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Sad loss of Betty Jenkins

The Club was saddenned to hear of the loss of Betty Jenkins, one of our internaional race walkers.

Betty Jenkins

Betty joined the Club as a 16 year old in 1954 but walking was not her first love as she had the ambition to gain a GB vest as a cross country runner. This was not to be however, and it was her race walking that gained her national honours.

In 1959 she represented England for the first time as a race walker at an international match in Denmark. The race brought success for Birchfield with Betty finishing in first place and clubmate Beryl Randall in second.

After a period of time away from the sport, following the birth of her son, she returned to training. A year later she was competing again and was better than ever.After winning the Midlands title in 1969 she then went on to finish second in the Nationals and secured a place on the England Team for an international match in London against Denmark.

She recorded a number of firsts in women’s race walking including the first women to walk under 15 minutes for 3000m in 1972. At the end of this season she competed in an international match against five other nations and walked, what she considered to be her best ever performance. In a 5000m race she finished third behind two Swedish athletes in a time of 25 mins 9.2 seconds.

Her impressive list of national championships successes an international appearances meant she was perhaps our best ever race walker. Our thoughts go out to all her family and friends.