April highlights

A few events to look out for in April

Friday April 1 (April Fools Day) is the deadline for payments to be made for 2016-17 England Athletics Competition Licenses.

There's something for every Serpie taste on Saturday 2 April, with the first club handicap of spring; the legendary and muddy Orion 15; the BMAF 10k championship at the QE Olympic Park; the Sri Chinmoy 10-mile in Battersea Park; and a WSEH open track & field meeting, which unfortunately has closed its entries now. For some members of the Serpie spring marathon training groups, Sunday 3 April will be the culmination of the last few weeks of training at the Paris marathon. Also on Sunday, there will be a huge group of Serpies running the Reading half marathon and others running 8, 16 or 20 miles at the Kingston breakfast runs or the first of the popular summer Regent's Park 10k series. There's the second of our club Track & Field Taster sessions at Battersea track on Sunday afternoon which will focus on hammer, discus, long and triple jumps - no need to sign up in advance; and also on Sunday, for the cyclists, there's the Start of Summertime Audax starting in Stevenage.

On Wednesday 6 April there's an early season Highgate Harriers open track & field meeting at Parliament Hill, which includes a 5,000m race as well as shorter distances and some field events - see details. The first Assembly League of 2016 is, for many, a herald of summer round the corner, and is on Thursday 7 April in Beckenham. The Assembly League is a series of six races open to all members of the league clubs, with no need to sign up in advance. There are a couple of school athletics clubs who are league members, making these races slightly unusual since adults and juniors race together. There is a wide standard at Assembly League races and all Serpies, including our juniors (U13+), are welcome – the more the merrier.

Track & Field athletes have two open meeting opportunities on Saturday 9 April: the Herne Hill open meeting and the Lee Valley open meeting, while longer-run loving Serpies will be pounding the trails of the South Downs Way 50 mile event. Sunday 10 April is a big marathon day, with Serpies running at the Greater Manchester marathon, Rome marathon and Rotterdam marathon. Over the same weekend, a Serpie group will be spending the weekend at a social running weekend on the Isle of Wight.

At least one men's team and one women's team from the club will be competing at the National 12 & 6 stage road relays in Sutton Coldfield on Saturday 16 April. On the same day, is the first Southern Athletics League meeting of the summer at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre. For Serpies who are new to track and field, or who haven’t competed since school days, there’s information about the SAL on our website, or please contact the team captains if you have any questions about taking part or officiating. Also on the same day are the ETU Duathlon Championships in Kalkan, Germany.

The Brighton marathon is on Sunday 17 April and we particularly wish our volunteers who have club places a great run. As Storm Katie put paid to the first event of this year's London Triathlon League, the Kingfisher aquathlon is the de facto first scoring event in the league. Our London League captains are keen to get as many Serpies at these events as possible this season. Also on Sunday are the Thames Towpath 10 and the Lionheart Cycle Sportive. Serpie trail running lovers can combine stages 12 & 13 of the Green Belt Relay (Ingatestone to Upminster - 13 miles) in the latest of the series of social GBR recce runs (re-scheduled from March).

On Monday 18 April the club’s committee will be holding their next committee meeting in the club room at the Seymour Centre. Any members who would like an item to be added to the evening’s agenda can contact the appropriate Committee member before the meeting. On the same day and across the pond it’s the Boston marathon.

Sunday 24 April will be a busy one. The London marathon always attracts 100+ Serpie runners, including many on the championship start, with good-for-age places, and our volunteers with club places; plus there will be a huge number of Serpie supporters out on the course cheering them all on. Nearer to the date we’ll send out details of where groups of Serpies are meeting to support, plus the ever-popular post race pub - the Buckingham Arms, Petty France. On the same day, are the Madrid marathon and the St George's Day Sportive.

From marathons to sprints, and for the sprinters there's a Lee Valley open sprints meeting on Wednesday 27 April. The April Brooks Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5k will take place on Friday 29 April and April ends with the Thames Path 100-mile on Saturday 30.

Looking forward to early May, on Sunday 1 May there's the Richmond Ranelagh half marathon. On Monday 2 May, there's another Herne Hill open track & field meeting as well as the Milton Keynes marathon and half marathon; and the second Assembly League race of 2016 will be in Victoria Park on Thursday 5 May.

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

Sally Hodge

Submitted: 30 March 2016