Serpentine - What’s Happening in November 2019

No need to dread the winter blues - there is so much going on in Serpentine in November.  Here is what the Club has to offer...

Cross Country in full swing

The second instalment of the Metropolitan League fixture will take place on Saturday 9th in Stanborough Park in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. Once again, men and women will run the same 8km distance. Get your spikes and cakes ready, with another local pub visit after the day's races. No prior entry is required – someone in the Serpie XC gang will issue you a race number before race start time. Race details are here.

For those who prefer running on a Sunday, the second race of the Sunday League season is fast approaching on Sunday 1st December in Trent Park near Cockfosters. We had a decent turnout for the first race in Cheshunt, and this time there isn’t even any need to leave London – this race is accessible by the Tube at the north end of the Piccadilly Line. Also just like the Met League, there's no need to sign up in advance.

Can’t wait until December to run in Trent Park? The Fraternity & Sorority Cup is on Saturday 23rd. Entries are on the day for this popular event, so no need to sign up in advance, but make sure you have England Athletics registration. Our XC rep Daisy Gladstone will send out more details by email later this month.  The race is 5 miles / 8km, men and women will run together.

Before that, the first XC championship race of November is the North London XC champs on Saturday 2nd in Wormwood Scrubs. Good luck to those who have signed up.  Unfortunately, entries have now closed; but Serpentine are hosting and we need volunteers, so if anyone can spare some time that afternoon please get in touch with Daisy. Volunteers are required between 12.30pm to 3pm, depending on the role.

Then we have the London XC Champs on Saturday 16th in Parliament Hill.  I’m afraid just like the North London Champs, entries have also closed.  The good news is we are a longstanding supporter of the race, so we can still get involved by volunteering – we are hoping to recruit at least 10 Serpie marshals. This is a great event with 10 races organised, featuring not only the senior races but also the London Youth Games races, in which up to 1600 youngsters will represent all 32 London boroughs.  Ideally, you would be available from 10.00am until about 3.30pm to cover all races (a packed lunch will be provided).  But there are also shift options to marshal from 10.00am until 1.30pm, and from 12.30pm until 3.30pm.  If you’d like to help, please let Malcolm French know – either for the full day, or for which shift you are available.

Looking ahead, SEAA Masters will be on Saturday 7th December in Horspath, Oxford. Entries will open in November – keep an eye on your emails from Daisy who will advise on advance entries.  Again, check your EA registration as you’ll need it.

Parkrun Day

A lot of us do Parkruns, but how about doing it all together, perhaps on a Parkrun that we haven’t done before? On Saturday 30th I will organise the first ever Serpentine Parkrun Day. Location is to be confirmed, however I’m planning to make it a regular occurrence (every quarter or so), and we’ll alternate between north and south of the river. Look out for email and Facebook messages from me in the coming weeks. Please email me if you’re interested in joining, or if you have any ideas on locations or café choices afterwards.

Strength training

After the successful launch of the first outdoor strength training session, our track and spin coach Gavin Edmonds is leading the second of the series. These 90-minute sessions will bring greater muscular power, increased resistance to fatigue, improved bone health, better running form and reduced risk of injury. All abilities are welcome to join on Sunday 17th at 9:45am at Wormwood Scrubs – more information here. Sessions are free – however please sign up with Gavin in advance.

Regular club races

The next Handicap race will be this coming Saturday 2nd. Runners register between 8:15 and 8:55am at the Serpentine Boat House in Hyde Park. Not running? Volunteer with the handicap crew and stay for a coffee afterwards.

This month’s Last Friday of the Month 5k is on Friday 29th. The race starts at 12:30pm near the Boat House in Hyde Park. Register to run here, or to volunteer to marshal contact the race organiser.

Regular club activities

· Track training: There are sessions every Monday at Paddington Rec (Maida Vale), every Tuesday, also at Paddington Rec, and every Tuesday at Parliament Hill.

· Off track training: Sessions are in Bermondsey every Tuesday and in Primrose Hill on Thursday. Those who want to do Saturday hills have the options of Greenwich or Hampstead Heath.

· Regular club runs are on Wednesdays and Saturdays (both meeting at Seymour Centre), and Sundays in Richmond Park.

· Coached swimming sessions are on Mondays in the Orchard Lisle Pool (London Bridge) or Seymour Centre, and on Thursdays in St Pancras.

· Spin class is on Wednesday night in the Seymour Centre.

Good Luck to those running…

· New York Marathon - Sunday 3rd

· Thames Meander Marathon – Saturday 9th

· Athens Classic Marathon - Sunday 10th

· Florence Marathon - Sunday 24th

· Sri Chimnoy 10k – Saturday 30th


· The next New Members’ Social will be on Wednesday 20th – all new members are welcome, with drinks and biscuits in the club room after the runs from 8pm. Any current members who are keen to show what a friendly bunch we are – please come join us too. Feel free to email me for details.

· Last Wednesday of the Month will be on Wednesday 27th. Once you have experienced the Halloween edition on 30th October, you will surely want to come back for more cheese and wine!  What's more, our Mental Health Ambassadors will hold the next Run & Talk to go with the Cheese & Wine.

· Already looking forward to 2020?  We have started organising the Start Fitness Serpentine New Year’s Day 10k. This is a race which we don’t enter, but we organise in order to give something back to the London running community. We will need around 100 Serpie volunteers – you could be a marshal, work on registration, hand out medals at the finish area, or give runners water at drink stations. Not a bad way to get rid of your New Year’s Party hangover. If you want to sign up to help, please register here.  Questions?  Please contact Lee Tolentino, our Race Organiser.

Happy Serpie November,

Hans Ho

Participation Representative


PS. Anything to advertise in December? Please email me at


Submitted: 30 October 2019