Roni Kohring makes rapid progress
A 10-year-old runner from Shrewsbury is leaving opponents in her wake as she charges to both regional and national glory.
Roni Kohring cruised to a silver medal at the midlands regional cross-country championships at Bedstone College beating more than 80 athletes, before winning another silver at the nationals last weekend at Worksop College narrowly missing out on gold.
She came second by the barest of margins, in a photo finish.
The youngster's running success is made all the more impressive when you consider the majority of the people she is competing against are a year older than her.
She previously ran for Oswestry Olympians, but now Roni is a member of Shrewsbury Athletics Club, and Vici Blenkharn, Roni's mother, is immensely proud of her daughter, considering she has not been running for that long.
She said: "She has been running for about two years, she is quite a talent she did the same race last year and came fourth, it was at that point when we realised she was very good considering she had not had any proper training she had just been running with the family.
"She does a couple of track nights a week, and she does Park Runs most weekends, she is doing really well. We think at the moment she may be the fastest 10-year-old in the country and maybe the top year five in the country too.
"She has two full rest days a week, so five days out of seven she is doing something. Whether it is a track session with her athletics club or a junior park run. And she swims one day a week as well. We do not want to push too hard - it would be nice to increase her mileage gradually."
Last month she got a personal best 5k time too at Telford Park Run – completing it in 19 minutes and 45 seconds which would have seen her beat the majority of fully grown men.
And according to her mum running has always been in the family.
She continued: "When I was about her age I started running myself, I was more of an 800m to 1500m runner, it is definitely in the family. We are so proud of her.
"She has a national race at the end of March, which is specific for her age group - there will be around 200 girls there from across the country and we are hoping she is going to win."