Spotlight On: BUAC Cool Runnings | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Spotlight On: BUAC Cool Runnings

With the Great Birmingham 10K on the horizon, online editor Nicola Kenton spoke to the president of Cool Runnings, Zak Viney, about the social running club

Cool Runnings is a sister club it the Birmingham University Athletics and Cross Country Club, it was formed in 2009 and this year has 266 members - an increase from 217 in 2015-16.

They train three times a week and do various types of sessions. On Mondays they complete interval training, the Old Gym hosts their Wednesday session where they carry out circuit training and bleep tests - next year this will move to the 360 - and on Thursdays their training is a long run. Moreover, there have been extra sessions throughout this year to help members train for big events such as the Birmingham 10K - sessions for this are on Saturdays - and the Warwick Half Marathon.

Contact Details

Club President: Zak Viney;

Email address:;

Facebook: BUAC Cool Runnings;

Twitter: @BUACcoolrunning;

Instagram: buaccoolrunning

Anybody can join Cool Runnings. They accept everybody, from those at the entry level of running ability and first-time runners to those with much more experience - e.g. seasoned club runners. The club also provides great value with the membership fee for 2016-17 being £35 and if members didn't join until after January this fee was reduced to £25.

One of the most impressive things about Cool Runnings is the commitment their volunteers put in. The club has been pivotal in launching a Great Run Local event which takes place at the Vale, it is delivered by Cool Runnings volunteers every Sunday morning and offers a free 2km or 5km timed run for the whole community. In terms of other socials, the club regularly attends Sports Night and holds various 'sober' socials such as Mini Golf, Trampolining and Bowling. In 2016-17 they have also visited a number of running events e.g. The Autumn Shakespeare Raceways, Cannon Hill park  Santa run, Warwick Half Marathon, volunteering at Silverstone Half Marathon and the 7 Pools Run which is taking place on 19th March. Moreover, in January the club held their annual Training Weekend in the Peak District and although running is the main priority of the trip, there was also a lot of fun and games, as well as club bonding that took place.

Speaking of five reasons to join Cool Runnings, Zak Viney said:

  1. 'Great way to get involved with a Sports Club without the pressure of competition, we focus on members personal goals
  2. A family-like atmosphere. It's a cliché I know, however the club prides itself on its inclusive nature
  3. Great value for money, 3 sessions per week and Great Run Local races, events and socials for only £35!
  4. We have fun, varied sessions to help you work up to hitting your goals!
  5. Club diversity. We have freshers, post-grad and mature students coming from many different ethnic and social backgrounds.'

The Great Birmingham 10K run is taking place on the 30th April and UB Sport have a team attending, which includes those at Cool Runnings.  Currently they have 67 members attending via their specific Facebook event and Viney is hoping that Cool Runnings is the largest representing sport club in the UB Sport wave. The Saturday training sessions for the 10K have been run by Social secretary Jimmy Niblett and the group have focussed their training on that of a beginner/intermediate runner to help them train to the full distance.

Finally, we asked Viney what advice he would give to those who have signed up and will be running a 10K for the first time. 'Firstly, ensure you complete sufficient long-term and short-term preparation. In the long-term, go out on a few 5K road runs in the weeks leading up to the big day, get your legs used to the distance! In the short-term, bulk up on carbs and sleep well in the days leading up to the 30th April!'

'Secondly, run with someone during training and on the day. Obviously, not everybody has the luxury to do this but running with a friend is a huge motivational tool and the feeling of completing a training session or race together is very special. Finally, try to enjoy it! The Great Run atmosphere is electric so try and take it in and hold onto every moment - it might make you even faster!'

4th year Geography student and online editor of Redbrick Sport. Supporter of Northamptonshire teams. Particularly interested in and write about F1, Swimming, Athletics, Darts and Sports Personality of the Year. (@Nicola_Kenton)


18th March 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

17th March 2017 at 8:46 pm

Images from

Cool Runnings