February Highlights

Click on the title above for a summary of a few of the events to look out for in February 2013

Many of you are in full training now for the upcoming spring half and full marathons and so the majority of the existing Serpentine training sessions are now starting to turn their attention to longer intervals to help you build towards your goal. All abilities are welcome at these sessions, although remember that we generally advise that people should be running at least 3 times a week already before attempting this more technical type of training for the first time.

In addition to the usual interval type sessions, we will be running a series of medium length half / full marathon orientated runs over the course of February / March as part of the Wednesday night offerings from the Seymour Centre. These runs will be lead by experienced pacers and allow you to train at your goal pace in the company of others with similar ambitions. These runs will progress from around 10 miles up to about 14 and each week there will hopefully be a marathon related Q&A drop-in session available afterwards. More details on this will follow shortly.

The last race in the season's ATW Met League will take place on Saturday 9 February at a new venue — Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood. The women run 6k, starting at 13.55 and then men run 8k, starting at 14:35. Our women's A team is currently at the top of the leader board, but it remains nail-bitingly close, with Shaftesbury Barnet only 16 points behind us, so it really is all going to come down to this last match. There's no need to pre-enter. More information is on the Serpie website

It looks like there will be lots of Serpies out racing over the weekend of 16 & 17 February. Saturday 16 February is the new date for the re-scheduled Southern Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill. No new entries or swaps are now permitted. Good luck to all Serpies racing.

On Sunday 17 February, there's the Brighton Half Marathon and the Bramley 10 & 20-milers. Entries for Brighton are closed, but Bramley race entries are open until 4 February (unless they fill up before then) so there could still be time to get a last minute entry. On the same day, it's the last race of the Sunday League cross country season at Cassiobury Park, Watford. There's no need to pre-enter. Men and women run the same 5-mile course, starting at 10:30am. Keep an eye on the website, club emails & Facebook for full details.

Also on Saturday 16 February is the next chance to have a go at trail running with a Serpie group. There will be an 'Out-and-Back' trail training run. This is suitable for any ability as it is on the former railway trail from East Grinstead, so it's easy to split into groups and the faster people can stretch their legs, while beginners need not be afraid of holding anyone up. There's no need to sign up in advance. More details to follow on the website, club emails (subscribe to trail & ultra distance running) & Facebook.

On Saturday 23 February, the English National Cross Country Championships return to Herrington Country Park, Sunderland, a venue last used in 2007. Entries are closed, but there's a large group of Serpies pre-entered and headed north for the weekend. At the 2012 Championships, the Serpie men's 6 to score team finished 15th & the 9 to score team were 10th, and our women's 4 to score team finished in 8th. Let's hope for some excellent performances in Sunderland.

Sally Hodge

Submitted: 4 February 2013