Serpentine RC - What’s Happening in September 2021

Hello Serpies – The summer might be slowly leaving us, but that only means the autumn running season is beginning, with lots of races, runs, and sessions in September. We are continuing to enjoy the restarted events like the monthly handicap, Last Friday 5k, and the Richmond Park Sunday runs. These add to the other on-going activities like the Club runs, the running training sessions, the Capital Ring Runs, and also the Serpiesphere Virtual 5k for those who are a bit further from Central London. Most importantly, the club’s AGM will be on 15th Sept. Let’s have a look at what’s happening in September in Serpentine…

Annual General Meeting – Have your say about your club!

The last AGM in 2020 was held on Zoom for obvious reasons, but this year we are planning to resume having an in-person AGM. This is a chance to have your say, help set the agenda for the upcoming year, and help make your club the best it can be. The details are as follows:

  • Date: Wednesday 15th September
  • Time: 8pm (those who come to the Wednesday Club Run are encouraged to join us after running)
  • Venue: St Mary's Church, St Mary’s Square, London W2 1NB (Note: the venue is large and there will be plenty of room for social distancing)

Please sign up here to let us know you’re coming so we have a good idea about numbers, although this is not mandatory and you can just show up on the day.

A few more things about the AGM:

  • Post AGM social: As a thank you to attendees and also as a chance to have a get-together, we will be having a post AGM social in the BrewDog pub in Paddington, where the club will provide some food and refreshments for those who would like to come along.
  • Pre-AGM meeting: In preparation for the AGM we will be holding a short pre-AGM meeting on Monday 6 September at 7pm on Zoom to collect any advance questions. However, we would encourage people to come in person to the actual meeting on the 15th September. If you would like to attend the pre-meeting, please email our Club Secretary Sue Barty, with the heading "Serpentine - Pre-AGM meeting attendance". Dial-in details will be sent in advance of the meeting.
  • Do you feel like you have something to contribute to the Club? If so, why not join the committee? We have a few positions becoming vacant, including Honorary Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Race Organiser, Communications, and Athletics Representative. Interested to find out more? Please speak to Sue who will be happy to explain to you how the committee works.


The Serpentine Handicap – Every First Saturday of the Month

The Handicap made a successful return in August after a 16-month absence. This month's handicap will be held on Saturday 4th September, as usual near the Hyde Park Boat House. For those who only recently joined us, the race is over two laps of the Serpentine lake (almost 7km) in Hyde Park, with slower runners starting earlier than faster runners, so everyone has a chance to win. It is a lot of fun chasing one another, and everyone ends up in the café for the rest of the morning.

No advance registration is required – registrations are taken on the day, starting from 8:30am until 8:55am, with the first runner starting soon after.  See this link for more details if you want to come and run. Taking a morning off running but still want to come to be part of the magic? Please let the handicappers know that you can volunteers as well.


Capital Ring Runs – the final two stages

The summer of trail running reaches its conclusion in September with not just one but two stages of London's Capital Ring. Having gone crossed the Thames twice at Woolwich in the east and Richmond in the west, we will be staying in North London for the remainder of the runs:

  • Stage 5: Hanwell to Hendon (14 miles) - Sunday 12th September
  • Stage 6: Hendon to Stoke Newington (12 miles) - Sunday 26th September

All runs start at the train stations (Hanwell and Hendon Central) at 9:30am and will finish in a pub in the destination areas. All members are welcome to join - whether you are regulars on these runs or you haven't run with us before but fancy checking out the suburban greenery of North London.

Although not compulsory, please fill in your details via this link if you want to join us, so we know you're coming, and we have a good idea of numbers for the post run pub.


Serpiesphere Virtual 5k – the Summer Series finale!

Thanks to your continuous participation in the Serpiesphere Virtual 5k, we have been able to run our regular virtual race ever since the first national lockdown. Now with social distancing eased, we are running this race for the final month in order to make way for an ever expanding real-life activity programme. This race remains a very good way to get some speed running to supplement your training, or get yourselves prepared for the real-life races coming up. We also like being able to keep our out-of-London members engaged. It works exactly the same way as the handicap, so everyone has a chance to win. The only thing is please enter a time that you’ve run outside of a real-life race – fine if it is a 5k running on your own or with friends, or a segment of a longer run, but it must not be part of a real-life organised race. 


All members are welcome, whether you have entered previously or not (first-timers will be scratch runners, meaning you won’t win the first time, but if you make enough improvement next time you can win!). Race 7 of the Summer 2021 series started on 1st September and will finish at 10pm on 15th September, with the last race (Race 8) starting on 16th and finishing on 30th.  Race entry link is here.  Please email our Serpiesphere Virtual 5k organiser Sophie Taylor for any queries.


Club Runs – every Wednesday and Saturday

Our Club Runs continue every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning, come rain or shine! For more details please follow this link. We continue to run our two-parks and three-parks routes. All members are welcome; non-members can also join for a couple of runs to try out the club before joining. Any dogs who want to pace us are encouraged to join too!

We require runners to sign up in advance, so you can be placed in groups running the same route and similar pace – group size can now be up to nine. 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.

Finally, please note that whilst we have not yet resumed using Seymour Leisure Centre as the official bag-drop, as Serpentine RC members we are allowed to use the changing room lockers in Seymour to drop our bags – all you need are a good padlock and your Serpentine membership card to show at the reception. Hopefully this allows more of us to come after work.

Richmond Park – every Sunday morning

Serpentine’s weekly Sunday morning run resumed in August and will continue to run in September. We set off from Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park at 9:00am – please come on time. Most people do 1-lap (7.2 miles), although as marathon training ramps up a few will be doing multiple laps.  We always have a variety of abilities, so you won’t be on your own. We pay particular attention to newcomers and are a friendly bunch. After the run, we grab a coffee together at the Pembroke Lodge café.  

There is parking in front of the Pembroke Lodge. If you are coming by public transport it is a bit of a walk, mostly uphill, from Richmond Station.

If you’re coming for the first time, please let our organiser Kevin Murray know on Please note that we will collect names of participants and phone numbers for non-members. 


Other group sessions – running, intervals & swimming

In September we have the following run training sessions across different London locations, so you can take advantage of the ones near you, but of course everyone is welcome to attend any session. Also please remember to register your place in any session prior to attending.

  • Monday Paddington Track: This foundation track session is for those whose 10k time is about 48 minutes or more – a great workout to raise your pace to the next level. Details and booking via this link on the Serpie website.
  • Tuesday Intervals: Evening interval sessions at Bermondsey Spa Gardens.  For details and sign-up please follow this link on the website. Any questions:
  • Tuesday Parliament Hill 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: Our Endurance coach Gavin Edmonds is coaching this session at Paddington Recreation Ground Track in Maida Vale. It is suitable for everyone who is able to run 30 miles or more (over 3 runs or more) per week. Details and booking via this link on the Serpie website.
  • Saturday Hills: There are two sessions: For Greenwich Park, please see session and booking details via this link on the Serpie website. From August, we are also happy to welcome back the Hampstead Heath session, which you can find details via this link.


For swimming, we continue to have these two Serpie coached swim sessions. To sign up, please email our trialthon rep Anne Bennett indicating which session you would prefer. Please note this operates in a first-come-first-serve basis.

  • Orchard Lisle Pool, Guy’s Hospital, London Bridge - Monday evenings, 8.30-9.30pm, starting Monday 7th June. Cost: £90 for a block of 10 sessions
  • Pancras Square Leisure Centre, St Pancras - Wednesday evenings, 8.00-9.00pm, starting Wednesday 9th June. Cost: £90 for a block of 12 sessions


Our regular Zoom circuit and spin training sessions continue in September:

  • 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.


The Last Friday of the Month 5k

The Last Friday of the Month 5k made a successful return to Hyde Park in August after a year and a half. This race will now run every month. The next race will be on Friday 24th September. The race starts at 12:30pm also near the Hyde Park Boat House. For race details, including how to register, please click here. Please note that registration normally closes before race day, and you will NOT be able to run without signing up in advance.  If you want to volunteer to marshal please contact the race organiser.


And finally…

We are opening the kit room every Saturday morning at Seymour Centre in September – thanks to those who have volunteered, so that new members who haven’t got their club kit yet can pop in for their vest with their vouchers. Existing members can replace old worn kit with new ones as well. Please contact our kit rep Marina to arrange a time to come down to Seymour Centre – you need an appointment in advance.

In particular, we are doing a sale for the triathlon kit this month. For £10 only, you can get your own Serpie cycling jersey, jacket, gilet, and also triathlon top and shorts. If you want a tri-suit instead, it is only £20. Please check with Marina, as some sizes only have limited availability.

We also need volunteers to open the kit room and help with the operation in the upcoming months. Free over the weekends to help? Please email Marina about this too.


Enjoy September with us!

Hans Ho

Participation Representative

Submitted: 12 September 2021