Ted Chamberlain is 23-years-old and came to competitive running quite late but he’s climbing the national rankings fast and has big ambitions.

The Holmfirth Harriers 800m runner has recently broken a club record and moved up to 35th place in the national 800m rankings. He’d love to represent England and Team GB in the future.

Living near Kirkburton, Chamberlain has been part of the Holmfirth club since the age of 11 but it’s only in the last few years he has focused on the 800m event.

Chamberlain said: “I’ve been sporty since I was very young. I’ve played football, cricket, tennis, badminton and table tennis as well as doing some road cycling and lots of walking.

“I joined Holmfirth Harriers when I was about 11 with my younger sister, Beth, and used to go and run once a week for fun. However it wasn’t my sporting priority at the time. I was taking my football and cricket far more seriously.

“When I was 14 I asked to join a senior sprints group at the club which was where I met my first coach, John Buckingham, who took me under his wing. I was several years younger than the other athletes in the group but was always treated like an adult which I liked.

“I’d competed in a few school athletics competitions and done quite well and had become frustrated with football and cricket.

“I remember watching the 2016 Rio Olympics and seeing the 800m and thinking I wanted to see how far I could get with running. I’d always found it difficult to deal with pre-race nerves in school competitions but decided I wanted to have a proper go with the running.

Ted Chamberlain on the track. Image by: Phil Boswell

“John encouraged me to do some races for the Harriers in 2016. I tried a duathlon and a 5k road relay and I started training with his group twice a week alongside doing some cycling and swimming. 

“When John retired from coaching later in 2016, I was coached expertly by the vastly experienced Lauren Storr.

“My running and racing really took off when I started studying at the University of Exeter in September 2018, aged 18. That was where I met the then head coach Sonya Ellis who introduced me to Rob Grew in September 2019, who has been my coach ever since.

“He’s supported my training magnificently through lockdowns, a couple of injuries I had in 2020 and 2021, and has coached me remotely since I left Exeter in July 2022. 

“It’s been a team effort and I couldn’t have achieved any of the things I’ve achieved so far without him. I really love that running represents the ultimate personal challenge. You can win races and medals but ultimately it’s you against the clock. It’s about seeing how far you can push yourself and improve. 

“I love this sort of mental and physical challenge. You can always improve and there’s not one way of training effectively. 

“The confidence I get from racing is what consistently motivates me to improve. Of course, I get a massive boost when races have gone well, when they’ve gone to plan or exceeded expectations.”

Ted Chamberlain in action. Image by: Phil Boswell

Chamberlain has achieved quite a lot in his career so far including becoming the 2023 North of England Senior Men’s Outdoor 800m Champion and the 2023 North of England Senior Men’s Indoor 800m Champion. He has also won many other events at university level and set club records. 

Chamberlain added: “I came to competing in athletics quite a lot later than many other athletes but I’ve managed to achieve quite a lot in a relatively short space of time.

“Being made the North of England 2023 Champion for the indoor and outdoor 800m races was a great achievement and were my first regional titles and came in January and June of this year. 

“My other honours include: 2022 Devon County Senior Men’s 800m Champion, 2019 Devon County Senior Men’s 800m Champion, 2022 Devon County Senior Men’s 400m bronze medalist, 2018 Yorkshire County Under 20 Men’s 800m silver medalist, 2018 North of England Under 20 Men’s 800m bronze medalist.

“I first broke the Holmfirth Harriers’ 800m club record on June 13, then again on July 1 and most recently, July 11. It was great to break the record three times in a month.

“My record time is 1m:48.19s at a British Milers’ Club Trafford Gold Standard meet which took me to 35th in the 2023 UK 800m rankings. The previous club record was Mark Buckingham’s 1:51.52 set in 2004.”

On where he goes next, Chamberlain said: “My ambitions are to continue enjoying my training and racing and to continue working as hard as I can with my coach to improve as much as possible. 

“I think I can improve everything I do as an athlete. I hope I can keep improving. I’d love to earn the opportunity to represent England and Great Britain and will work as hard as I possibly can to achieve that.”