Committee Members

Louise Sutherland - Chairperson and Run Leader (LiRF)

Back in 2015 I was inspired by the London Marathon, and after a glass of wine, I decided I wanted to run a marathon - I didn't run at all at this point! I signed up for a half marathon and started running on my own which was tough and I completely over-trained and ended up on the injury bench! I had a bit of a break to let my knees heal, and then found MVR. I'd started fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust due to a family loss, and through them found myself with a place for the London Marathon in 2018. I posted on the facebook page in case anyone fancied a buddy run, and met some wonderful people who are to this day great friends of mine - it's amazing what you share on a 20 mile training run! When I was asked if I'd like to join the commitee, I was more than happy to help, and again I've made more great friends through this. I completed the LirF course in 2019, and have been regularly leading twice a week. This has also helped to improve my own running. I've now completed 27 marathons, including 6 50ks as well as a 50 miler! I'm looking forward to completing the CiRF coaching course to give back to the club and help others achieve goals they never dreamed possible. 

Charlotte Hills - Club Secretary 

My running journey began in April 2004, giving myself a year to train for the 2005 and 25th London Marathon. I myself was 25 when I ran it and hadn’t ever run before apart from the odd cross country which I hated. I was inspired after watching it the previous year and said (probably after a few wines) I am going to do that and raise lots of money for the Princess Alice Hospice where my lovely Grandma spent her final days.

So I joined Epsom Allsorts running club as that’s all that was around then and also trained regularly with a family friend, Graham Leather, who was in his late 60’s and had himself done many marathons. I feel I owe a lot to him and he is the reason I will keep running, especially as he always asks me.

For many years after I kept up running on and off, probably more off though as once I had done the Marathon had no focus really then tad dah along came MVR.  I joined plodders at Polesden Lacey in early 2017 and the rest is history as they say.

I am probably what they say, a sporadic runner, just because life and work get in the way and I will often say I am not enjoying it but I do really. My years so far with MVR have been brilliant and inspiring. I have made some great friends, completed many races including the Royal Parks Half and the Great South Run and ran with Dame Kelly Holmes! And now I have actually made it on the committee, really this is a ploy to stop me from quitting….

Anyway I will stop waffling but all that is left to say is this is a running club like no other, it’s the best and I am very proud to be a part of it and in sharing everyone’s amazing achievements. Even though I have been running for years, I am very slow and steady and will always love the party at the back.

Paula Lakhani - Membership Secretary and Run Leader (LiRF)

I have been running since November 2016 when Debbie first set up MVR - I had never run before but wanted to get fitter and lose some weight.  I enjoyed sport at school but never had a passion for running.  Through Debbie's encouragement and belief in me, I managed to run my first 5k in 6 weeks.  After six months I ran my first 10k and have now run several 10k races,  11 half marathons, and 2 marathons - I never thought this would be achievable when I started out.  Although races are great and the medal at the end is awesome, I struggle with anxiety beforehand.  This has made me cut right back on the races I now enter, but you'll often find me heading up the MVR cheer squad, particularly at the London Marathon and Brighton Marathon.  I love being part of the atmosphere but not having to run it and there's always a hug waiting for an MVR at the end!  My favourite race was running round the Olympic Park with the last 100m in the Olympic Stadium, it was totally overwhelming and emotional!  My favourite running moment has to be when Dame Kelly Holmes visited Mole Valley Runners. It will be a day I’ll never forget. I was her meet and greet buddy and was totally blown away! My oddest run has to be when I ran (crawled) 5k round my dining table during lockdown 1 in April 2020.  It took me 3.5 hours and over 30,000 steps but it will always be a special memory for me.  My biggest achievement has to be running the virtual London Marathon in October 2020.  It has been on my bucket list forever and when the opportunity of doing it came along, there was no question I was going to give it a go.  To do it with my buddy, Sue Mills, and other MVRs just made the day so special and I will never forget it.  What spurs me on every week is meeting the lovely friends I have made, knowing that I don't have to run on my own, chatting and laughing along the way makes it so much easier.  I'm never going to be the fastest in the group, but that doesn't matter, I just want to continue enjoying my journey and helping others on theirs. 

Carolynn Royce - Treasurer and Run Leader (LiRF)

I have tried to “get into running” for years but never found any consistency and lost confidence again and again. I finally decided to find a running group and came across Mole Valley Runners. After dithering for several weeks, I finally gave myself a kick up the backside and found the most amazing bunch of people. As I was not able to run 5K at the time, my ultimate goal was to do a 10K. With the friendship, support and encouragement of MVR I have smashed my goal and now often run half marathons with some marathons and the odd ultra thrown in.  My future goals are to try to get a bit faster on all distances although it is running with friends that motivates me the most.

Jane Morris - Club Communications Secretary 

I joined MVR as a plodder when we used to meet up at Polesden Lacey and do very short runs which were punctuated by walks and running technique advice.  We also got to do some sprints with parachutes!  But then the Plodders got a bit less ploddy and we all got ourselves promoted to running 5Ks and beyond.  What is great about MVR, for me, is that it encourages you to turn up and run.  I love knowing that on a Tuesday night or Thursday morning I can either plod or tackle a steady run.  I like the fact that any run includes walking breaks!   Every run includes a hill and mud. 

MVR has led me astray and I have now run the London Marathon three times, one of which was virtually and in the pouring rain for nearly 6 hours.  Due to the craziness and friendliness of our club you find yourself signing up for runs you didn't even know you wanted to tackle. The best thing for a runner like me, reluctant and lazy, is that when you commit to a 5K, a 10K, a silly marathon or an ultra (I've not joined that caper yet) there is always a buddy or two who will train with you, help you achieve and celebrate after.    

My first love is parkrun so my future goal is to get back to actually running the whole 5K then I'd get to the coffee and cake quicker!

Vicki Garton - Welfare Officer

I used to run at school, I was one of those who actually liked cross country.  Me and my friends used to race each other to the finish. That was when I was 11. Unfortunately, I then became ill and was diagnosed with leukaemia. The treatment made running difficult and I struggled with sport, but I still enjoyed it and still ran the 800m and the relay in sports day. Even though I was last. I didn't really do any sport outside of school until me and my mum decided to enter the Sport Relief Mile in 2008. We were so pleased that we managed to run the whole mile together.  I can't remember when I started running more often but map my run shows 2014. I think I
entered a triathlon, beginners distance. I then started parkrun with my husband Tony and my mum.  Since then I've done 3 triathlons, I even got my mum to do one. 100 Parkruns. 2 half marathons and the amazing Great South Run 10 mile. Thanks to Mole Valley Runners, I can enjoy the social side of running. I joined after chatting to Louise about it. I came along for the Thursday morning bacon run and really enjoyed it.  Although, I think it was the muddiest run ever. I usually run on a Tuesday night plodders and parkrun on Saturday. My husband Tony has also joined.  Thanks MVR

Mark Berryman - Marketing & Committee Support and Run Leader (LiRF)

I started running in early 2007.  After 3 runs and not being able to run around the block, I decided to set myself a challenge, so I got myself a charity place in the 2008 London Marathon.  I taught myself how to run and did all of the training mainly on my own and got myself around London.  I ran lots of races from 2008 to 2011, but then in 2012, my health took a bad turn for the worse.  After 8 years in and out of hospital and thinking that I would never be able to run again, I took up running again and joined MVR.  The welcome and support I received was just fantastic.  It took me a while to be able to get back to running a 10k non stop, but I got there!  Strangely, the Covid outbreak ended up really helping me.  I was suddenly unable to be admitted into hospital every 3 weeks for my treatment as it was too risky and I was moved to weekly blood infusions at home.  Despite feeling rough half the time, the other half of the week I feel great, so I've worked really hard on my fitness and have managed to get myself up to marathon distance again.  I completed one impromptu marathon with Simon during last summer, the virtual London Marathon in October, and then a 44km run on my 44th birthday in March 2021.  I definitely wouldn't have been able to achieve any of that without all of the wonderful support and friendships that I've gained through MVR!  I can't wait to run with more of you soon and I'm looking for my next running challenge, so if anyone's got any suggestions, let me know!