Serpentine - What’s Happening in May 2021

Hello Serpies,

The weather is still a little bit colder than usual for early May but fear not – Serpentine events are clearly hotting up! Our club runs continue every Wednesday and Saturday, Paddington track has restarted, Serpiesphere Virtual 5k reaches its finale, we are organising a trial 5k race followed by the start of our Capital Ring odyssey, and our Zwift and Zoom sessions continue. Our packed May programme has something for everyone in our Club – please join in!

Club Runs – every Wednesday and Saturday

Our Club Runs have made a successful return to Hyde Park since 31st March, and more and more members signed up to run – there were 41 sign-ups on Wednesday 28th April, so please keep coming! For more details please follow this link. We now run our two-parks and three-parks routes every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning whilst adhering to the ‘Rule of Six’ – a bit like this (Photo credit: Sid Wills).


We currently 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 – no sign-up no run! Please follow these links to: 

These links are also available on the front page of our website. Our club run team 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 “Run & Talk (Beginners)”, or get in touch with Sid and he will help you.


Group training sessions

Just like club runs, we have resumed some training sessions since April 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. Also please remember all sessions must be pre-booked prior to attending, and every session has a certain limit of participants.

  • 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.


  • Tuesday Paddington Track is back! The Paddington Recreation Ground Track in Maida Vale has been recently renovated, turned blue, re-opened for business (Photo Credit: John Stone). Our track coach Gavin Edmonds is coaching this session, which is suitable for everyone whose 10k time is from 33 to about 50 minutes. Due to Covid and coaching restrictions, attendance will be capped at 24 members and prior booking is mandatory. Details and booking via this link on the Serpie website.

  • Thursday Sprints: Also in Paddington Recreation Ground Track in Maida Vale, our sprint session will restart on Thursday 13th May. All abilities including those new to sprints are welcome. Details and booking via this link on the Serpie website. Enquiries: Either Athletics or Juniors leads.


  • Saturday Hills: Hill session at Greenwich Park. Details and booking via this link on the Serpie website.


Serpiesphere Virtual 5k – the Spring Series finale!

Our Serpiesphere Virtual 5k Spring Series is coming to an end, with the final race having just begun. Race 9 started on 1st May and will finish at 10pm on 15th MayRace entry link is here. Remember this is an “A-race” – so double points and prizes will be on offer!

Please follow this link for more information for the Spring series. Questions? Please email our Serpiesphere Virtual 5k organiser Sophie Taylor. After this race, we will take a break with the hope of restarting again later in the year.


The Serpentine RC Hyde Park 5k Road Race

As part of moving towards offering more events to both members and non-members, we are organising a members-only 5k road race test event in Hyde Park. The race will be on Saturday 15th May at 9am. The race start will be at the Hyde Park Boathouse, close to where our monthly handicap normally begins.  Unfortunately due to high demand, we have already reached the capacity of 60 runners within days of the race being announced. We now also have enough volunteers for the day. Thanks to everyone for signing up to run or volunteer. For details, please follow this link


Capital Ring Runs – let the Summer Trail Runs begin!

I first talked about this in January and I’m glad that we are making this a reality in May. The Capital Ring Runs will be a series of Serpentine-organised trail runs around the Capital Ring – a 78-mile route around the suburban greenery in London. Our first of the six runs will be on Sunday 30th May and will take us from Stoke Newington to Woolwich. Save the date for now – there will be more information including how to sign up and which pub we will be going to after the run! Obviously you will enjoy the full experience with us if you run the entire stage, however you are welcome to join if you need or want to start midway through a stage, or leave early – you are never too far away from a bus stop or a train station.

I’m looking for volunteers to plan and lead this stage and all subsequent stages, which are scheduled to take place every few weekends until mid-September. Interesting in coming to run and/or planning our runs? Please contact me.


Zoom training sessions

Our regular Zoom training sessions will continue in May:

  • 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 and Other Rides

Just like every week since April 2020, we continue to field 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.

For those who want to take it a bit more easily – the Serpie Zwift riders have 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 contact our organiser Vinh Lam, or email me if you want to join.


Charity of the Month – the North Paddington Food Bank

This month’s charity is very close to where a lot of us run. Since its foundation in 2014, the North Paddington Food Bank has provided food support to many households experiencing hardship in North Westminster. In 2020, during the Covid pandemic, the Food Bank saw its demand more than doubled – they served over 27,500 people, and around 70% of these required home deliveries. The Food Bank doesn't receive any government or council funding. It relies on donations and volunteers to prevent people in the local community from going hungry.

During the first national lockdown, Sophie Taylor volunteered for the Food Bank and delivered many emergency food parcels for people in need. Fast forward to 1st August 2021, she will run the London Landmark Half Marathon in order to raise money for them. To support Sophie’s fundraising effort, please follow this link.


And finally…


  • Fancy coming to our Annual Lanzarote trip in March 2022? Booking is now open but about 60 of us have already signed up. Currently there are only limited guaranteed spaces available, so please sign up here soon to avoid disappointment! Any questions, please contact our Lanza team.


  • The Summer League took a break from real-life racing in 2020, but will be back as normal in Summer 2021! Save the dates for this year’s fixtures (provisional): 4th July in Perivale (5 miles), 25th July in Regent’s Park (10k), 15th August in Dulwich Park (5 miles), before we host the last fixture on 22nd August in Battersea Park (10k). We are currently thinking about organising social events for club members after the races – runners and non-running members alike are welcome to join. Look out for further details in the next couple of months!


Happy running in May,

Hans Ho

Participation Representative


Submitted: 4 May 2021