Serpentine race report December 2018

With so many people in the club running in so many different events, in can be hard to keep track of who is doing what.  I'm therefore grateful for Serpentine coach David Chalfen, for providing me with what I hope to be the first of a regular roundup.  It is not meant to be comprehensive, but it should highlight just some of the many excellent performances from those racing in the red and gold in recent weeks.  

Race report


It's very pleasing to lead on this first issue, covering the last two weekends’ races, with a result that captures all that is impressive and inspiring about the competitive side of the sport. Just two days shy of his 44th birthday Will Green ran 2.24.48 in the Valencia marathon, a 2+ minute PB and placing 2nd on the UK V40 Marathon lists for 2018 and also 2nd behind Nick Torry on the bona fide Serpie All Time V40 list. He doesn’t race that often, but he tends to make them count.


The latest Cross country focus was Met League 3 at Hillingdon House  Farm on a wet course. In the women’s race, Anna Hollingsworth made further fine progress and having led into the final field placed a close second with the scoring A team of 6 including fine runs by the likes of Tash Sheel, Megan Roberts, and evergreen Liz Wynn to place 4th on the day. Chris Wright led home the men in 13th, interestingly just 49 seconds behind the winner.  After a stress fracture in late summer,  2nd claimer Dave Morgan had a very positive return towards good form just edging  newly turned V40 Hugh Torry. The Euro axis of Dan de Palol, Joost Vogel and Juan Frias helped the team of 12 to place 6th on the day as once again the majority of the leading Serpie guys were spread across various races and indeed countries currently.


The following day, a very swift trio (did someone say Met League renegades?!) cleaned up team-wise at the Perivale 5 with local man Jonathan Poole winning outright in 24.58; Andy Greenleaf 3rd in 25.28 and Xavier Gruot 6th in 26.05.

Serpies’ two runners in the old school Pirie 10 miles Cross Country in Coulsdon were the Torrys and they made their presence known, Nick winning the whole thing and Hugh placing 5th and winning the Vets prize vacated by his older brother. Keep it in the family.


Leading club results from the parkrun circuit on Saturday were Lauren Roe 19.51 and Victoria Basquil 20.10 both winning parkruns in London whilst at the same time in Battersea Park Isaac Leigh took a chunk off his PB at the Sri Chinmoy 10k with 36.05.


A week earlier, a diverse crew of Serpies took a brief respite from gourmandizing in one of Spain’s best wine and tapas cities to zip round the San Sebastian races.

A fine evenly paced 6 min PB run of 2.52 by Ian Cook led the club home at the full distance, at which Jerry Lockspeiser pushed out a 3.28, sterling stuff at 65+. In the Half the non-existent team race of 3 to score was hypothetically scooped by the Serpie crew of Nathan Wilkins 72.20, a PB, Ben Tolputt 73.35 and a resurgent Pete Holmes 75.15, fine running as he is now in the V40s. whilst Megan Roberts’ 87.38 was in touch with her PB and ditto consistent Martin Carmack’s strong 82.26 in the V45s.

Outlieing as ever, Christine Kennedy knocked out 90.11, and actually took a few miles to get into race mode after two weeks of illness which prompted her to scale back from the marathon which had been the goal. The World age best for the next year which she enters on 22 December is 90.27 so watch this space.


John Franklin on a brief foray in London from his California posting tidied up in the Kingston 10k in 33.35, his 2 minute margin suggesting that the very small faux-metal trophy he was  awarded was no more than his tempo workout merited.


Just prior to the last fortnight, Joost Vogel made a breakthough over the Half Marathon, running 74.40 at St Neots, having utilised his fast twitch fibres in actually getting his entry in before this popular race was full.


David Chalfen




Tom Poynton

Submitted: 4 December 2018