Serpentine - What’s Happening in December 2019

Christmas? The General Election? There’s a lot going on in December, so why would the Serpies be any different? Get ready for another great month in the Club…

Cross Country – the real Winter Wonderland

December starts with the third Sunday League fixture on Sunday 1st in Trent Park near Cockfosters. Come and join us for some morning mud running fun in North London – this is one of the Sunday League races which you can attend just by taking the Tube. What’s more, there's no need to sign up in advance. Click here for race details.

The next Metropolitan League fixture on Saturday 7th, hence the weekend before the General Election, happens to be in the current Prime Minister’s constituency – Uxbridge. Just like the election, this race could be wildly unpredictable. I had fond memories of running through the river last year – will there be a repeat this time? Get your spikes and cakes ready, with another local pub visit after the day's races. No prior entry is required, but please arrive in good time before race start to get a bib number. Race details are here.

Missing these two League meetings?  Fear not. Sunday League very quickly returns for the fourth fixture on Sunday 22nd in Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage. Race starts at 10:30am. Again, all you need is a Serpie top and showing up before the race.

The last Championship race before Christmas is the SEAA Masters on Saturday 7th in Horspath, Oxford. If you are not running this race, you’d be pleased to know that entries are already open for several championship races in early 2020. These include:

· The Middlesex Champs in Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday 4th January

· The Surrey Champs in Denbies Vineyard on Sunday 5th January

· The Southern Champs in Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath on Saturday 25th January (Serpie entry closes on Sunday 15th December)

· The English National Champs in Wollaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday 22nd February.

Please contact our XC rep Daisy Gladstone if you want to enter or seek further information.  Also remember to check your EA registration as you’ll need it in most races.

Strength training

The third and final outdoor strength training session, led by our track and spin coach Gavin Edmonds, will be on Saturday 14th at 9:45am at Wormwood Scrubs. This 90-minute session will bring greater muscular power, increased resistance to fatigue, improved bone health, better running form and reduced risk of injury. All abilities are welcome and it is free to join, but please sign up with Gavin in advance. More information here.

New Year’s Day 10k

2020 will start with the annual Start Fitness Serpentine New Year’s Day 10k. This is a race which we don’t enter, but we organise in order to give something back to the London running community. We will need around 100 volunteers – you could be a marshal, work on registration, hand out medals at the finish area, or give runners water at drink stations. Not a bad way to get rid of your New Year’s Party hangover. If you want to help, please sign up here. Questions? Please contact Lee Tolentino, our Race Organiser.

Regular club races

The next Handicap race will be on Saturday 7th. Runners register between 8:15 and 8:55am at the Serpentine Boat House in Hyde Park. Not running? Volunteer with the handicap crew and stay for a coffee afterwards.

This month’s Last Friday of the Month 5k is right after Christmas on Friday 27th. The race starts at 12:30pm near the Boat House in Hyde Park. If you haven’t done this race before, this is a good opportunity to do it, as most of us will probably be off work and club members are not entering the New Year’s Day 10k. Register to run here, or to volunteer to marshal contact the race organiser.

Regular club activities

The Club closes between Christmas and New Year’s Day (inclusive), please check with the organisers to see if training is still on for days before and after this period.

· Track training: There are sessions every Monday at Paddington Rec (Maida Vale), every Tuesday, also at Paddington Rec, and every Tuesday at Parliament Hill.

· Off track training: Sessions are in Bermondsey every Tuesday and in Primrose Hill on Thursday. Those who want to do Saturday hills have the options of Greenwich or Hampstead Heath.

· Regular club runs are on Wednesdays and Saturdays (both meeting at Seymour Centre), and Sundays in Richmond Park.

· Coached swimming sessions are on Mondays in the Orchard Lisle Pool (London Bridge) or Seymour Centre, and on Thursdays in St Pancras.

· Spin class is on Wednesday night in the Seymour Centre.


Not signed up for Lanzarote yet? You can still register for this wonderful week-long holiday in the sun (with a bit of training) in March 2020. Details are here. But you've got to act quickly - entries close on Sunday 1st December.

I ran the London Marathon in 2017, having won a Club place. It was probably my best running experience ever. The good news is you could win a place to represent the Club in the London Marathon 2020 too. Find out how by clicking here - please email Sue by Tuesday 3rd December to enter.

Earlier this year we held our first ever Winter Party, and it was such a success that we are already planning for the next one! It will be on Saturday 1st February 2020 in the London City Runners’ Clubhouse in Bermondsey. Look out for our news on that after Christmas!

In the meantime, it sounds a little early, but let me wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Hans Ho

Participation Representative 

Submitted: 29 November 2019