December highlights

A few events to watch out for in December

The first couple of dates to highlight in December are actually deadlines. The first is Thursday 4 December, which is the closing date for those wanting to run in the Kent county cross country championship, which will take place on 3 January 2015 - see here for full details; the second date is Friday 5 December, which is the last date to submit applications for a club place at the 2015 London marathon - see here for details of how to apply.

The last club handicap of 2014 will take place on Saturday 6 December and regulars and newbies alike are very welcome; while for those wanting a longer alternative, there's a Serpie trail run along part of the Ridgeway, with a choice of 18, 26, 32 or 39 mile routes. 6 December is also the last chance for Serpie entries to the Southern cross country championships, which take place on 24 January in Brighton - see details of how to enter. On Sunday 7 December, the third race of the Sunday League cross country series will be in Watford over a 6-mile course, while for road lovers, there's a Regent's Park 10k on the same day.

On Saturday 13 December, the SEAA Vets cross country championships will take place in Oxford, while Clapham Chasers are organising 6 separate graded 5000m races at Battersea Track with pace makers. A few Serpies will be running the Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon on Sunday 14 December and others will be in Regent's Park for the second in the Royal Parks Winter 10k series. Sunday 14th is also the date by which Serpies who want to run in the Middlesex, Surrey & Essex county cross country championships need to get their entries in - see details here.

As the last Wednesday in December is New Year's Eve, December's Last Wednesday of the Month cheese and wine gathering in the Seymour Centre after the club runs has been brought forward to Wednesday 17 December. Serpie entries to the National Cross country championships, which will take place at Parliament Hill on 21 February, will close on Thursday 18 December - details to follow on Serpie news, email and Facebook. Christmas means an early Last Friday of the Month 5k, which will take place on Friday 19 December.

Saturday 20 December is a big day in the Serpie calendar, with the third Metropolitan League cross country. The Serpie men won the last race and a big turnout in Hillingdon could make all the difference in ending the year by moving up to lead the league; and boosting the women's team numbers will be the best chance of getting back to the winning ways of Claybury. For some of our juniors who are looking for something a little shorter and indoors, on the same day, there's a Track Academy & Thames Valley Harriers indoor sprints meeting. The Serpie Christmas party is also on Saturday 20 December, at the magical Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden. Tickets are on sale for a little longer and for those trying to juggle running in Hillingdon with transformation to evening glamour, there's the chance to leave bags at the Seymour Centre on Saturday morning and return between 5-6pm to shower and change. On Sunday 21 December, there's a small group of Serpies running the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon, plus nearer to home there's the Shortest Day Duathlon at the QEOP VeloPark, promising coffee & cake after the race to celebrate the end of the first year of VeloPark duathlons.

Over the Christmas and New Year period there will be some changes to the regular Serpie training sessions. A full timetable showing changes will be published on the Serpie website shortly. For those wanting to work off a bit of Christmas excess, the Buntingford 10 on Sunday 28 December is a popular (if hilly) choice.

Looking forward to early January, the new year will get off to a great start for 600 runners on Thursday 1 December at the Brooks Serpentine New Year's Day 10k. A good number of you have already signed up to help, but we need more to ensure we can make this race a success. If you've now firmed up your new year plans and know you'll be in London, you can sign up to help here. There will also be a social run round the course for all helpers on the Sunday before, which will be a great way to get to know the course and your fellow Serpie helpers before race day. The first weekend in January is the date for the various county cross country championships.

There's more information about lots of these events on the Serpie events planner.

Sally Hodge

Submitted: 29 November 2014