April highlights

A few events to look out for in April

The April club handicap will be on Saturday 1 April. 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. Also on Saturday, there's the second Serpentine pre-track & field season taster session – a coached practice session for newcomers to track & field, or anyone returning after a break (however long) – this one including hurdles, shot putt, javelin and steeplechase. You can read more about taking part here. The Victoria Park 5-mile on the same day is often popular with Serpies, plus there's the opportunity to compete at track & field at several open track & field meetings, including Herne Hill, Woodford Green and Essex Ladies and Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow. Trail-loving Serpies can join a social trail run on the North Downs Way from Guildford to Dorking (14 miles). On Sunday 2 April, there'll be a sizeable group of Serpies running the Manchester marathon, while others will be running the Paddock Wood half marathon or Regent's Park 10k.

On Wednesday 5 April, there's a chance to find out more about relay events with Serpentine. If the Green Belt, Welsh Castles and Round Norfolk relays are new to you, just come to the club room after the club run (from about 20:15) and our relay enthusiasts will be there to tell you more and inspire you to get involved in these great events. The first Assembly League of 2017 is, for many, a herald of summer round the corner, and is on Thursday 6 April in Beckenham. The Assembly League is a series of six races open to all members of the league clubs, with no need to sign up in advance. There are a couple of school athletics clubs who are league members, making these races slightly unusual since adults and juniors race together. There is a wide standard at Assembly League races and all Serpies, including our juniors (U13+), are welcome – the more the merrier.

On Friday 7 April, there's the monthly Ealing mile, then on Saturday 8 April, we will have two men's teams and at least one women's team competing at the National 12 & 6 stage road relays in Sutton Coldfield. After a silver medal finish at the Southern Relays, it will be great to see how the Serpie men do. Also on Saturday is a Lee Valley open track & field meeting as well as the South Downs Way 50-mile.

The first club championship of the multi-sport season is the Ful-On duathlon on Sunday 9 April, which is also the first London Triathlon League event of the year. Sunday will be a very busy day, with the Last half of the London marathon training run; the final Serpentine pre-track & field season taster session, including pole vault and high jump; Brighton marathon; Paris marathon; and the Thames Towpath 10. We are still looking for pace-group leaders for the Last half training run, so if you know the route and can help out, please sign up.

On Wednesday 12 April, there's the third in our 'Find Out About' series, this one is find out more about summer road races with Serpentine, in the club room after the club run (from about 20:15). The Easter weekend is bookended with the Maidenhead Easter 10-mile on Friday 14 April and Boston marathon on Monday 17 April.

We are excited to be hosting Dean Karnazes on Wednesday 19 April, who will be joining our club for the 2 Parks run and providing a short talk about his new book entitled ‘The Road to Sparta’. Everyone is welcome, but due to restricted space at the Seymour Centre, priority will be given to people who have signed up on the planner.

On Saturday 22 April, Serpie juniors will have the chance to take part in the first meeting of the Middlesex Young Athletes League, which is a new athletics league for junior athletes competing for clubs in the London region. The first meeting will be in Perivale and we hope to see lots of Serpie juniors there. The London marathon, this year on Sunday 23 April, always attracts 100+ Serpie runners, including many on the championship start, with good-for-age places, and our volunteers with club places; plus there will be a huge number of Serpie supporters out on the course cheering them all on. Nearer to the date, we’ll send out details of where groups of Serpies are meeting to support, plus the ever-popular post race pub - the Buckingham Arms, Petty France. The speedy multi-sporters at the Kingfisher aquathlon, (a London Triathlon League event) which is also on Sunday, should still be able to make it along to the pub! 

There will be a club committee meeting on Monday 24 April. If you would like to raise an issue or agenda item with a member of the committee prior to this, please contact us. The April Last Friday of the Month 5k will be on Friday 28 April.

Saturday 29 April is the date of the first Southern Athletics League meeting of the summer, this one to be held in Cambridge. Everyone is welcome and there’s information about the SAL on our website, or please contact the team captains if you have any questions about taking part or officiating. This will be our first match since promotion to division 2 and we hope to get a strong team out. On the same day are the Thames Path 100-mile and the Total Motion aquathlon (a London Triathlon League event).

The Hackney half marathon is a little earlier this year than in previous years, on Sunday 30 April. The organisers are keen to find pacers, so if you would like to pace a group, please contact Fraser Johnson for more details. Also on Sunday are the Richmond Ranelagh half marathon, a QEOP duathlon and the Tour de Yorkshire sportive.

Looking forward to early May: on Saturday 1 May the Thames Turbo sprint triathlon is a London Triathlon League event; the Assembly League moves to Victoria Park on Thursday 4 May; Saturday 6 May is the date for the club handicap; there's another London Triathlon League event on Sunday 7 May – the Dragonslayer duathlon; and the first Southern Vets track & Field meeting is at Battersea on Monday 9 May. This is our home match and helpers, qualified or just enthusiastic, are very welcome – please contact races@serpentine.org.uk if you can help in any way on that Monday evening.

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

Sally Hodge

Submitted: 30 March 2017