Serpentine - What’s Happening in April 2021

Hello Serpies,

Hoorah! The lockdown is over and we are back in business. We have loved our virtual events, but let’s face it – nothing beats running together and racing each other!  Most of our virtual events are still on-going in April, but now we are able to add Club Runs and regular training sessions back to our activity schedule. So, sit back, have a cup of tea, and discover what’s happening in Serpentine in April.

Club Runs are BACK!

Our Club Runs have made a successful return to Hyde Park on 31st March. With the restrictions on group gatherings being relaxed to the ‘Rule of Six’, we now run our two-parks and three-parks routes every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning. For more details please follow this link. Just as before our suspension in mid-December, we require runners to sign up in advance, so you can be placed in groups of no more than six running the same route and similar pace. But don’t worry, no one will be turned away – if more people than six are in the same pace group, we’ll just split into further smaller groups. Please follow these links to sign up: 

These links are also available on the front page of our website. Our brilliant club run team (Branwen Jones and George Allan) will then email everyone before the runs to inform you of your groups and start times.  Haven’t run before and don’t know your pace?  Not to worry – choose the 10-12 min/mile pace or Beginner’s Course (Saturday only, from 10th April onwards), or get in touch with Sid and he will help you.


Group training sessions

Also from late March, we are resuming some training sessions for the first time in 2021. Sessions are all across London, so you can take advantage of the ones near you, but of course everyone is welcome to attend any session. Unfortunately, Paddington Recreational Ground is currently closed for renovation, so the sessions normally at Paddington will have to wait. Also please remember all sessions must be pre-booked prior to attending.

  • Tuesday Intervals: Evening interval sessions at Bermondsey Spa Gardens.  For details and sign-up please follow this link on the website. Any questions:
  • Tuesday Track: Evening track sessions at Parliament Hill – see this link. This session is primarily for our faster runners (time guidance: sub 36:30 (men) or sub 38:30 (women) for a 10k). Any questions please ask the coach: David Chalfen.
  • Saturday Hills: Another morning hill session, this one at Greenwich Park. Details and booking via this link on the Serpie website.


Tour de Serpiesphere – it’s the Final Countdown…

The Tour de Serpiesphere has been a great success since the race began in January. After Stage 3, we had 70 runners remaining in the march towards the virtual Champs-Elysees. In case you’re not yet aware, the Tour consists of five Stages, each one with a race period of a few weeks, and all the distances add up to a marathon. In other words, you will know what your marathon PB could be if you were running a marathon in chunks. Even if you have missed the first three races, you are still welcome to take part in the coming stages.

We are now on to our final two stages – the longest and the shortest:

As well as the race entries above, please also submit a Garmin/Strava screenshot or picture of your watch (or equivalent) here for verification.


Serpiesphere Virtual 5k - the Spring Series continues!

Our Serpiesphere Virtual 5k celebrates its one-year birthday in April 2021! Starting as ‘just something to do’ at the start of the first lockdown, we Serpies have discovered our love of 5ks and we are still getting large numbers every race, with performances from as far as sunny South Africa, snowy United States, other parts of Europe, as well as our beloved Hyde Park. Even with the lockdown easing in the UK, we are not showing any signs of stopping. Once again in April, we have two 5ks in April:

Please follow this link for more information for the Spring series. Questions? Please email our Serpiesphere Virtual 5k organiser Sophie Taylor, who works together with Baiju McCubbins and Pete Mackintosh to keep the race running nicely.


Zoom training sessions

Our regular Zoom training sessions will continue in April:

  • One of our Paddington Rec session coaches Andy Reeves leads a circuit training session on Wednesday evenings. Everyone is welcome to join. Look out for the Facebook messages by Andy before Wednesdays for the Zoom link and details.
  • Rosh Karunaratne runs the weekly spin classes over Zoom at 7pm every Tuesday. The sessions will have an interval training-based focus and are open to all abilities. Any equipment that allows you to spin is suitable (turbos, exercise bikes, spin bikes etc), plus you’ll need water, a towel, and a computer to run Zoom. Please email Rosh to join.


Zwift Weekly Team Time Trial, Zwift Racing Leagues, and Other Rides

Just like every week since a year ago, we are fielding teams in the Zwift Team Time Trial every Thursday evening, competing against over 500 teams every week. It is a fantastic workout, and very social at the same time. So if you have access to Zwift and are free on Thursday evenings, please join us using this link to find out more. Once you have joined, the team can help set you up to race.

Apart from these regular Team Time Trials, on Tuesday nights, we will be entering teams in the Zwift Racing League (ZRL). Now coming to the third season, the first of the eight races will start on 6th April. We will field teams of six riders competing in different speed categories - 3 team time trials and 5 all-out scratch races. Races start at 7:30pm with teams connecting and chatting on discord. Please contact Ivan Gowan to sign up on or before Saturday 3rd April to ensure you get a slot in one of the teams.

Not every Zwift ride needs to be a race, of course. Since January, the Serpie Zwift riders have created a new channel in discord called #meetup which allows us to organise group rides, mainly on Saturday mornings but sometimes at other times of the week as well. This not only gives us an opportunity to go around Watopia together, but you can also just join the discord and have a fun social time without riding.  

For all things Zwift, please speak to our organiser Vinh Lam or email me if you want to join.


Fancy a race (in real life)?

Real-life races, where people chase one another, are also back! Here are the races that I know will happen in April. Good luck if you’ve entered – and wish me luck as I’ll be running a couple of them myself! If you’re participating, feel free to drop a message on our Facebook page to let the others know you’re running – you are likely to see other Serpie shirts as well!


Charity of the Month – the Running Charity (featuring the Running Stories)

This month’s charity is one that is close to all our hearts. The Running Charity delivers running and personal development programmes to young people aged 16-25 who are affected by homelessness. A small charity formed in 2014 in London, it is now also active in Manchester, Leeds, and Brighton, with plans to expand to other areas. Visit for more details.

Want to donate but fancy something in return? Then why not order a copy of the Running Stories. Serpentine members Jerry Lockspeiser and Andrew Roberts have recently launched this brilliant book, featuring over 80 extraordinary stories from ordinary runners of all ages, speeds, and backgrounds. Each is accompanied by a photo of the writer. Each story is uniquely personal, but all share the enormously beneficial effects of running - from overcoming adversity to dealing with a health problem, making friends and helping others, winning medals or luxuriating in the wellness of nature, and more.

You wouldn’t be surprised to know that there are lots of Serpie stories in the book, at least five Serpie tops in the story photos, and even a Serpie shirt on the front cover! No wonder it has been very highly rated in Amazon’s Athletics and Running & Jogging categories. A paperback version costs £8.99, and an eBook only £5.99. All revenue from sales goes to the Running Charity. To buy a copy and donate to the Charity as well, please visit the Amazon link here.


And finally…Save the date for the World Champion!

Fancy meeting an ex-Serpie World Champion? We are excited to announce that the four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington – an ex-Serpie, coached by Frank Horwill – will join us via Zoom on the evening of Monday 26th April. Currently she still holds the women’s world record for the fastest Ironman finish time. If you ran Comrades in 2019 you may have seen her there.

It will be an interactive Q&A session covering her career in triathlon, her hints and tips on training, her work on expanding participation in sport, and a little bit about being a multiple world champion. We promise you will feel very inspired and motivated by the end of the evening! Save the date and start thinking of questions: we will have more details about the event in the next couple of weeks.


Happy Easter, and have a great April!

Hans Ho

Participation Representative (

Submitted: 1 April 2021