Our Team

Rachel Sennett ( Chair )

I have run on and off for years, but I was simply doing enough to pass annual my work fitness test.

In 2015 a neighbour mentioned that HWR were doing a C25k course and so I signed up and have been a member of the club ever since.

I went on to complete my first half marathon in 2016 and followed that a few weeks later with my first Great South Run. After these I was told that I had a stress fracture in my foot, caused by over training on hypermobile joints!

I have completed another couple of half marathons and a 2nd Great South since then but sadly my feet really weren’t happy with me doing that and so I now focus on 10ks which I love doing. The only deviation from this is Endure24, which is easily my favourite running event.

I did my LIRF in 2018 and have regularly lead club runs since then.

Before I joined HWR the only people that I knew in Basingstoke were my immediate neighbours, thanks to the club I now have some fabulous friends, all on my doorstep.

I feel very blessed to take over the baton as the new chair of HWR and am excited to continue the great work done by all of my predecessors to keep the club moving forward.

Helen Brooker ( Club Treasurer/Membership Secretary/UKA Liaison )

Helen has run for as long as she can remember, with a family who encouraged her to join them on the track as soon as she could walk. Throughout her childhood and until her late 20’s she was a keen sprinter for Newbury AC and then Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC. After her first child was born in 2003 she decided to try her hand at longer runs and started out, as many women do, with a 5k Race for Life.

Helen has now completed various race distances from 5k to numerous half marathons as well as a marathon or two! She is one of our Leaders in Running Fitness (LiRF) and her background means she specialises in improving running technique, developing training plans, as well as organising our ‘Sunday Loopers’ group who are big fans of cake and, of course, running.

Helen says “Running has brought me so much throughout my life, great friends and fitness. Above all running is the best therapy anyone could have; it’s definitely the best cure for stress I have found. HWR has given me the chance to not only improve my own running, have fun but also share the enthusiasm I have for running”
; it’s definitely the best cure for stress I have found. HWR has given me the chance to not only improve my own running, have fun but also share the enthusiasm I have for running”

Andy Meek ( Male Welfare Officer )

Andy watched his wife Caroline run the Fleet Half Marathon in 2009 and began to wonder if he could ever do the same! So, in 2010 he signed up for his first half marathon and armed himself with a 12 week training programme courtesy of the World Wide Web! Andy progressed from being able to run for no more than a minute to completing his first half marathon without stopping!

He then got the ‘bug’ and joined Hatch Warren Runners a couple of months after it was founded, in the summer of 2013, after spotting an article in the local news magazine ‘The Rabbiter’. Andy has watched HWR develop and grow over the years into the all-inclusive club it is today and has made great friends and had some great laughs!

Since then he’s run around a dozen half marathons and completed his first marathon in Brighton in 2017. He has also taken up trail running, and is participating in Endure 24 for the 4th time this summer.

Andy hopes that by being part of the committee he can help support the club to continue to grow and evolve, but most importantly maintain the togetherness culture that has been formed where no matter what your pace is, everyone is welcome.

Tom Hartgill ( Coaching Co-Ordinator )

Tom started running back in 2008 as a way of getting fit, mainly running on the treadmill in the gym. He then began running with a small group of neighbours where he started to appreciate the social benefits of running with others. This small group of neighbours eventually became the Hatch Warren Runners and the rest is history! Become a ‘runner’ has done wonders for Tom’s physical and mental health, and he copes to continue for many years to come.

Over the last 15 years Tom has completed many races across a variety of distances and has completed 6 marathons (so far!). More importantly, Tom has met some amazing people and made a number of great friends along the way. Tom’s personal achievements are way beyond what he thought he would be capable of, and he continues to set new targets to keep pushing himself on. However, the opportunity to help others is just as satisfying to Tom, and some of his favourite running memories are where he’s helped friends in the club to achieve their personal goals.

Tom said “what I love most about the club is the spirit of inclusivity. We have members from right across the pace spectrum and everyone is supportive of each other in achieving their own personal best. Whether it is at a large event, or our weekly track session, everyone supports each other, there is no judgement or elitism – just a genuine sense of togetherness”

Nicola Lawrence ( Social Secretary )

Nicola joined the club in June 2013 and previous to this had done the odd 5K, Grim challenge and a Great South. She would definitely describe herself as not a natural runner and was usually much more at home running round a netball court! Since joining the club she has done around 10 half marathons, a couple more Great South’s, 2 Marathons and the 24 hour relay Endure 24 5 years in a row. Vowing after each one that she will never do it again……. I guess they’re like childbirth……….

“Through the club I’ve met many amazing inspirational people who are now lifelong friends. I would never have believed I could do half the stuff I’ve done without the support of the club, I certainly wouldn’t be getting up in the wind and rain to go for a run on my own, being part of the club makes you go even when you don’t feel like it!”

Nicola joined the committee in 2018 as Social Secretary due to her love of gin.

Verena Hutcheson ( Female Welfare )

Verena (Vee) joined Hatch Warren Runners in autumn 2017 after having run for a few months over the spring/summer and realising that, as the nights got darker, evening running was much safer in numbers! Plus, realising that running in numbers is far, far more motivating and rewarding than going out alone!

Since joining HWR she has completed 10k, 10-mile races and half marathons. Not yet a marathon, but never say never, eh?!

Vee says “For me, being part of the club is all about having company on runs, training to be fitter and stronger and having the headspace away from work and family commitments. I had a baby in the summer of 2023, so now fitting in runs as “me time” (primarily for sanity reasons) is even more important. I’m a strong advocate that exercise and fresh air improve mental wellbeing, so it’s very important to me to support others in their running journey and to ensure that they feel happy and comfortable doing that as a member of our club. The club has enabled me to achieve running goals I’d never have thought possible and to meet so many inspirational and lovely people”.

Melissa Bryers ( Committee Support )

Melissa’s running journey began in 2022 when she joined the HWR C25K course to improve her fitness and belong to something. She had only moved to Basingstoke in 2019 and because of the lockdown, hadn’t had the opportunity to make new friends outside of work.

She has been part of Endure24 twice and lots of local races including parkrun, Romsey relay and Fleet 5k.

Melissa says “My running career has been short and sweet but the friends I have made are forever. Being around these inspirational people has made me realise that anything is possible you just need to have the right mental strength and a little bit of madness….. To be part of the committee makes me feel an integral part of the group and excited to help the club move forward to be the best running club. My strengths are being very loud & over excited and this role will only encourage that behaviour for all upcoming events as part of the HWR cheersquad.”

Lorna Gordon ( New Member and Onboarding lead )

I started running in 2012 when a colleague at work dragged me out as she wanted company on her runs. I surprisingly enjoyed it and a few months later signed up for the Great South Run to have a target.

I moved to Basingstoke a year later and signed up for the Basingstoke Half Marathon later that year. I was introduced to Hatch Warren Runners a couple of months after the club was formed and soon realised the many benefits of running as part of a group. As I didn’t know anyone in Basingstoke it was also a great way to meet people and I’ve made some great friends through the club.

Since joining the club I’ve gone on to run three ultramarathons, twelve marathons and many half marathons. In recent years I have discovered a love of trail running and do much more running on the beautiful trails around Basingstoke than on roads.

I am also registered with England Athletics as a guide runner and co-ordinate the Basingstoke Guide Runners, which supports local Visually Impaired runners at parkrun and local running events.

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