The club was established in June 1992 with the emphasis on being a friendly running club for all abilities This is still our belief today, and the club consists of over 100 members (men and ladies) ranging from 18 to 80, from new runners to seasoned champions.
We are affiliated to England Athletics and Kent County Athletics Association (KCAA), and predominately concentrate on road running, plus cross country. However, some of our members do participate in areas such as Track running, Ultras, Multi-terrain and Triathlons.
Download an Club membership form here
It is rumoured that at some point in early 1992 over a “Jack Daniels” promotion evening, the idea of a new running club in the Gravesend area was discussed……This came into fruition by June 1992 with the club name taken from the founders’ families’ addresses (Warren/Ramsey), living in Istead Rise and Ifield – hence Istead and Ifield.
From these humble beginnings at our Istead Rise Community Centre Headquarters, the club grew to around 35 members by 1993 with the emphasis being on a friendly club for all. The club’s inaugural September 10K event from Istead Rise was popular and club competition racing extended to Kent Cross Country League, Fitness Cross Country League and South of Thames Cross Country League.
The club grew steadily during the 90’s however the 10K had dropped off the calendar and pressure from the community centre over increasing subs led Istead to seek a new headquarters at Cascades Leisure Centre. This proved a very good decision with much improved facilities, runs and an upsurge in members.
Over the years the club became more and more involved with the North Downs Run. Eventually in 2004 we took on full responsibility for organising the event – a 30K trail race that has been voted one of the top races in Runners World over the year. See our North Downs Run Page for more information,
To mark the 30th Anniversary of the Club, we have prepared a Club History, which details key moments and lists past prizewinners and Cub records set by various Istead Members. We hope you enjoy reading it!
When and Where do we meet?
Istead and Ifield Harriers meet on Monday and Wednesday Evening. From November 2021 Race HQ is at Old Gravesendians Rugby Club, off Parrock Road, Gravesend, although during the summer months we plan to continue to run from Cascades so that we can access the off road routes around Shorne and beyond. The Monday session is particularly suited to less experienced runners, although all abilities are welcome. A programme of runs is issued each month, which will consist of speed sessions (reps), hill reps, steady runs and faster runs of varying distances. All sessions are led by experienced run leaders and we ensure that nobody gets left behind! We also have an active Facebook page for club members, where you can find out about events, share your stories and arrange informal training runs. We welcome runners of all abilities, and will find a group to fit you. If you are interested in joining, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Come along and give us a try for a couple of weeks. If you enjoy running with us, you need to become a member. All runners wishing to attend on a trial basis are required to complete a Club Trial Sessions Form.
How do I Join?
Send an email to email@example.com for details. We can then recommend which sessions we think would be most suitable. You are welcome to come along and try it out for a few sessions before you have to join. Please click here to download a Club membership form and hand to any member of the committee.
Annual Membership costs (includes affiliation to England Athletics)
Single membership – £40
Joint membership (husband & wife/partner) – £70
Second claim membership – £25
Student membership – £25
Members aged 65 and over – £25
Members wishing to compete as an Istead runner will need to buy a club vest. Membership is due at the end of March each year.
We form groups according to ability and training distance required. You will always have somebody to run with! During the summer our runs take us to Shorne Country Park, and the many footpaths and lanes beyond. Whilst in the winter we train under street lights around Riverview, Gravesend and Northfleet.
A winter handicap series is also held.
We also organise speed training runs and Track and Field training in the Summer.
Races and Social Events
In most local road races you will see the Purple Vest of Istead. We also promote cross-country running and compete in the various leagues and championships. The club organises social events during the year such as curry nights, club BBQ and occasional club holidays!