Serpentine round-up - April 2021

It's absolutely brilliant to be able to report on a month of racing from Serpentine members - including the breaking of the club marathon record. Thank you to David Chalfen for writing the below, and congratulations to everyone involved.

Back to the Races – with a Club Marathon Record

After another long lockdown racing returned in early April 2021, with selected Covid-safe races.

The big Serpie highlight – and surely the best running performance ever done by a first claim member - came on 25 April at the Cheshire Elite Marathon, where Kiwi Callan Moody, running in his debut marathon, clocked a mighty 2.11.39. He missed the Olympic qualifying time by just 9 seconds, having run 5.00 min miles like a metronome for 23 miles before just being gapped by Brit Jake Smith, who sneaked under 2.11 in his debut. Callan has a full time job in the NHS in cardiology – not a typical scenario for runners at this exalted level.

The athlete who lost his club record was Nick Torry who was the first Serpie to toe the line in any race this year – at the UK Olympic Marathon Trials in Kew. Although not getting past 14 miles, Nick’s Half Marathon split of 67.22 was, at age 44, a super fast run by any standards.

The Cheshire event (which is almost worth an article in itself, it had been 14 months in the making and even relocated across nations from its intended Wrexham venue) ) had qualifying times of 2.40 for men and 3.00 for women, and Serpies were well represented with PBs by George Suthon, his very fine 2.28.33 an 11 minute advance; Chris Tsantoulas (V40) logging 2.36.39 for a 2 min PB; and Sam Richardson trimming his best with 2.41.52.

Three weeks earlier at the Dorney Marathon, Chris T had led the Serpies home with a controlled 2.38.22 PB, chased home by Isaac Leigh, a 4 minute PB in 2.39.04 and Tash Sheel breaking the 3 hour barrier with 2.59.16, a big PB for her.

 Also in mid April there was the Hercules Wimbledon 5k team race, with a hilly loop and runners racing in waves (10 men per tema, 6 women).  Jonathan Poole  had a very strong run to clock 15.03,  placing 10th, Andy Greenleaf recorded 16.04 just ahead of Nick Torry 16.07  with Kit Grierson just behind these two Serpie legends in 16.09.  Sarah Pemberton was quickest Serpie woman, her 19.07 notching up 20th place.

 Three days later at the QEOP 10k- which is awaiting ratification (Runthrough seem  to have ceased showing the certification status of their races at the time of writing) – George Suthon topped and tailed his marathon prep with a big 32.02 PB and V40 Eddie Ware made a fine breakthrough in the 5k with 16.45.

Submitted: 26 April 2021