March highlights

A few events to look out for in March

New club members have the opportunity to meet other club members and find out about what Serpentine offers at the new members' evening at the Seymour Centre on Wednesday 2 March; and on Saturday 5 March there's a chance for Serpies, new and older, to run the club handicap. All standards are welcome and there's no need to enter in advance. If you haven't run a club handicap before, you can read all about the race here. For those seeking a cross country fix, there's also the annual Dysart Cup and Ellis Trophy race, organised by Ranelagh Harriers, on Saturday 5 March. Formerly two races these are now combined into a single 5 mile (2x 2.5 mile laps) race for men and women. Juniors can also race, doing one 2.5 mile lap. Changing and refreshments will be available at the Ranelagh Harriers club house. No need to pre-enter, just turn up with your Serpie top and spikes etc.

The Berkhamsted half marathon on Sunday 6 March is the 2016 club championship half marathon. Also on Sunday is a Regents Park 10k and the Thames Riverside 20-mile and a WSEH Open indoor athletics meeting in Eton.

On Monday 7 March there will be an interactive session from a leading sports physiotherapist at the Seymour Centre. The evening, from 7pm to 9pm, will comprise a presentation and time for Q+A. There are still a few places available at this session: sign up here. Around 100 Serpies will be heading off to Club La Santa in Lanzarote on Thursday 10 March for some warm weather training.

In preparation for the upcoming track and field season, there will be a T&F taster session at Battersea track on Saturday 12 March, from 1pm - 4pm. This will be a pre-season coached practice session for newcomers to track & field, or anyone returning after a break (however long), and will include high jump, hurdles, pole vault, shot putt and javelin. You can read more about taking part here. Also on Saturday will be a hilly 9 mile social trail run on the Chiltern escarpment, with several optional out-and-back extra hills. This is a flexible route where you can either do just the basic loop at an easy social pace, or add some (or all!) of the extra hills if you want a bit more of a "session".

On Sunday 13 March there will be a few Serpies running the Finchley 20 and others taking on the Bath half marathon and Silverstone half marathon. There's also a late-season chance for some final cross country action (for those who have pre-entered) at the Middlesex Masters cross country championships at Cassiobury Park, Watford. Also on Sunday are the Dartford half marathon and the March Hare Duathlon, organised by Capital Tri at the QEOP Velopark.

The March Brooks Last Friday of the Month 5k will be a week earlier than usual, on Friday 18 March, so it does not fall on Good Friday. On Saturday 19 March, there's the 1st day of the Hertfordshire, Middlesex & Kent indoor track and field championships at Lee Valley; plus Serpie trail running lovers can combine stages 12 & 13 of the Green Belt Relay (Ingatestone to Upminster - 13 miles) in the latest of the series of social GBR recce runs.

T&F athletes will be back at Lee Valley on Sunday 20 March for the 2nd day of the Hertfordshire, Middlesex & Kent indoor track and field championships. Also on Sunday there will be Serpie teams competing at the South of England 12 and 6 stage road relays at Gravesend Cycle Park. There are still entries available for the London Fields aquathlon on Sunday 20 March; and on the same day there will be Serpies running the Cranleigh 15 & 21 and the North London half marathon and some Serpie cyclists will be taking on the Surrey Hills Cyclone sportive. The last in the series of marathon training runs organised by Gade Valley is a 20-miler on Sunday 20 March – see details here.

The Easter weekend means race opportunities on Friday and Monday as well as the usual Saturday and Sunday and the weekend starts with the Maidenhead Easter 10 on Friday 25 March. There will be a few Serpies spending Easter in Wales and taking part in the Cardiff half marathon on Saturday 26 March, which incorporates the World Half Marathon Championship. Rumour has it that Serpie, Hussein Ahmed,  has been selected to run for Egypt at this prestigious event.

On Sunday 27 March there's an open indoor track and field meeting at the Lee Valley athletics centre and Easter Monday brings the Hillingdon half marathon and the first in the 2016 series of Thames Turbo sprint triathlons. A large group of Serpie cyclists have signed up for the London Phoenix Easter Classic, which offers a 113km and a 54km route through the quiet country lanes of Essex.

Looking forward to early April, on Saturday 2 April there are the British Masters Athletics Federation 10k championships at the QEOP, plus the ever-popular Orion 15, as well as the April club handicap. On Sunday 3 April, there's the second T&F taster session at Battersea track, plus the Paris marathon and a WSEH Open athletics meeting in Eton.

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

Sally Hodge

Submitted: 28 February 2016