Weekly Serpie round-up, 20 September 2018

This week's headlines: gold and silver for Christine Kennedy at the World Masters Championships; Jonathan Poole fastest British runner at the Berlin Marathon. Read on for all the week's news.

Picture from Weekly Serpie round-up, 20 September 2018

World Masters Championships, 4-16 September

Christine Kennedy wins gold and silver at Malaga

With 8000 athletes attending (aged 35 to 102) this year's World Masters Athletics Championships may well have been the largest track and field gathering in history. Serpie Christine Kennedy’s incredible career in elite senior and masters athletics continued with F60 gold in the half marathon. Running in the USA team, Christine’s time of 1:34:33 was two minutes clear of Marceline Hernaiz of Spain and Gertrude Sachs of Germany. Earlier in the week Christine took silver in the 5000m (20:31) in a close finish, missing out on another gold by only a second to Canada’s Patty Blanchard. Brilliant running!

Bartosz Porzuczek and David Matthew take on the 800m in Malaga

There were two Serpie 800m entries, M35 Bartosz Porzuczek (Poland) and M50 David Matthew (GB). Each faced three consecutive days of racing, heats, semi-finals, final. Bart opened the M35s with a 28 second first 200 to lead his heat. On the final bend the pack buzzed past in a collective kick for the line, but Bart found the counter, reeled in a couple and finished with a PB of 2:01.51 and holder of one of the coveted qualification spots. The semi-final demanded more, Bart bet the house on a 1:28 opening 600, but the 1:59.45 qualification mark proved too much. In the M50s David Matthew won his opening heat running from the front (2:09). The semi-finals were very tight and bunched, more like rugby than fluent running. Well back at the final turn, David just managed to qualify as slowest “fastest loser” (2:07), edging Canada’s James Dyck on the line by 5/100ths of a second. The final proved a race too far, David finishing 10th in 2:06, a couple of seconds behind a five way dip-on-the-line for the medals that looked more like the finish to a 100m sprint. Great to participate in such close competitive racing in a brilliant festival of athletics. (Report & photo: David Matthew)

Clare with her medal in front of the ReichstagBerlin Marathon, 16 September 2018

We arrived Thursday night and with 44,000 runners I was expecting carnage at the expo on Friday. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to get my silky smooth wristband quickly and my number printed extremely efficiently. Whilst the merchandise was a tad on the expensive side the expo was brilliant. Fast forward to Saturday night and a group of Serpies met at a downtown Italian for bottled water and last minute carb loading. With over 15 Serpies registered we had set up a WhatsApp group for those that wanted to coordinate and it was great to share in the excitement. Sunday morning came around quickly and as we had opted for the post race poncho option, rather than a bag drop, it was a short walk into our pen to start with zero faff (unlike London, Berlin starts where it finishes - under the Brandenburg gate). The race itself promised fast times and perfect weather - indeed a new world record was set! Sadly my race didn’t go according to plan as temperatures rose and I struggled to keep my pace with cups and not bottles at the very busy water stations forcing me to walk every 3km to make sure I stayed hydrated. That said the atmosphere was on par with London, the bands, steel drums, cheering and general support was world class. Lots of ‘Go Serpies’ could be heard from supporters and fellow runners keeping spirits high during dark times. The route itself was also superb passing major attractions and staying generally within the city centre (no boring industrial estates or highways in this race). To top it all off running home under the iconic Brandenburg Gate meant smiles all around. Post race and after a suitable sit down I had to take my own chip out of my shoe laces and give it back - a task that felt as hard as Mile 23 at the time but was quickly forgotten as we headed slowly off to a pre arranged pub to discuss the best signs we had seen and compare experiences. All in all my second marathon, second major and second best time didn’t disappoint and I’ll remember that ‘Pain’ is just French for bread. (Report & photo: Clare Freshwater) 

Congrats to fastest Serpie Jonathan Poole (2:21:14), fastest Serpette Maike Von Heymann (3:25:27) plus Andy Bain and Elvira Gonzalo (and anyone else I forgot) for their PBs. Full Serpie results

Descente London Duathlon, 8 September

It is an expensive event, the start process with priority to people wearing the jersey from the event's main sponsor is frustrating, but racing in Richmond Park is always a pleasure. Nicolas Besson took the overall win in the Ultra distance (20k run, 77k cycle - 7 laps, 10k run) in 4h01'46", leading from the start and regularly increasing his advantage. (Report: Nicolas Besson)

Anne-Marie smashing the runHuman Race Season Finale Triathlon (Olympic Distance), 16 September

Following a clavicle fracture and subsequent operation in early June 2018, I was back at the start line following 6 weeks of solid training. I went into this race with a couple of clear goals but no expectations on time, pace and position. I simply wanted to swim relaxed, hold steady watts on the bike and run by feel. I have notoriously poor swim starts and lost touch with the lead swimmers after just 50m. Following a slow T1 I set off hard on the bike, eager to catch as many swimmers as possible by holding steady watts and staying as aero as possible. I left T2 in 4th place and managed to catch a couple of ladies but was caught by a super-speedy runner. I just about managed to hold off another runner behind me coming across the line in an unexpected 3rd overall.

It's been a tough 3.5 months coming back from surgery - especially missing everyone at track on Tuesdays - but this race was a good a reminder for myself that the season is long and there is always enough time for a come back! (Report & photo: Anne-Marie Benoy)

Happy Serpies after the raceLondon Fields Aquathlon, 16 September

There was a good Serpie turnout at the final London League fixture, the London Fields Aquathlon. It was an early start, with a 7:30am race brief, and the event comprised a 400m swim in London Fields Lido followed by a 5-lap (5km) run around London Fields Park. We had some brilliant results to round off the league – including podium age group finishes for every Serpie who competed: Debbie Lowi (1st), James Richens (2nd), Andrea Sanders-Reece (1st), George Allan (1st) and Camilla Allwood (2nd). Debbie also finished 2nd out of all the women, beaten by just 3 seconds! We’re still awaiting the final league standings but at present Serpentine is 6th out of the men’s teams, 3rd out of the women’s teams and 4th out of the mixed teams. (Report & photo: Debbie Lowi) 

Rat Race Coast to Coast Adventure Race, 8 September

The Highlands were at their most beautiful for a stunning race from Nairn on the East Coast of Scotland to Ballachulish on the West Coast 100 or so miles later. The race started with a 7 mile flat trail run starting just as the sun was coming up in Nairn Castle amongst 200 or so other ‘experts’ who were taking on the challenge in one day. Transition through Cawdor Castle was followed by a mixed surface 76 mile bike leg alongside and over a series of quiet highland lanes, moorland crossings, lochside towpaths and forest trails over a reasonably flat (for the Highlands) course which was ridden on everything from fat tyred mountain bikes to full on time trial bikes. The ‘timed out’ transition at the end of the bike leg led to a 14 mile ‘fell run’ along the West Highland and up and over a steepsided mountain to Loch Leven and just as a final test the race finished with a mile kayak across the loch where I learned that cramp and kayaking are incompatible partners. The perfect weather conditions meant that I was well inside my target of 10 hours and very pleased with top 10 finish. (Report: Richard Turner)

>>Your report here<<

Did you achieve a new personal best, compete in your first ever race, hit a milestone or especially enjoy a particular race? Then please get in touch. Whether you are a competitive athlete or take part for the sheer pleasure of it, everybody's contributions are welcome. Deadline: end of Monday; 130 words max. If you send photos, please ask for permission if you use somebody else's and confirm the source. 

Tribute to John Walker

We reported in April on the sad death of John Walker who passed away at his home in Spain on 24 April 2018, but wanted to publish a follow-up tribute article about John, as one of the founding members of the club. Read it here.

Parkrun results for 15 September 2018 (71 runners)

Top 5 by time and age-graded performance

NameEventTimeGender # NameEventTimeGender # NameAge-graded
Benjamin TolputtBurgess16:492 Zoe BirchenoughBushy20:279 Sarah Newton80.39%
Daniel De PalolGladstone17:393 Laura CarmichaelSalisbury21:274 Daniel De Palol79.70%
Gideon ReidWormwood Scrubs17:522 Kelly PageKingston22:236 Dominic Grise78.12%
Tim VerheydenWormwood Scrubs17:543 Alison Bryant-SmithClapham Common23:2312 Zoe Birchenough77.67%
Tim PowellWormwood Scrubs18:024 Adrienne TordaHasenheide23:5617 Benjamin Tolputt76.71%

Podium Finishers

1st: Dominic Grise (Crystal Palace) - 18:17
2nd: Benjamin Tolputt (Burgess) - 16:49, Gideon Reid (Wormwood Scrubs) - 17:52
3rd: Daniel De Palol (Gladstone) - 17:39, Tim Verheyden (Wormwood Scrubs) - 17:54, William Lake (Heartwood Forest) - 19:14


Angus Beaumont - 150th parkrun (99th buggy run!), celebrated at Bushy.
Richard Turner - 50th parkrun, celebrated at Gunnersbury.

Busiest parkruns (3+ Serpies)

Brockwell, Herne Hill (5), Bushy (4), Clapham Common (4), Hackney Marshes (4), Wormwood Scrubs (4), Fulham Palace (3), Gladstone (3), Gunnersbury (3), Highbury Fields (3), Richmond (3)

Full consolidated Serpentine results. Can't see yours? Updating your parkrun profile with Serpentine RC as your club should do the trick. (Results: Alex Jeffreys)

Serpentine results database

Check the results database on the club website for other performances not covered here. If your result is missing, you can add it yourself or, if the race isn't listed in the dropdown menu, contact the Results Elves at results@serpentine.org.uk. Even better, add your name to the Race & Event Planner in advance and name SERPENTINE as your club when you enter races to ensure your results can be more easily added to your profile.

With thanks to everyone who contributed to this week's edition!

Eda Korkmaz

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Submitted: 20 September 2018