Access to our Members only page
As a club member, you get access to the Members only area of our website, so that you can stay informed about our activities.
The Members page on this website should be your first point of contact to find details of training nights, time trials, up and coming virtual and in-person races, race results, copies of our newsletters, our shop to buy kit, contact information, and any other happenings within the club.
The access is password protected and it is updated once a year. Our Membership Secretary will provide you with the current password.
Club calendar of activities
We keep a calendar of all our club activities, including training sessions, championship and league races, and social events organised by the club.
We have listed events up to 12 months in advance, so that you can plan your participation. Check back often, as there are new events being added regularly.
The link to the calendar is here!
When and where does training take place?
The Club hosts training nights every Monday and Wednesday evening led by our own coaches and captains. During the winter, there are indoor and outdoor sessions. The indoor sessions are held at the Thirsk School and Sixth Form College, Topcliffe Rd, Sowerby, Thirsk YO7 1RZ. The outdoor sessions are held at the Sowerby Sports Village (a.k.a. The Gateway) on Gravel Hole Lane, YO7 1PB.
The rest of the year, the training sessions are all held outside, at the Sowerby Sports Village. Sometimes training and time trials are held in other local locations, but these are always announced in advance, and can be found on the calendar.
Throughout the year we organise several social events. You will find them announced in our newsletter and in the calendar.
As part of the registration process, you will have been added to the distribution list for our newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time, by browsing to the bottom of the newsletter email and selecting the appropriate option.
You can also browse our newsletters on the Members page by clicking here.
As a Club member you have a number of opportunities to test and improve your running skills.
Our Club Championship is a series of local affiliated races and virtual races throughout the year.
Your membership often allows you a discounted price to sign up to the in-person affiliated races. Virtual races are free. The races are chosen through a membership vote each year.
Visit our Championships page for more details.
Club Kit and discounts
In order to earn points in Club Championship races, you must wear a Club vest or t-shirt. You can buy branded Club kit, including vests, t-shirts, and hoodies, by visiting our online shop.
Discounts on other running gear are offered in-person at Let's Run (Great Ayton) and online at sportsshoes.com. More information is found on our Members page.
Monthly Time Trials
Time Trials and Handicaps are monthly 2-mile runs, held in a variety of local locations. To qualify for the Easter, Summer, or Christmas handicap, you must run at least two of these per quarter. All qualifying runners get a prize for participation. Even if you don’t run enough time trials to qualify, these are great ways to track your running progress.
Members regularly participate in the North Yorkshire South Durham Harrier League (NYSD) Cross Country, HDSRL, and the Dave Parry/Lets Run Fell Race Series (see Esk Valley Fell Club Facebook page for details).
League races are listed in our Club calendar regularly.
Social running opportunities
There are quite a few informal running opportunities where you can meet other Club members and improve your running skills. They are not supported by the Club nor do they form part of the Club activities.
Tuesday Social Running
Runs take place in and around Thirsk, on Tuesday evenings. Contact Trish Radford, trishr16 [at] gmail.com for more information.
Friday Hill Reps
Reps take place in South Kilvington. Contact Duncan Fothergill, Tel 07981 783064 for more information.
Kilburn Fell Club (KFC)
Longer fell runs take place around the local area, from Roseberry Topping to Kilburn. Good running condition is required, and car sharing is encouraged. Contact Fran Jeffery, Tel 07840 695 216 for more information.
parkrun Tourist Group
For all parkrun regulars, connect with others to share travel to parkruns. Contact Rosie Gatenby, Tel 07949 512 545 for more information.
Keep In Touch
Please review our Online Safety and Social Media Policy to learn what we expect from our Members on these platforms.
On Instagram, we are @thirsk_and_sowerby_harriers.
On Strava, you can choose Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers as a Club to see fellow runner’s mileage, the Club leader board, and routes (depending on your privacy settings).
On WhatsApp, there are a variety of groups you can join, depending on your running preferences. These groups are organised outside the Club. Discussion ranges from race announcements to social runs and general chitchat. Contact each of the following with your mobile number to be added to any of the groups.
Contact the Committee Chair to be added to the TaSH Chat (chat about the club and general running) and TaSH Running (chat about up and coming races and social runs). You can also ask at Training nights.
Contact Fran Jeffery at 07840 695216, to be added to the KFC Running (chat primarily about off-road social runs, trail/fell races) and the KFC Chat (general chit chat).
Contact Trish Radford or Chris Wordsworth at trishr16 [at] gmail.com, to be added to the Tuesday Social group (This group typically meets at 6.30pm, Tuesdays, at the Thirsk leisure centre, and usually do around 5 miles, in and around Thirsk).
Contact Rosie Gatenby at 07949 512545 or rosie_gatenby [at] yahoo.co.uk, to be added to the Park Run Tourist group. (This group is for people who enjoy exploring different parkruns).
Part of your membership fee is paid directly to England Athletics, (EA), which is the governing body for athletics in England.
After you complete your membership form and pay your fee, the Membership Secretary will register your details with England Athletics and create a unique registration number (URN) that will be emailed to you.
England Athletics send their Registration Packs via email, and the pack includes your digital membership card. Your URN stays the same each year you renew your Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers membership. England Athletics states the pack is sent out within 48 hours, but sometimes it takes longer.
Your next step is to set up an account on the England Athletics website. The first time you sign in, click on the My Athletic Portal button, fill in your URN number, and then click on “Forgot Password”. The EA website will send a password to your registered email and you can finish the set-up of your account. You can manage your details within your Athletic Portal.
Your EA membership gives you a host of benefits including discounted entry to many races. Click here for a list of all of the benefits.
Take some time to explore the EA website. Not only does it keep a record of all of the affiliated races and parkruns that you have completed, it offers support on many other topics including: mental health, safeguarding, coaching and leadership qualifications, webinar programmes, and more.
Definition of First and Second Claim
When you join a running club, providing it is your only club, that is your first claim club. If you subsequently join another club, that will be your second claim club. You can race as an individual in open races for any club you are a member of. However, for league and championship races and to count as part of a scoring team, you have to compete for your first claim club, unless it is not affiliated to UKA for that discipline, or is not participating in that league. This system is primarily designed to stop elite athletes swapping from club to club regularly.
Our head coach, and Yorkshire legend, Rob, has been with the Harriers for over 40 years and has been running even longer.
He has participated in running events on all seven continents. He won the National Four Peaks team race. He was also awarded a Bronze medal at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in Ireland. And another Bronze medal in Australia in the cross-country discipline.
It is also about helping the less fortunate, so he raised funds several times for the third Cancer Unit at the Manchester Hospital. He is very proud of this very worthy cause.
Rob oversees our training activities and trial events when he is not carrying out training sessions himself. You may also find him out on the moors hitting the trails.
Yorkshire lad, and former Endurance Leader in the British Army, Andy trained to become a Coach in Running Fitness in 2015.
With a fantastic sense of humour and running knowledge, Andy loves to inspire beginners and novices looking for improvement on their running skills.
When he's not coaching you're likely to see Andy up on Sutton Bank with his energetic young Spaniel, Henry, trotting ahead.
South African born Bronwyn moved up North and joined the Harriers in early 2021 after spending 17 years in London and Surrey. With her warm smile, friendly approach and calm manner, Bronwyn is an extremely popular coach.
Running has played a huge part in her life since growing up in South Africa. At school, she took part in athletics and cross country, often bare-footed, and found that she was rather good at it. And so she carried on going and going.Her childhood dream was to one day take part in the Comrades Marathon, a 56 mile ultra-marathon which takes place between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Many Comrades' days were spent either ‘braaing’ on the side of the road and cheering runners on, or sat on the couch watching the TV footage all day long. One way or another, this race gets under your skin.
Fast forward to now, and Bronwyn has successfully completed the Comrades Marathon, within the 12 hour cut off three times. She has taken part in many other marathons and ultra-marathons both locally and abroad. A big fan of parkrun, Bronwyn is already well over her 250th.
Leader in Running Fitness
Duncan has been a Harriers member for 8 years now. He fell soon in love with the club (and it’s members) and was made men’s captain at the very beginning.
His contagious enthusiasm and eagerness to make things happen resulted also in him being elected as Club Chair.
Leader in Running Fitness
Helen has been running for over 16 years now. It all started with the 5k Race for Life 5k with some friends.
She is a keen fell runner who has represented GB in the World Masters Championships in Italy and Ireland.
She has started coaching club sessions and has been focusing on strength and conditioning workouts.
Jody has over 9 years experience as a Coach in Running Fitness.
He focuses currently on core and circuits workouts and enjoys road running.
Lorraine has been a member of the Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers since the 00’s. After being challenged by her brother to run her first 10k in Lincoln she’d caught the running bug so joined TaSH. The Harriers have certainly helped her to keep running!
She qualified as a Leader in Running Fitness in 2022 and completed her Coaching qualification in 2023. She is keen to help and encourage other runners through coaching whatever their goals are.
Lorraine likes running off road and you might see her running behind her running buddy Border Collie or fellow Harriers around Thirsk or up on the hills.
Leader in Running Fitness
Nigel joined Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers to keep fit in the early 1990s, after having played football, cricket and squash.
With the help of coaches and other members he was encouraged to enter monthly time trials, handicaps and many local races, eventually running all distances up to marathon.
In 2014 Nigel undertook a Running in Leadership course and now you’ll see him supporting the coaches by blowing a whistle, taking warm ups and encouraging other runners.
Liv has been running for over 10 years. In 2018 she won the North Yorkshire senior ladies cross-country league. She is passionate about sharing her love of running with others through coaching - bringing a fun energy to her sessions.
"I try not to complicate running but rather, take it back to basics. I like to focus on building good fitness, good form, good recovery and keeping it fun. A hard session will feel tough, but it's important we enjoy it too.”
She is also an accomplished writer and poet, who balances her love for running and words.
Sonja van der Westhuizen
Sonja is a Chartered Physiotherapist, Level 2 UK coach and lifelong member of Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.
"My running career started at a very young age as a hurdler and I later became involved with longer distance running and developed my coaching skills whilst representing my University and county alongside my full-time physiotherapy career.
Physiotherapy and Pilates gave me the sound foundation to make sure that each coaching session focused on good form and quality of movement.
My aim with coaching is to educate and equip each athlete with this knowledge and the understanding of how to maintain and follow a balanced training program and to incorporate this into their love of running."
Leader in Running Fitness
Having represented his county at rugby and triple jump in youth, Tom came to running in his 20s after a drunken bet with a friend. He lost the bet (by about 20 minutes over a half marathon...) but still won a love for running.
Since then, he's run races from 5k to over 100 miles, on road, trail and fell.
Tom enjoys being a run leader and especially helping people newer to running to develop a love for it. And he's always happy to chat about any aspect of the club, training, racing or anything else. You'll usually find him at the Wednesday night outdoor training sessions.
Level 2 Triathlon Coach, Qualified Personal Trainer and Sports Therapist
"I was born in Zimbabwe but moved permanently to the UK way back in 1978. I have lived in London, Surrey & Edinburgh until finally in 2000 I moved to Thirsk.
In 1992 I achieved 2:30:52 in the London Marathon (finishing in 162nd place out of over 24000 finishers) on my second attempt at the distance. In 1996 I qualified to represent GB in my Age Group in the World Triathlon Championships in the USA.I finished 22nd (4th for GB team of 15) out of over 70 competitors. Since then I have represented GB in both World and European Duathlon Championships 4 times.
My dream is to qualify in the World Triathlon Champs in my present Age Group (60-64) to prove that 30 years on I can still compete at this level."