really taken to the sport and dropped my PB’s by some margin.

What is your favourite distance?

My favourite distance is probably the Half Marathon, although I do love a 5k. The Half Marathon is fun, and the recovery isn’t too bad. My first ever race was the York brass Monkey Half Marathon which got me hooked all those months ago.

How long have you been a run club member?

I have been a member of Telford AC since December 2022. The people are lovely and running with a group really makes you work for it.

Best running memory?

My best running memory is hard to pick… it’s between running my first marathon in the arctic circle under the midnight sun or the York Half Marathon as my parents were there supporting me.

Proudest running achievement?

Proudest achievement is my sub 90 Half Marathon at York. I was ready to quit after 3km, I just stuck to the pacer and found myself at the finish line!

Alison and Brad, participants of the England Athletics Experience


  • Goal: Complete a Marathon
  • Motive: To prove to herself that it’s possible with the correct attitude towards both eating and training.  
  • Run Club: Team Caterpillar
  • Race: Morecombe Marathon – Sunday 8 October 2023

Alison was informed by her GP she was at serious risk of stroke due to her dangerously high blood pressure. She quickly made positive steps and began being more active, completing the couch to 5K programme and joining Team Caterpillar. She has successfully lowered her blood pressure, increased her fitness, and lost a whopping 10 stone in weight. She is also studying for her Level 2: Improving personal exercise, health & nutrition. To complete her journey, she wants to complete a marathon and prove anything is possible.

How long have you been running?

I have been running since January 2021.

What is your favourite distance?

Half Marathon

How long have you been a run club member?

I joined Team Caterpillar in August 2021.

Best running memory?

New York Half Marathon.

Proudest running achievement?

My Half Marathon PB at the London Landmarks Half Marathon this year. I'm also proud of doing a couple of runs to raise money and have raised £2,500 for my charity (and employer) Down's Syndrome Association.


  • Goal: Sub 1:30 Half Marathon
  • Motive: To complete his fitness journey and achieve a new PB. 
  • Run Club: Lonely Goat Running Club
  • Race: Kent Half Marathon – Sunday 1 October 2023

Before running Stuart weighed 22 stone and has lost almost 6 stone and had recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and became unable to do most things and walked with a walking stick or for short periods only. With great determination he began his own couch to 5k, began to control his diet, and achieved his goal. Also identifying that exercise was helping his Fibromyalgia. He is looking to cut 6 minutes off his current PB and run a sub 1:30 half marathon. Running has become a huge part of Stuarts life and has changed his well-being more than he could ever explain. With the help of England Athletics, he wants to better understand his running form, improve pacing, and build his stamina.

How long have you been running?

I ran when I was younger but at 17 became a young dad, meaning family and work left little time for running. I was then diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and became unable to do most things and walking with a stick or for short periods.

In 2019 I wanted to lose weight, so began a self-taught couch to 5k. I could barely run 500m without stopping, after a few months I achieved a 4k without stopping and, although still painful, I felt fitter. I then discovered Parkrun achieving my 5k target.

After catching the running bug, entered my first 10k race and shocked myself at how capable I had become. From then I entered race after race. I lost weight and felt better and better.

I increased my distances to half marathons and eventually entered the 2020 Brighton Marathon, 2 weeks out and the Covid lockdown happened. Brighton was cancelled.

During lockdown I became low and unmotivated and stopped running. I put weight back on and my Fibromyalgia became very bad again. After a visit to the scales in March 2022 I started running again.

My first race was a half marathon in May 2022. Since then, I have run so many races of all distances and have smashed PB after PB.

On April 2nd, I ran the Brighton marathon and conquered my personal goal. Eight weeks later I ran the Edinburgh marathon (30 minutes quicker).

I have lost around 5st and in a better place physically and mentally. My Fibromyalgia is still there and always will be, but my mobility and ability is getting better every day.

So, to summarise, I ran all the time as a young man, life got in the way, then I ran for 2 years, then Covid got in the way, then I started running again last year and haven’t looked back since. I just want to push myself further and quicker for as long as I can.

What is your favourite distance?

I love to run any distance, but I really enjoy a 10k for speed and the marathon for distance and achievement.

How long have you been a run club member?

I only joined Lonely Goat in January this year. I loved that I could get into a running community regardless of life commitments. I have met so many fellow Lonely Goats at races and always end up in pictures and sharing stories.

Best running memory?

My best running memory to date is finishing the Edinburgh Marathon. The atmosphere was amazing and the support from strangers was so touching.

Proudest running achievement?

Getting over the line at the Brighton marathon. I had a vendetta against this one as I had trained for it twice before and not run it either time due to Covid cancellations. This was my third time training, and I had a bad injury with 3 weeks to race day which blew out the last parts of the training. To finish it, FINALLY, was emotional for me.

Stuart and Shamir, participants in the England Athletics Experience


  • Goal: Sub 3-Hour Marathon
  • Motive: To become an Order of the Bald Eagle member.
  • Run Club: Ealing Eagles Running Club
  • Race: Chester Marathon – Sunday 8 October 2023

Shamir witnessed Eliud Kipchoge win the 2019 London Marathon and caught the running bug, in 2020 completed the London Marathon on behalf of Crisis UK. Throughout his journey there’s been a lot of sweat, a few injuries, and a whole lot of running shoes, becoming part of the amazing running community, and making incredible friends at the Ealing Eagles Running Club. With his own desire and a big flock of Eagles supporting him he wants to run a sub 3-hour marathon and become a member of the Order of the Bald Eagle.

How long have you been running?

4 years.

What is your favourite distance?


How long have you been a run club member?

Only 3 months!

Best running memory?

Participating in the Welsh Castles Relay with Ealing Eagles. This is such an incredible and intense event, and it's a privilege to partake and share the field with some of the strongest club runners in the country.

Proudest running achievement?

Completing the London Marathon and, in doing so, raising thousands of pounds for Crisis UK to help them end homelessness.

Joanne, a participant in the England Athletics Experience


  • Goal: Sub 45-minute 10K
  • Motive: To bounce back from illness and push herself to get a new 10K PB.   
  • Run Club: Hoad Hill Harriers
  • Race: Morecombe 10K – Sunday 8 October 2023

Joanne unfortunately was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. Having previously achieved a 44:51 PB in 2016, she is determined to bounce back from her diagnosis and with the help of England Athletics and the right training programme push herself towards a new PB whilst still battling the aftereffects of her treatment and the challenges the menopause brings to training.

How long have you been running?

I've been running since 2006. Race for Life came to Barrow in Furness for the first time, and the schools PE teachers convinced as many as possible of the girls in the school to take part. She also thought it would be a good idea if lots of the female staff joined in to set an example to the students.

So that's how I got started. There was no "Couch to 5k" in those days, so I created my own training schedule.

What is your favourite distance?

My favourite running distance is probably 10k, though I've recently been enjoying 5k's as well. With both, I think they're at about my pain limit - I lose focus in longer events if the pain is going on for too long!

How long have you been a run club member?

When I first started, I was convinced that after Race for Life, I would never run again. But I loved it and was desperate to train for a 10k race.

Once I’d completed a few 10k races, I realised I was missing out. I would go along to the races on my own, loving the friendly atmosphere, but envying the club runners who would be warming up together, laughing and joking, that I decided I wanted some of that too.

So, after a bit of research, I joined my local club, Hoad Hill Harriers in 2010.

Best running memory?

My best running memory is probably the 2022 Edinburgh marathon. This was my first marathon after having breast cancer and I had trained hard for it.

I'd picked up a foot and hamstring injury 3 or 4 weeks before the race and had to nurse these around the course.

As a result, the race felt relatively easy (injuries aside), and I was able to enjoy the atmosphere and the lovely scenery. The last mile felt amazing, as I finally felt confident enough at being so close to home to run flat out.

It was my fastest mile of the day, and I was passing lots of runners - always a good feeling at the end of a marathon! As I crossed the finish line, I raised my arms aloft and promptly burst into tears (neither of which I've ever done in a race). However it was such a huge feeling of achievement after battling back after my cancer treatment that I could do nothing about either.

Proudest running achievement?

My proudest running achievement is probably winning the Fv55 Mid Lancs Cross Country League this year. This was my first full cross-country season since having cancer and I'd set myself a target of coming in the first three in my age group.

Going into the last race, I realised that if I came first Fv55 in that race, I could win. So I set off in the race shadowing one of our younger club members, hoping that she could perhaps drag me round and clear of my rivals - and that's basically what she did.

But in trying to stick with her, I basically ran my guts out, running my legs to a complete standstill - indeed once I'd crossed the line, I couldn't run another step, not even to warm down.

But it's the first and only time I've ever won anything so prestigious and I'm very proud of my trophy.


Prepare to be captivated by the athleticism, passion, and unwavering determination of these incredible athletes.

Join us at England Athletics as we celebrate the excellence that lies at the heart of athletics.

Get ready for an experience that will leave you in awe and ignite your own running aspirations.

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