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.
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:
Meet the club committee members:
Rich Coles - Club Chair
Since joining GVH in 2007 my running has been transformed thanks to the support, training structure and camaraderie the club offers. I’ve gone from running a half marathon in over 2 hours to 1:17 and a marathon in 3:37 to 2:45. I am constantly working to improve my times, motivated by the great spirit of fellow club members. I’m constantly amazed by the range and number of events people take part in at all levels, the improvements achieved and the support across the club, so it’s always great to welcome new members.
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!
Hamish Shaw - Men's Captain
I joined GVH in 2017 and soon realised what a great, fun and enjoyable club it is! I love training and racing with the club as there is a great sense of camaraderie. I know that the knowledge, skills and friendliness I possess allow me to fulfil the role of mens captain. My own personal aims are to improve my PBs whilst having fun and keeping fit! Drop me an email if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to help. I am also a keen triathlete along with many of our club members so do feel free to quiz me on triathlon too!
Angeline Cottrill - Women's Captain
I joined GVH in 2014. Having 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 most recently completed several triathlons. I absolutely love seeing our runners make improvements and hearing of their achievements. 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.
Helen Cook - Club 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.
Simon Wallis - Communications
I joined GVH in 2013 as I enjoyed running but wanted to bring my fitness up a gear and I’ve always enjoyed exercising in groups. Training with the club helped me to a 1:28 half marathon and 3:17 marathon in 2014, and a 1:27 half and 3:07 marathon in 2018, after a few years of very little racing in between. Although I had to do a lot of the training for the latter solo, because of the marathon being out of season, I always felt the support of club members when I did manage to join in on club nights and long weekend runs, and on social media. So, I felt I wanted to give something back to the club and offered to become Communications Officer. I love finding out about members’ races and event, and writing about them for everyone else to enjoy. I have also relished taking on the social media feeds and raising the clubs profile.
Helen Heathcote - Social Secretary
I joined GVH in 2014. I’d been running for 10 years but wanted to improve and meet likeminded people. In 2016 I signed up for my first marathon (Brighton) and really enjoyed the very structured and fun programme to get me over the finish line. Since then I’ve completed 9 marathons in 6 countries! Combining travel and running is a great passion of mine. The social side of the club has always been important to me so being Social Secretary allows me to give something back to the club. I also took on the Marathon training run coordinator role in 2019.
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!
Leaders and 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.
Ed is a a qualified Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF)
Gemma Bitaraf - 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.
Gemma is a a qualified Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF)
Leaders in Running Fitness (LiRFs)
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.
Naomi is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
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.
Peter is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
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!
Phil is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
I took up running not only to get fitter but also to enlarge my social cycle. It’s the camaraderie that keeps me going
Simon is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
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.
Jo is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
I joined GVH in 2014. Having run my first 10k, I wanted to improve and learn how to train properly. Since then I have run 4 marathons (never thought I’d even run one!), many half marathons, 10ks and parkruns. I absolutely love seeing our runners make improvements and hearing of their achievements. I’m very proud to be part of such a supportive, passionate team.
Angeline is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
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.
Paula is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
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.
Robert is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
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.
Sian is a a qualified Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)
Additional Club Roles
Helen Terry - Club Handicap leader
Helen Heathcote - Marathon Training Run Event director
Guy Woollett - Chief Marathon Training Run course marker
Vacant - Club League co-ordinator
Vacant - Facilities and Equipment manager
Vacant - Website manager
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 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 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 ring 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
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 club constitution, please click the link below. This will open the document in a new window.