January highlights

A few of the events to look out for in January

There will be some changes to the regular Serpie training sessions at the start of January. A full timetable showing changes is here.

The new year will get off to a great start for 650 runners on Friday 1 January at the Start Fitness Serpentine New Year's Day 10k. A good number of you have already signed up to help on the day, but more are welcome to ensure we can make this race a great success for all.

Serpie runners are welcome to start their running year off at the January club handicap on Saturday 2 January in Hyde Park. All standards are welcome. If you haven't run a club handicap before, you can read all about the race here. There will be many Serpies getting into their spring marathon training and the Tadworth 10 on Sunday 3 January could be a good one to add to the programme. Places are still available and entries close on 30 December.

On Tuesday 5 January, Serpie entries close for the National cross country championships and for the club trip to Derby that weekend. The first club committee meeting of 2016 will be on Wednesday 6 January - if you have items you would like adding to the agenda, please send them to the Honorary Secretary by Saturday 2 January.

The county cross country championships for Essex, Kent and Middlesex will all take place on Saturday 9 January with the Surrey championships the following day, on Sunday 10 January. These events are for those who pre-entered only - no entries on the day. Also on Sunday are the Regents Park 10k and the Winter Tanners, where Serpie help at a checkpoint on this excellent walking and running trail event, organised by the LDWA in Surrey, will be most welcome. If you would like to help out this time round please email trail@serpentine.org.uk

Coach David Chalfen will be running a session to help guide current and future marathon preparation and racing, which should be of use to anyone in a range of 2:20 to sub 4:00, at the Seymour Centre on Monday 11 January. The session is currently full, but you can check back here from time to time to see if anyone has since dropped out. Also, anyone who signed up but can't now make it, please take your name off the list to open a slot for someone else to take.

The fourth Start Fitness Metropolitan cross country league race of the season is on Saturday 16 January at Horsenden Hill. There's no need to enter in advance and we hope to have a big Serpie turnout. There are usually a few hardy Serpies starting their ultra year off with the Country to Capital, which this year takes place on Saturday 16 January. Also on 16 January is the launch of a new weekly training session for Serpie juniors at Paddington track, which will cover sprints and middle distance training as well as jumps. The session will be led by a level 2 coach and will be from 10.30am to 12.00pm.

Sunday 17 January offers another enter-on-the day cross country event: the Sunday League cross country in Watford, where all Serpies are welcome, no matter what standard. On the same day, there's a planned 19 mile circular Serpie trail run from Leighton Buzzard, taking in the grounds of Woburn Abbey (but not the bit with the lions).

There will be a new members' evening on Wednesday 20 January, where new Serpies are invited to find out what the club can offer them and how to get involved.

There are 45 Serpies signed up for the Box Hill Fell Race on Saturday 23 January, so we may even surpass the 39 finishers from the club in 2015. On Sunday 24 January there's the Fred Hughes 10 mile in St Albans and, closer to home, a Victoria Park 10k which currently still has places available.

The first Brooks Last Friday of the Month 5k of 2016 will be on Friday 29 January. On Saturday 30 January it'll be time to get (very) muddy for those Serpies who pre-entered the South of England cross country championships (the Southerns) at Parliament Hill. We'll also be looking for people who can marshal from 10.00am and 5.00pm. A packed lunch will be provided and travel expenses reimbursed. Please contact Malcolm French, who will be Chief Marshal on the day, if you can help.

Looking forward to early February, the club handicap will be on Saturday 6 February and the hilly Watford half marathon on Sunday 7 February.

There's more information about lots of these events on the Serpie events planner.

Sally Hodge

Submitted: 28 December 2015