Weekly Serpie round-up

With the spring season in full swing, it was a busy week and hard to keep on top of all Serpie results. Read on for a few selected highlights from Manchester, Rome, the Sahara Desert and Norway.

Picture from Weekly Serpie round-up

Greater Manchester Marathon

Some 5.5 years after my first marathon, I lined up at the start of the Manchester Marathon with a mix of excitement and trepidation, ready to lay a few ghosts to rest (I had 2 marathon DNFs in the intervening years). I wasn't the only one - some 30 Serpies opted to run what is billed as the UK's fastest marathon. It is flat, well organised and has a friendly vibe with great support along the route.

The course doubles back on itself in Altrincham, so I got to see speedy Serpies buzzing past me in the opposite direction - Andy Reeves, John Nugus, Sammy Li, Dorothy Boggs, to name but a few. A few friendly waves and shouts of 'go Serpies!' were just the boost I needed. I ran the first 18-19 miles at a nice even pace, well on course for a sub 4 finish. And then the wheels began to come off, cue lots of walking and faffing with shoe laces. I managed to hang in there, just, and crossed the line in 4:04:36, a 16-minute PB, shedding a few happy tears!

Happy Serpies after Greater Manchester Marathon 2018The Serpie contingent was led home by Ben Parkes in 2:37:14 (23rd) and Andy Reeves in 2:43:45 (81.7% age-graded). A few other PBs I am aware of: Gemma Carter (2:58:46), Martin Richardson (2:59:05), Philip Whitehouse (3:07:30), Jonathan Poirrette (3:18:29) and Elizabeth Ayres (5:29:16). And big up to Adrian Kerr who acquitted himself beautifully in his first ever marathon, finishing in 3:27:57. Well done all! (Report & photo: Eda Korkmaz)

Rome Marathon

A few of us got slightly sunburnt running Rome Marathon this weekend. It was Ellen and Margaret's first marathon and Megan’s fourth. We enjoyed the scenic course, including running past the pope giving mass, but have enjoyed the pizza and ice cream afterwards even more! (Report & photo: Megan Roberts)

Ellen Castle finished in 3:48:01, Margaret King in 4:28:14 and Megan in 3:21:31. Good work in the baking heat ladies!

Jurassic Coast Challenge

John Stoneman took part in the Jurassic Coast Challenge, a three-day trail running event along the South West Coastal path. The event started on Good Friday with a 27-mile run from Charmouth, near Lyme Regis all the way to Weymouth. The second mile of the whole event took runners up to the highest point on the south coast, Golden Cap, and the run went through West Bay, near Bridport, better known as the home of the TV series Broadchurch. Day one saw John complete the run in six and a quarter hours.

After a hot bath, a nice sleep and thousands of calories, it was back to Weymouth for Day Two which started with a circumnavigation of the Island of Portland right out to Portland Bill and then a few miles through Weymouth before heading back up into the hills and cliff faces all the way to Lulworth Bay. Again it was over six hours of running along 26 miles of stunning coastal path taking in famous landmarks like Durdle Door. Eat. Sleep. Shower. Repeat.John Stoneman on the Jurassic Coast

Day Three began back at Lulworth for the final 28-miles up and down the rollercoaster hills through the Army Firing Ranges to Kimmeridge, and then inland for a stretch before some more hills to St Aldhems Head, Swanage Bay and then Old Harry Rocks, before a final 5k run on the sand along Studland Bay. Over seven hours of running this time as fatigue set in, but an amazing sense of satisfaction and achievement at the finishing line. John's final position was 50th out of 155 finishers, in a combined time of 19 hours and 40 minutes. (Report & photo: John Stoneman)

Drammen Easter Half Marathon (Påskehalvmaraton)

On Easter Monday, I ran the half marathon in Drammen (be sure to scroll down!), Norway. It was my last race before the London Marathon. The course was partly icy because of the pretty cold Norwegian winter. The speed had to be really slow in the slippery parts of the course. The clock stopped at 1.18.50 and I finished in 5th place overall. I look forward to representing Serpentine Running Club in London on 22nd April! (Report: Runar Sannerud)

Marathon des Sables

Last Sunday, Clare Darley lined up at the start of the 156-mile long Marathon Des Sables, 'the toughest footrace on Earth'. It is a six-day, 251 km ultramarathon, which is held every year in southern Morocco, in the Sahara Desert. Clare finished stage 1 (30.3 km) in 5:06:26, stage 2 (39 km) in 6:54:32 and stage 3 (31.6 km) in 6:09:02. You can follow her progress and send her messages on the MdS website by looking up her name and bib number (391). We are all rooting for you Clare!

The best of the rest...

A few more highlights from a packed schedule: Congratulations to Owen Barder who won the gold medal for first V50 (he was 5th overall) at the Grand Union Canal Spring Half Marathon

Chris Wright comfortably won the first Assembly League fixture of the season in Beckenham on Thursday night. It was good to see 10 Serpies make the journey to south London, with a couple more turning up to volunteer.

A shout-out also to Richard Walkland (1:24:39) and James Turner (1:26:00) for setting new PBs at the ever popular Paddock Wood Half Marathon.

Congratulations to Faysal Abillama for his Club Handicap win. All that Lanzarote training is paying dividends! Grethe Petersen was 2nd and Carol Wu 3rd. In all, we had 73 finishers this month, including 13 scratch runners, and 6 new PBs.

Parkrun results for 31 March 2018 (70 runners)

Top 5 by time and age-graded performance

NameEventTimeGender # NameEventTimeGender # NameAge-graded
Jonathan PooleNorthala Fields15:371 Victoria BasquillGreenwich19:472 Jonathan Poole84.42%
Simon BarrettRichmond16:592 Zoe BirchenoughPenrose20:372 Simon Barrett82.24%
David EvansDulwich16:594 Anne EdenBurgess20:404 Victoria Basquill81.04%
Max Harrison-TosattoTooting Common17:022 Tamsin SimmondsAlly Pally21:231 Angus Beaumont80.38%
Angus BeaumontPenrose17:305 Adrienne TordaMain Beach22:1610 Adrienne Torda78.22%

Podium Finishers

1st: Jonathan Poole (Northala Fields) - 15:37, Sam Richardson (Letchworth) - 18:50, Tamsin Simmonds (Ally Pally) - 21:23
2nd: Simon Barrett (Richmond) - 16:59, Max Harrison-Tosatto (Tooting Common) - 17:02, Victoria Basquill (Greenwich) - 19:47, Zoe Birchenough (Penrose) - 20:37 

Busiest parkruns (3+ Serpies)

Richmond (4), Dulwich (3), Greenwich (3)

Full consolidated Serpentine results. Can't see yours? Updating your parkrun profile with Serpentine RC as your club should do the trick. (Results: Alex Jeffreys)

Get involved

Do you enjoy reading the weekly round-up? If so, please help me by sending me your mini race reports and results (a few lines is all it takes) so we can continue producing it regularly. Simply drop me an email by Tuesday 9am with a few words about the event and, if you have them, photos (please ask for permission if someone else took the pictures). 

If your result is missing from the club website, you can add it yourself or, if the race isn't listed in the dropdown menu, contact the Results Elves at results@serpentine.org.uk. Even better, simply add your name to the Race & Event Planner in advance and name SERPENTINE as your club when you enter races to ensure your results are added to your profile.

With thanks to everyone who contributed to this week's round-up!

Eda Korkmaz

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Submitted: 11 April 2018