Inspiring, Achieving, Inclusive, Supportive

“We aim to support, encourage & inspire our members on their own running journey regardless of ability or experience, by providing a friendly and inclusive environment.”

Gade Valley Harriers was founded in March 1991 and is a club organised by runners for runners. We like to think of it as a group of friends all sharing a common interest.

A Strengthening Community

Today we have a strong base of good quality runners and in recent times we have won team events ranging from the Herts Vets Cross Country Championships (2018), Herberts Hole first male team (2018), and previously the Berkhamsted Half Marathon on the road to the South Downs Marathon Relay over testing cross country routes.

We currently have around 170 members and we welcome adult runners of all abilities. There is a group to run with no matter what level you may be – from a beginner to someone who has run many marathons in your running career. There are many seasoned runners at the club so you won’t be short of someone to talk to no matter what level you are at.

We don’t currently have a juniors section, but we’re working on that!

 

We compete every year in the Chiltern League cross country series, many local road and off-road events and we also organise running trips away. There is a strong affinity to longer distance running within the club and off-road training in the summer months, though many of us also race over shorter distances such as the 5K and 10K.

The one thing that has always remained constant over the years at GVH is the friendliness of the club and the bond among its members. We pride ourselves on being one of the friendliest clubs around and you will always find someone to train with and swap stories and advice.

It’s not just about the running…

We have an active social side to the club, ranging from race weekends to club organised events and anything in between! And for post-run refreshments you will often find a group from GVH across the road in the conveniently located Steamcoach pub.

Our location means that we have easy access to off-road and quiet country lane running routes. We meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.45pm every week.

nb.  Due to current restrictions we are only holding Tuesday night organised Club sessions. If you wish to discuss this or joining us please email our coaches Ed and Gemma and they will be happy to discuss current plans and coached sessions:

coach@gadevalleyharriers.co.uk 

We are also well known in the running Community for our extremely popular Marathon Training Runs in January, February and March, which regularly attract in excess of 500 people from far and wide.

At the start line of our 2019 Pub Run

Thinking of joining us?

We are always looking for new members to join our community. We have a wide range of races, training sessions and social events to participate in.

Should you have any questions before joining, please check out our FAQs section

Finally, if you’re ready to join us, please fill out a membership form by clicking the button below:

Who’s Who

Core committee members:

Andy Cook - Chair

I joined the club in 2014, when training for my first marathon and since then have enjoyed racing a wide range of distances with our club. On Saturday’s I can generally be found running with GVH club friends at a local Parkrun.
I enjoy experimenting with new training ideas and running gear, always looking for new tricks and tips to help my V50 results. Most of all I think running should be fun and that’s why I love Gade Valley Harriers – who put enjoyment at the heart of running.

Angeline Cottrill - Women's Captain

I joined GVH in 2014. After being persuaded by a friend to run my first 10k, I wanted to improve and learn how to train properly. The first thing I felt was the amazing camaraderie amongst the team. Since then I have run 4 marathons (never thought I’d even run one!), many half marathons, 10ks, parkruns, cross-country and completed several triathlons. I am a qualified England Athletics Coaching Assistant and have a Level 2 safeguarding qualification.  I am immensely proud to be part of a team of amazing women who inspire each other to reach their full potential. Seeing them train well and then go on to smash their personal bests is immensely satisfying. The social side of our club is equally fantastic and I’m very proud to be part of such a supportive, passionate team.

Ross Deacon - Men's Captain

I joined Gade Valley Harriers in January 2017 after meeting another member, Angeline, whilst out running, I had already made a new years resolution to improve my running and joining the club certainly fulfilled that. I ran my first race in the September of that year, the Maidenhead Half Marathon finishing in a time of 1:48:02, I found it tough after 10 miles and had to walk for a while but I didn’t let that put me off. My race times consistently dropped over the next year and I went on to win the GVH Club League in 2018 just after running my first Marathon. 2019 brought a whole host of new PBs including 5k, 10k, a 1:28 Half Marathon and a 3:15 Marathon, this year also saw me participate in the London Marathon and the London Ride 100. I believe none of this would have happened if I hadn’t joined the club and I wouldn’t have made so many great friends along the way.

Helen Cook - Secretary

I joined GVH after completing their first “Learn to Run” course in 2015, since then my running has gone from strength to strength with the support of the club. I ran my first marathon in 2018 after saying “No I don’t think I will ever run a marathon” I am now thinking of my next one! I am very pleased to be able to give back to the club in my role as secretary.

Steve Newing - Treasurer

I have been with GVH since 2007 and in that time have run multiple marathons and various other road and cross country events. Since joining I have seen our training programmes go from strength to strength and this has helped me improve as a runner and achieve PBs that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the club. I have been Treasurer now since 2013 and enjoy giving something back to the club!

Extended committee members:

Maria Kenny - Kit Manager

I joined GVH in 2015. I had always been a runner but my training lacked structure. My running has since been transformed thanks to the support and encouragement of the coaches and fellow team members in this incredible club. I recently completed my 6th marathon and regularly compete in league road races of all distances. I love being a part of the club committee as Kit Manager. As the club grows and expands, so does the range of branded clothing and accessories. I am always open to suggestions so fire away and I will investigate any exciting new ideas!

James Birnie - Communications

I started running by accident in 2014 when I drunkenly agreed to take part in a 10k race in support of my cricket club. After unexpectedly enjoying that experience, and a couple of half marathons later that year, I joined GVH at the start of 2015. Joining the club made me a lot fitter and I’ve now completed 5 marathons, including 3 London Marathons, and amazingly discovered that I actually love cross country races, who knew?

Now I enjoy writing about what the other members of the club have done at the weekends. It is great to follow how well everybody is doing. The key to enjoyment is not necessarily being the quickest in the club, but being the best you can be yourself on that day and at whatever time of your life you are at.

 

 

Helen Heathcote - Club League and Results Manager

I  joined GVH in 2014 to gain more structure to my running and haven’t looked back.   The club helped me to my first marathon in 2016 at Brighton.  I now mix my love of travel and running and have completed 10 marathons in 8 countries.  I also enjoy being a core volunteer at Gadebridge parkrun. 

I have loved giving something back to the club and after being Social Secretary I am now the Club League and Results Manager.  I was lucky enough to win the league in 2018-2019 so have a passion for the format.  It is great seeing all the races the club members enter and the friendly rivalry within the club league events. 

Mary McCluskey - Social Secretary

I joined the club back in 2017. I had been running for a couple of years previously and had just completed my first half marathon. Over those two years, I had considered joining a running club but was convinced I would be too slow. However, I gritted my teeth and came along to a Tuesday rep session. As I suspected, I found it challenging at first, often feeling a bit panicky about who I would run with, but I kept attending and the results were phenomenal. I had never realised the impact that running with others would have, and over the past two years, I have seen my speed increase and my endurance improve. In April, I completed my first marathon (something I never dreamed I would do) and hit my target of sub 5 hours due to the overwhelming support and advice of my club members. My highlight of 2019 was receiving the most improved female award and winning the club handicap. Two years previously, I never would have dreamed that these achievements were possible. From the moment I joined the club, I was always made welcome so got involved in the social side of GVH quickly. As social secretary, my aim is to ensure people feel just as welcome when they join as I was made to feel. I am always open to new ideas for social events so feel free to get in contact or catch me at the club on a Tuesday or Thursday.

Andy Newing - Website Manager

I have been a member of GVH since April 1991 just after it formed. I’ve run many events over the years both road (from 5K up to Marathon) and Cross Country events. I have a marathon PB of 3hrs 35mins and a 5K PB of 19mins 47secs. I’ve also run 80 Chiltern League cross country fixtures and many other challenging off-road events.
I obviously have a great fondness for the Club and it’s ethos and background, which led me to serve as Men’s Captain for 5 years and Chairman for a further 5 years.

One of the roles I also undertook was maintaining the website and member database so following a year’s break from Committee roles I was very pleased to help out again with this new role and great new website.

Phil Mercer - Facilities and Equipment Manager

Leaders and Coaches

Head Coaches

Edward Price - Head Coach (CiRF)

Back in 2008 I joined Gade Valley Harriers as a slightly overweight middle aged man, who’d done a bit of running as a boy and now wanted to take it seriously again. The club gave me just the boost I needed and I soon started enjoying racing in club colours, taking on cross country fixtures, 10ks, half marathon and ultimately marathons. I loved the training environment and the esprit de corps of the changing room and so soon realised I wanted to give back to the club and take a more active part in it. So in 2013 I started to train as a Coach and since then have been responsible for the torture inflicted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Always looking for new challenges, I designed our popular Learn to Run course, our annual Sports Day and also got the club’s competitive juices flowing by starting the Club League. I like nothing more to see runners getting PBs and achieving their goals and I am very proud to be a part of GVH.

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Ed is a a qualified Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF)

 

Gemma Felstead - Head Coach (CiRF)

I joined GVH in 2012 and gained my Level 2 Coach in Running Fitness Qualification in 2017. I have always been proud to be part of the GVH ‘family’ and enjoy coaching members of all abilities from beginners to competitive runners. I ran London Marathon in 2015 in 3:19 and now love to share my experiences with others to help them improve and grow. Often seen on my bike or in the water, I also helps club members with their triathlon training, particularly during the summer months.

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Gemma is a a qualified Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF)

Leaders in Running Fitness (LiRFs) / EA Coaching Assistants

Naomi Iles

When I was a student living in Bath I started running as a means of exploring the area. I started on a small section of old railway line behind my house, and before long I was travelling to the surrounding villages, hills, rivers and beyond. I love the routine of running regularly and being able to completely switch off from everything else. I also love getting home afterwards and having a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

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Naomi is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Peter Tucker

I started running as a beginner about 12 years ago and have not looked back. I really enjoy the sociability of the club and a great group of friendly runners.

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Peter is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Phil Robbins

My reasons for running have evolved over the years. I really enjoy encouraging others to explore their environment and undertake their own personal adventures. I can often by found running off-road and my goal is to can the fastest marathon I possibly can before – everything starts going south!

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Phil is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Simon Wallis

I took up running not only to get fitter but also to enlarge my social cycle. It’s the camaraderie that keeps me going

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Simon is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Jo Kidd

I started running in 2009 as I wanted to lose weight as I was getting married. I quickly got hooked on running and joined GVH in 2012. I’ve now taken part in 8 marathons and could not have done it without GVH. I have made some great friends here and running is still one of my favourite things.

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Jo is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Angeline Cottrill

 

I joined GVH in 2014. After being persuaded by a friend to run my first 10k, I wanted to improve and learn how to train properly. The first thing I felt was the amazing camaraderie amongst the team. Since then I have run 4 marathons (never thought I’d even run one!), many half marathons, 10ks, parkruns, cross-country and completed several triathlons. I am a qualified England Athletics Coaching Assistant and have a Level 2 safeguarding qualification.  I am immensely proud to be part of a team of amazing women who inspire each other to reach their full potential. Seeing them train well and then go on to smash their personal bests is immensely satisfying. The social side of our club is equally fantastic and I’m very proud to be part of such a supportive, passionate team.

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Angeline is a a qualified England Athletics Coaching Assistant

Simon Geary

 

 

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Simon is a a qualified England Athletics Coaching Assistant

Paula Cook

I started running to keep fit and joined GVH in November 2003. I love how good running makes you feel, the freedom to go almost any day and the training & camaraderie with my GVH friends.

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Paula is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Robert Bowler

As an office worker getting outside and feeling free is fantastic. It is wonderful to explore the local countryside and feel the stress ebb away. Running is a great time to think too.

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Robert is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Sian Shaw

I took up running initially back in 2013 to lose weight as I couldn’t afford to go to the gym or swimming pool. I then joined GVH in 2015 as I wanted to feel part of a group and meet people. My main focus now is triathlon but running is still my weakness and I find running with stronger runners has made me a better athlete.

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Sian is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Additional Club Roles

Helen Heathcote - Marathon Training Run Event Director

I joined GVH in 2014 to gain more structure to my running and haven’t looked back.   The club helped me to my first marathon in 2016 at Brighton.  I now mix my love of travel and running and have completed 10 marathons in 8 countries.  I also enjoy being a core volunteer at Gadebridge parkrun. 

I have loved giving something back to the club and after being Social Secretary I am now the Club League and Results Manager.  I was lucky enough to win the league in 2018-2019 so have a passion for the format.  It is great seeing all the races the club members enter and the friendly rivalry within the club league events. 

Guy Woollett - Chief Marathon Training Run course marker
Helen Terry - Club Handicap Leader

Lifetime members

Paul Mosley

Paul (otherwise known as ‘Mo’) was Gade Valley Harriers chairman between 2002-2013.  He joined the club in 1993 and served as kit manager and press and comms officer before taking over as chair in 2002.  He continues to be an integral part of the club and also goes under the name of ‘Shouty-man’ as he’s one of the club’s most vociferous supporters and can be seen flying the flag for GVH at the Cutty Sark every year at the London Marathon.

Paul was awarded lifetime membership in 2014 for services to the club following stepping down as Chairman

 

Helen Terry

Helen joined the club in 1993 as part of the junior training section that we originally had. She served on the committee for 10 years, during which time she was Kit Manager where she helped develop and widen the GVH kit range, and she also took on the critical role of Chief Marshal Co-ordinator for the Marathon Training Runs , which required an enormous amount of effort and persistence to recruit up to 50 marshals for the training runs. She continues to manage the club handicap runs, which she did while on the committee.

 Helen was awarded lifetime membership in 2018 for services to the club following stepping down from the committee

Andy Newing

 Andy was one of the earliest club members, first coming to the club in April 1991,  the month after it was formed.  He served as Men’s Captain from 2007-2010 and again in 2011-2013, before becoming Chair from 2013-2018.  Over the years he has been instrumental in recording the results of club members, which date back to 2000 and was the key driver to bring GVH into the digital age, moving us to an online membership database and setting up our first website.  He is a source of knowledge of all things GVH, as well as being an ardent ‘Baggies’ supporter. 

Andy was awarded lifetime membership in 2018 for services to the club following stepping down as Chairman

Club Constitution

We take the operation and management of a community based organisation seriously. As such we are completely transparent with our members when it comes to how your club operates.

To access and read the current club constitution or the minutes from the previous year’s AGM, please click the link below. This will open the documents in new windows.