A Commonwealth Games Gold, Silver and Bronze medallist will be joining the thousands of participants at the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K on Sunday, May 6.

Lorraine Shaw, from Gloucester, won Gold for England in the hammer at the 2002 Manchester Games, Silver at Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and Bronze in Melbourne in 2006.  

She has thrown at both the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games, coming ninth in Athens.

Lorraine, a sports development and fitness teacher at Gloucestershire College, is taking on the 10K to support Alzheimer's Society for close family reasons with a year of fundraising events to reach her target of £2,000 for the charity.

The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K starts on Jennens Road in the city centre before taking in sights such as the Selfridges building, Cannon Hill Park and Edgbaston Stadium.

Some 7,000 people are expected to sign up for the May 6 event, which features a walking wave for those embarking on a new challenge.

Lorraine is President of her local athletics club, Gloucester AC, and takes part in running events after becoming ‘hooked on running' after she retired from elite athletics.

“Towards the latter period of my athletics career I did a degree and went straight into teaching when I retired from sport,” she explains.

“I started running two years ago with local runs such as the parkruns in Kingsway, Gloucester, and I got hooked on it!

“Local running groups are really fantastic and I don't know why more people don't join them because you don't have to be an athlete, you can run or walk.

“I just think it's great to get out and get active at events like the Great Birmingham 10K. These are great social gatherings with people talking to you and inspiring and cheering you along the way.

“I love it, and it's quite easy to hide in the big events with hundreds of people!” she jokes.

As a celebrated Commonwealth Games athlete, has Lorraine been keeping a close eye on England's fortunes at the 2018 Gold Coast Games?

“I'm watching the netball as I speak to you!” she says.

“I miss all that and still love to watch it. I miss being competitive and I see that coming out I my running! But I certainly don't miss the training routines and schedules I had to go through.

“I still go out and run in the cold and wet weather; that competitive edge is still in me but in a slightly different capacity.”

Lorraine thinks the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2022 will be amazing for the city and Midlands athletes of the future.

“I have a young male athlete I work with who could potentially be there. So much depends on the next few years but we'll be working hard to get to Birmingham,” she says.

“Our goal is the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and if I'm not invited as a coach or previous winner I'll definitely be there as a spectator.

“This is the best of the best for any of the countries taking part. It's a rare opportunity for people from across the UK to see elite performers from around the world. I think it will be fantastic,” she adds.

“When I won my Gold in Manchester I look back at that as being such a boost for the city. The people coming out to watch you and get behind you is amazing.”

Lorraine has chosen to support Alzheimer's Society to support her mum who suffers from dementia.

“My mum lives in Ireland so I can't go back and forth to see her as much as I would like to make sure she is alright, so I felt this is a great way of supporting people like her,” says Lorraine.

“It's such an important cause and I think there is a lack of support from the Government, I'm keen to do the best I can.”

Sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K here 

To support Lorraine's fundraising for Alzheimer's Society visit justgiving.com/fundraising/lorraine-sharon812