Serpentine RC - What’s Happening in October 2021

Hello Serpies – The autumn has arrived and that means we have some new exciting events coming up in October. We’ll start the month with the London Marathon, then the Cross Country season will begin, and we will also have the 10k Club Championship race.  These come on top of our normal programme with the Handicap, club runs, training sessions, and the Last Friday 5k. Here is a list of what’s happening in October.

London Marathon

The London Marathon will take place on Sunday 3rd October in the streets of London, after a year of being virtual-only. We wish everyone taking part in a great race and an enjoyable day!

Post-run pub: Just like other years on Marathon Day, we are once again meeting for a post-run pub gathering at the Buckingham Arms (Address: 62 Petty France; Closest Station: St James’s Park). Our booking is from 1:30pm until late afternoon, so please join us for some food and drinks – all Serpentine members are welcome to join whether you are running or not. Although not compulsory, it will help us assess numbers if you can put down your name in this form.


10k Club Championship Race

This year’s 10k Club Championship Race is on Saturday 23rd October in the Sri Chinmoy ‘Autumn Dawn’ Race, starting at 8:30am in Battersea Park. We are glad that the Sri Chinmoy organisers are willing to let us use their race as the club championship.

All members are welcome to enter via this link. Please make sure you enter the race on 23rd October for the 10k club championship race (the race in November isn’t).


Cross Country is BACK!

The 2021-22 cross country season will start in October, after a year of pause. Serpentine as a club take part in two different leagues and many other championship races. Whether you are a championship-racer hoping to run fast times, or you’re a first-timer just wishing to get around, everyone is welcome and there’s a race for everybody.

The races in October are:

  • Met League (Race 1): Saturday 16th October – Claybury Park
  • Sunday League (Race 1): Sunday 17th October – Cheshunt
  • North London Cross Country Championship: Saturday 30th October 2021 – Uxbridge

For the Met League and Sunday League races, although not compulsory and you can simply turn up to race, please let us know you’re coming by using this form.

For the championship races (including the North London Cross Country Championship above), please contact Sophie Flanagan who will arrange Serpentine’s entries.

Please note that for the Met League and the Championship races, you are required to be registered with England Athletics. Please check Serpiebase to see if you have bought or renewed your licence for 2021-22.

Finally, we are also holding a pre-season gathering, so you can get to know about the events, or just meet other club members. We are meeting at the Larrik (32 Crawford Place, London, W1 5NN) from 8pm until late, on Wednesday 6th October. You would notice this is after the Wednesday club runs, so it is perfect for those who want some post-run refreshments or dinner.

Any questions about cross country, please email me.


The Serpentine Handicap – Every First Saturday of the Month

The third Handicap race since our restart in the summer will be held on Saturday 2nd October, as usual near the Hyde Park Boat House. For those who 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.


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.

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 (see the last item in this email), 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 continues in October. 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 October 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.
  • Thursday Primrose Hill: Evening hill sessions at Primrose Hill – please see this link. The sessions are suitable for all levels to improve strength, fitness and endurance.  Any questions please find details and contact information via the above link.
  • 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, 8-9pm. Cost: £90 for a block of 10 sessions
  • Pancras Square Leisure Centre, St Pancras - Wednesday evenings, 8-9pm. Cost: £90 for a block of 12 sessions


Our regular Zoom circuit and spin training sessions continue:

  • 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 29th October. 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.


Good luck if you’re running…

These races normally attract a good number of Serpies. Feel free to write a message on Facebook to let others know you’re running, or arrange to meet post-race!


And finally…

  • We still have some new members who need club kit in order to run in various races, as well as existing members who want to replace old worn kit. Please contact our kit rep Marina to arrange a time to come down to Seymour Centre – you need an appointment in advance. Free over the weekends to help volunteer in the kit room? Please email Marina about this too.
  • We are actively considering a return to Seymour Centre for our club runs. This is due to winter almost upon us and so most of us would need to have some warm clothes to wear before and after running. Also with more of us back working in Central London, some can benefit from having a bag drop in our club room. However, we understand there are concerns regarding the use of the room. Therefore, we will communicate further about this in October, and we will be seeking your views on this. Please watch this space!


Have a lovely October!

Hans Ho

Participation Representative

Submitted: 10 October 2021