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TARA BIRD

Born: 22 July 1987
Coach: Ayo Falola
Club: Woodford Green with Essex Ladies
Lives: Woodford Green
OCWK: Female Athlete

Personal Bests
400m 53.83 (2008), 800m 2:02.54 (2012), 1500m 4:28.63 (2013)

Involvement with OCWK
Tara has been part of OCWK since 2006 and has taken part in the following OCWK events:
100% ME / Tonbridge Get-Together Weekend 2006
Loughborough Educational Camp 2007
Glasgow Get-Together Weekend 2007
Bath Get-Together Weekend 2007
Loughborough Educational Camp 2008
Tonbridge Get-Together 2008
OCWK Media Day 2009
Portugal & Berlin Educational Camps 2009
Eat for Success Get-Together 2009
Birmingham Get-Together 2010
Olympic Park Visit 2010
Tonbridge Get-Together 2011
Tonbridge Training Camp 2011
Financial Planning Get-Together 2011
St Mary's Get-Together 2012
Lee Valley Get-Together 2012

Tara received an 'On Camp with Kelly' Excellent Achievement Award in 2009 in recognition of her selection for the European Athletics Under 23 Championships.


Athletics Achievements
2nd UK Indoor 800m 2012
Ht European Under 23 800m 2009
1st England Under 23 800m 2009
1st BUCS 800m 2009
1st BUCS Indoor 400m 2009
3rd UK Indoor 800m 2009
2nd England Under 23 800m 2008
1st BUSA 800m 2008
2nd AAA Under 20 Indoor 400m 2005
4th Commonwealth Youth 400m 2004
1st English Schools Senior 400m 2004
3rd AAA Under 20 400m 2004
1st English Schools Inter 300m 2003
3rd AAA Under U17 300m 2003
3rd AAA Under 17 Indoor 300m 2003
1st English Schools Inter 300m 2002
3rd AAA Under U17 300m 2002

In her first season in athletics in 2002 Tara set a European age 14 best for 300m of 39.19 seconds.


Performances in 2012
Tara won the silver medal in the 800m at the Aviva UK Indoor Championships. Outdoors she improved her 800m best to 2:02.72 in Solihull on 21 July and then 2:02.54 in the 'On Camp with Kelly' race at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on 26 August.

Personal Bests set in 2012
200m – previous PB 25.39
25.2, 01/09/12, St Albans

800m – previous PB 2:02.77 / 2.04.96i
2:04.57i, 18/02/12, Birmingham
2:02.72, 21/07/12, Solihull
2:02.54, 26/08/12, Birmingham

1500m – previous PB 4:32.63
4:29.07, 28/07/12, Swansea


Performances in 2011
Tara finished second in OCWK 800m at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on 10 July in a season's best of 2:03.83. On 20 August she won the BMC Final in a new personal best of 2:02.77.

Personal Bests set in 2011
800m - previous PB 2:03.00
2:02.77, 20/08/11, Birmingham

1500m - previous PB 4:38.95
4:32.63, 04/06/11, Leigh


Performances in 2010
In an injury affected season, Tara recorded a season's best of 2:03.21 in August.

Personal Bests set in 2010
1500m
4:38.95, 05/06/10, Birmingham


Performances in 2009
After setting a new indoor best of 2:04.96 in her heat at the Aviva European Trial and UK Indoor Championships, Tara won her first senior medal with third in the final. She was also selected for the 4x400m squad for the European Athletics Indoor Championships. She set a new championship best performance of 54.24 to win the BUCS Indoor 400m title on 15 March and then defended her BUCS outdoor 800m title on 4 May. Tara secured her selection for the European Athletics Under 23 Championships, where she went out in the heat, by winning the 800m at the Aviva England Under 23 Championships on 28 June in a personal best and championship best performance of 2:03.00.

Personal Bests set in 2009
400m – previous PB 53.83 / 54.94i
54.38i, 31/01/09, Birmingham
54.30i, 31/01/09. Birmingham
54.24i, 15/03/09, Sheffield

800m – previous PB 2:03.56 / 2:10.17i
2:06.82i, 05/02/09, Bratislava SVK
2:04.96i, 14/02/09, Birmingham
2:03.00, 28/06/09, Bedford


Performances in 2008
Tara was a convincing winner of the British Universities 800m title on 5 May in a time of 2:06.99, just 0.1 outside her personal best. She has since improved that best to 2:03.56 when finishing fifth at the Aviva National Championships and taken nearly a second off her 400m best with 53.83. She won the silver medal in the 800m at the England Athletics Under 23 Championships. On 7 September she went to 14th on the UK all-time list for 600m when she clocked 1:27.51 in a race in Slovakia. During the indoor season Tara set four indoor personal bests for 400m and two for 800m and won the 400m at the Southern Indoor Championships.

Personal Bests set in 2008
400m – previous PB 54.77 / 55.73i
55.57i, 20/01/08, Lee Valley
55.39i, 02/02/08, Birmingham
55.25i, 02/02/08, Birmingham
54.94i, 03/02/08, Birmingham
53.83, 31/05/08, Geneva SUI

600m - previous PB 1:38.92
1:27.51i, 07/09/08, Dubnica SVK

800m – previous PB 2:06.89 / 2:18.20i
2:10.60i, 27/01/08, Belfast
2:10.17i, 19/02/08, Birmingham
2:05.70, 18/05/08, Loughborough
2:04.95, 27/05/08, Koenigs Wusterhausen GER
2:04.62, 28/06/08, Solihull
2:03.56, 13/07/08, Birmingham


Performances in 2007
Tara set six personal bests over 800m in 2007, improving by eight seconds from 2:14.85 to 2:06.89. She has also improved her 400m best from 56.09 to 54.77 and won the bronze medal over that distance at the South of England Championships.

Personal Bests set in 2007
400m – previous PB 56.09
55.73i, 11/03/07, Sheffield
55.50, 12/06/07, Chelmsford
54.77, 16/06/07, Crystal Palace

800m – previous PB 2:14.85
2:18.20i, 14/02/08, Sheffield
2:11.43, 14/04/07, Miami USA
2:09.34, 7/05/07, Bedford
2:08.52, 3/06/07, Glasgow
2:08.43, 30/06/07, Watford
2:07.39, 28/07/07, Manchester
2:06.89, 25/08/07, Crystal Palace


Introduction to Athletics
Tara has been surrounded by athletics her whole life - her mother Gladys (née Taylor) won numerous UK titles and competed at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics over 400m and 400m hurdles, her uncle (her mother’s brother) was UK 400m champion in 1977 and her father was a county standard middle distance runner. Her first trip abroad was when she was eight months old to watch her mum compete. She wasn’t really interested in taking part herself until her mum took her to watch the 2001 World Indoor Championships in Lisbon and she was really inspired by the whole atmosphere and asked if she was allowed to do some training.

So she started training in early 2001 at the age of 14 and had her first season in 2002 when she had immediate success, setting a European age 14 best for 300m of 39.19 seconds. She had previously set a UK age 12 triple jump off no training at a district sports competition! Tara’s current training group under coach Ayo Falola includes successful international athletes Donna Fraser and Marilyn Okoro.


Click here to check out Tara's recent performances on the Power of 10 website

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