December highlights

A few events to look out for in December

The first date to look out for in December is Friday 4 December, which is the closing date to apply for a club place at the 2016 London marathon. You can find details of how to apply here.

The third Start Fitness Metropolitan cross country league race of the season is on Saturday 5 December at Wormwood Scrubs. For those not running this event, Serpentine are hoping to provide at least six marshals for this event - if you can help, please contact Ian Hodge. The final club handicap of the year is also on Saturday, with a last chance to accumulate points for the Tom Hogshead and Stratford Cups. Then after whichever event you take part in or help at on Saturday, don't forget that Serpie entries for the South of England cross country championships (the Southerns) close at midnight.

On Sunday 6 December the Regent's Park 10k is a target race for those going to the Foundation track sessions at Paddington on Monday nights. Sunday also provides another opportunity for cross country, with the Sunday league cross country race at Willian, near Letchworth in Hertfordshire. Serpie entries for the Kent cross country championships need to be in by Wednesday 9 December.

The SEAA Masters cross country championships and Southern inter-counties cross country championships take place at Shuttleworth Park, Biggleswade on Saturday 12 December; and on the same day there is a trail run through the Chiltern countryside of approx 26 miles - Santa hats encouraged. On Sunday 13 December there's a Lee Valley open indoor athletics meeting plus a QEOP Junior duathlon.

The last Brooks Last Friday of the Month 5k of 2016 will be on Friday 18 December, which is also the last day to get your entry in for the Middlesex, Surrey and Essex cross country championships. On Saturday 19 December, it's the party of the year - the Serpie Christmas party, at the Grand Connaught Rooms, tickets on sale here; and for anyone wanting to get a good workout before hitting the dance floor, Glenn Hughes will be leading an informal training session aimed at all abilities for those interested in improving their hill running. It will be at Hampstead and will follow a similar programme to the session run at Box Hill in September. The Portsmouth Coastal marathon and Pisa marathon on Sunday 20 December offer a couple of the last chances to run a 26.2 mile event this year.

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 Friday 1 December at the Start Fitness 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. And on the first Saturday in January, Serpies can start the year off with the January club handicap.

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

Sally Hodge

Submitted: 30 November 2015