Club committees

The club has two committees. The main committee meets roughly every 6-8 weeks and ensures the club is meeting the needs of its membership. The race committee takes the lead on running GCR’s main events and decides whether the club will subsidise entries into particular races or events. Visit our Contact page to get in touch.


Main committee


Jane Molloy – Chair

Jane joined the club in January 2013 having secured a place in the London Marathon and realising it might need more than a couple of miles running round the block to prepare. She helps out with leading beginners-plus groups and is one of the GCR newsletter editors.
Her favourite race distance is 10 miles and her specific favourite race is the Tissington Trail half marathon, with its gentle downhill incline from start to finish!

Louise Smith – Vice Chair

Louise is a late comer to running, only starting when she ran the London Marathon to raise money for charity on her 50th birthday. She is now a convert to the social and health benefits of running and is a parkrun ambassador for the area and a Run Leader with GCR.
Louise’s favourite running distance is a 5-6 mile GCR training run in the countryside with good company and her best loved race has to be Panshanger parkrun in Hertford on a sunny and windy morning. The person that Louise would most like to run with would be Eddie Izzard, because she says ‘what a legend, about my running pace, he would keep me laughing and we can compare nail colours’.

photo of Sue Fletcher

Sue Fletcher – Membership Secretary for GCR and EA

Sue’s favourite distance was 10 miles but her knees don’t allow that now! She feels lucky to do 5k. Her most loved race was the Marathon du Medoc – where else would you have wine stops every kilometre and oysters at 40k? Sue doesn’t have a favourite running partner as she has always preferred to race alone (ok Sue, we get the hint).

photo of david hale

David Hale – Treasurer

David joined the committee in 2022 primarily to help out with Website maintenance and to get more involved with the club. He has been running since about 2015 and first joined GCR in 2017.
David tries to do a group run each week (usually 9k) and enter some Avery events. He also runs a lot with his dog Albie, does a bit of park running and half marathon events around the country. My running ambition is to break 25mins for 5k.

Photo of Sean Bowen

Sean Bowen – Secretary and Performance Director

Sean loves all distances, from a mile time trial to a marathon. He’s particularly fond of the Round Norfolk Relay (who isn’t!). His favourite running partner is Barry Osbourne who used to run for us but has since defected to Fairland Valley Spartans.

When it comes to being the best you can be, Sean says: “to get the most out of your training, you have to be regular, sensible and stubborn. Don’t fit your training in around your lifestyle, fit your lifestyle in around your training!”

He represents GCR at the quarterly meetings of the Herts AAA Road Running Subcommittee, and at the AGMs of the Midweek League and Sunday Cross Country League.

Sid Valentine – Run Leader Co-ordinator

Sid has been a member of GCR since June 2021.  He enjoys running with others as he is a social runner so being part of GCR is a great privilege

Photo of James Huish

James Huish – Joint Men’s Team Captain

James started out with his running journey by training for a charity 10K in 2014. Since joining GCR in 2017, James owes it to the club for enabling him run longer and faster, train better, more frequently and relishes the social benefits of club running.
James loves the simplicity and accessibility of the 5K distance…but isn’t disciplined enough to take a parkrun ‘easy’. James is now Men’s co-captain with his friend and equally matched (at time of writing) running nemesis, Tom.

Hannah Ahmet – Women’s Team Captain

Rebecca Barden – Women’s Vice Captain / Performance

Rebecca took up running in 2007 when her youngest daughter was a baby, training with former GCR coach Mandy Livingstone. She was encouraged by Mandy to enter her first race, an 8K in Windsor, and went on to try out race distances up to a half marathon, before being inspired by a friend to run her first marathon, London in 2012, to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. She has gone on to complete 15 marathons including New York, Berlin, Stockholm and Edinburgh.

When not training for or running races, Rebecca is often to be found out discovering new routes through the Hertfordshire countryside, although despite the aid of her OS maps and app, she retains her skill at getting lost.  With Steve E-E, Rebecca ran the entire length of the Hertfordshire Way in stages during 2021-22, and the dynamic duo are currently midway through a Herts Chain Walk challenge. 

Rebecca’s favourite thing about being a GCR is the friendships she’s made through the club and our tremendous team spirt. As Women’s Vice Captain, Rebecca supports Hannah Ahmet in encouraging the women’s team.


photo of Markus Allen

Markus Allen – Welfare Officer

Markus loves to race and tries to complete in as many of the Mid Week League and Sunday League Cross Country races as possible.
We are unable to track back to when he first became a member but his family had a family membership in the early 90’s. His first race for the club might have been a triathlon, where Garden City was challenged by another local running club.
As one of the welfare officers he is available to listen to any concerns you have.

Charlotte Jones – Technology Support

Charlotte joined GCR in 2014 after getting spotted out running by Eleanor and invited to join her group on their run.  She realised she loved running in a group of like minded people and  has run with the club ever since. 
She is very much a “back of the pack” runner but loves a race (and a medal) and believes running is great fun for everyone whatever their pace.
She leads and helps support the ‘Couch to 5k’ Beginners group and her proudest running achievement was running a marathon a month through 2020 (mostly virtual) including a ‘backyard’ marathon of about 900 loops of her garden 

Sally Laflin – Volunteer Co-ordination

Sophie Packman – Social Secretary

Sophie’s first passion growing up was swimming.  As soon as Sophie was old enough to learn she didn’t want to leave the water.  She loved trampolining and gymnastics and then tried springboard diving.  Sophie’s claim to fame was winning gold on the 3-metre diving board, at an international diving competition in the Hague.  Sophie carried on with the swimming and gym right up until lockdown.  Sophie started running by accident about 15 years ago!  She felt sorry for a friend who had been signed up to do a half marathon by a family member but the family member failed to say they were running it too! So, Sophie entered and trained on the treadmill (she had no idea and she had no intention to get cold or wet! Lol).  It was the Nike ‘Run To The Beat’, in London.  Really nice day, music at every mile.  My legs went halfway around, and then she hobbled to the finish.  Got over the finish line and thought well, “If I can do a half then I can do a whole marathon!” Little did she know!

Sophie originally preferred volunteering for the club and running solo (when the time suited). It was actually Sophie’s neighbour who pushed her in the right direction and to run properly with the club and now she joins in all club races and organises the club social events.  Running has helped Sophie through some difficult times in her life and she has not looked back.  Sophie says she has made some great friends and everyone is so welcoming and kind.  “It’s more like a family to be honest.” 

Chris Poole – Performance

Race committee

Hannah Ahmet – Women’s Team Captain

Photo of James Huish

James Huish – Joint Men’s Team Captain

James started out with his running journey by training for a charity 10K in 2014. Since joining GCR in 2017, James owes it to the club for enabling him run longer and faster, train better, more frequently and relishes the social benefits of club running. James loves the simplicity and accessibility of the 5K distance…but isn’t disciplined enough to take a Parkrun ‘easy’. James is now Men’s co-captain with his friend and equally matched (at time of writing) running nemesis, Tom.

Photo of Tom Wackett

Tom Wackett – Joint Men’s Team Captain

Tom is the joint mens captain with James Huish. Tom sits on main and race committees. He is most suited to 5-10k events although loves racing all distances. He hopes to encourage attendance and participation in club events, whilst improving the clubs standing in competitions. His favourite races are in the Sunday XC and MWL. This is due to the competitive and friendly spirit displayed between all club runners at the events.

Photo of Richard Darley

Richard Darley – Men’s Team Vice-Captain

Richard is men’s vice-captain. He joined GCR in 2014 after realising running on a treadmill at the gym is the dullest thing ever and now runs at any event that has a decent medal and an XXL t-shirt. Running highlight is taking part in the 2019 London Marathon where he managed to overtake that geezer off Eastenders.

Photo of Peter Harvey

Peter Harvey

Peter is the Race Director of the MWRRL Mob Match, long time Race Director’s Assistant for the Welwyn 10k and 5k Series, Festive 5 helper and in the past RD for the New Garden City 10 miler. He compiles marshal’s instruction documents, keeps race supplies stocked up and buys trophies for many events. He is an ultra runner/cyclist and triathlete with a claim to fame as Britain’s most prolific teenage long distance runner of the 1980s running marathons since aged 13. He writes about running and has most of his work published in America.

Eleanor Draper

Eleanor has been a member of Garden City Runners for 30 years, alongside her husband Dennis. Together they have each run over 200 marathons and have also been involved in many of the club’s committees. In Eleanor’s own words ‘the club has a friendly and helpful atmosphere, and we really enjoy the social side to the club, as much as we love the running! Since joining the club we have been able to enjoy many years of running as well as making many amazing friends and having the opportunity to participate at runs in so many locations. One of the main things we have taken from our time at the club is that you are never to old to start running, as we did not join until our 50’s and have loved every minute since!’

Sarah Halliday

Sarah has been a member of GCR since 2004 and has recently joined the race committee. She enjoys running for lots of different reasons including the social aspects, increased fitness, satisfaction in overcoming challenges and the chance to get really muddy. Her favourite race is usually the most recent one she’s done, but she especially enjoys off-road races with interesting scenery.