Mercedes-Benz of Shrewsbury 10K runners to receive medal designed by Shrewsbury School pupil Will

Hundreds of runners who complete Shrewsbury’s 10K challenge will receive a stunning bespoke medal designed by a pupil at Shrewsbury School to mark its inclusion in the annual event.

Sixth former Will Cowper, 17, masterminded the winning design which was inspired by Charles Darwin, a former Shrewsbury School pupil, and his theory of evolution.

Organisers of the popular Mercedes-Benz of Shrewsbury 10K invited students to create a medal in recognition of Shrewsbury School being included in a new course looping the town.

Everyone who takes part in the event on Sunday March 15 – entry will be limited to 2,300 entries runners – will receive one of the medals.

Simon Macdonald, director of Ultimate Fitness Experience, the event organisers, said: “It’s a very impressive medal and Will has done a great job with its design, so we’re absolutely delighted with it.

“It’s a strong base for our partnership with Shrewsbury School – and the medal signifies the evolution of the race.”

He added: “This will be the fifth year the event has been held. Having Shrewsbury School as part of the new route enables runners to have a better experience. It will be nice for people who perhaps haven’t been on the site before to experience as Shrewsbury School is in the heart of the town and, with its historic buildings to run by, it’s a great addition to the course.

“Entries are going well. We are up to about 900 and there’s still lots of time for people to enter. Over the Christmas period will be a time when numbers will probably jump up.”

Will, from Much Wenlock, is delighted that his design has been chosen for the medal.

“I originally thought about the design as it’s the evolution of the new course,” said Will, a keen runner. “I thought I would include Charles Darwin, a former pupil here, and the theory of evolution, along with the main school building. It’s a good representation of the school.

“I’ll be taking part in the 10K. I’ve been running since I’ve been at the school, so it’s an honour to actually design a medal for something that I’m passionate about.”

Peter Middleton, Deputy Head (co-curricular) at Shrewsbury School, said he was pleased that the Mercedes-Benz of Shrewsbury 10K course will now take in the school grounds.

He said: “It’s an opportunity to open up the campus. I think sometimes a lot of people see it from afar but don’t necessarily get on site, so it’s a great chance to have literally thousands of people probably coming through on what will hopefully be a nice March day.

“It will add some landmarks. They will go past the statue of Charles Darwin and some of the iconic playing fields of Shrewsbury, so it’s a really exciting partnership.”

Involvement with the 10K is a natural progression for Shrewsbury School, which has a long and proud history when it comes to running, as the school’s cross-country club – the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt – is the oldest in the world.

Peter said: “We were invited to Denmark by the International Association of Athletics Federations in March to participate in the World Cross Country Championships

“There is evidence of cross country running taking place at the school as far back as 1819, so 200 years of history was marked and we received an IAAF Heritage award from Lord Coe in recognition of the school’s role in the origins and evolution of the sport.

“Running has a long history here and it continues to be a part of the DNA.”

Pictured: Shrewsbury School pupil Will Cowper, centre, who designed the medal runners taking part in the Mercedes-Benz of Shrewsbury 10K will receive, with, Simon Macdonald, director of event organisers Ultimate Fitness Experience, Peter Middleton, Deputy Head (co-curricular) at Shrewsbury School, and runners from the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt.