Serpentine - What’s Happening in January 2020

Serpentine starts the new decade with a bang – check out the following activities for January 2020…

New Year’s Day 10k

Just hours after the fireworks on the Thames, we will hold the annual Start Fitness Serpentine New Year’s Day 10k in Hyde Park. We are thrilled that the event is now sold out and we look forward to putting on a fantastic show for the London running community. Thanks to all Serpies who have signed up to volunteer. I have the pleasure to be the Chief Marshal of the race and I could still do with a few more marshals on the day – if you’re interested in helping out from about 09:30 onwards please email me directly (I am not able to register volunteers from our website anymore). You’ll be rewarded with a shiny yellow bib and a visit to the pub afterwards!

Cross Country – the New Year Mud Rush

The first weekend of the decade has two cross country championship races – the Middlesex Champs in Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday 4th and then the Surrey Champs in Denbies Vineyard on Sunday 5th. Good luck to those who will run – unfortunately the entries are now closed.

Missing those two races? The following weekend is equally action-packed, and the races don’t need pre-entry. The fourth Metropolitan League fixture of the season will be in Alexandra Palace on Saturday 11th – see race details here. The next morning on Sunday 12th will see the Sunday League returning in Watford’s Cassiobury Park. Just turn up and run, but please bring your Serpie top and arrive in good time before your race start to get a bib number.

A couple of weeks later, the Southern Champs will be held in Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath on Saturday 25th. Over 100 Serpies have entered the event, sadly we cannot accept further entries. However, it’s still possible to join this big Serpie outing – by volunteering. If you want to marshal please let our XC rep Daisy Gladstone know.

The key race to sign up to in January has to be the English National Champs in Wollaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday 22nd February. Join a large group of Serpies in this truly national event. You don’t need to run fast – just come and have a fun time with all the runners across the country. We will leave London on Saturday morning in time for the afternoon race. After the race we will move on to a night out in Nottingham, and an overnight stay in a hotel. For sign up please follow this link, where you’ll also find details of the whole weekend, but please do so before 5th January. Also remember to check your EA registration – you’ll need it.

Walk and Pub

We are a running club, but we are also nature-lovers. For those who want to breathe some fresh air but defer running for another week, we are doing our next “Walk & Pub” on Sunday 5th. The walk will be led by Alex Malzer and will involve the windy roads from Welwyn Garden City to Stevenage, finishing at our beloved Stevenage Wetherspoon next to the station. The beautiful walk will be a mixture of wide open fields, deep woods, wet grassy parkland and country estates. Not to mention a variety of pubs and supermarkets along the way. We will meet in the morning at King's Cross Station, exact train time to be confirmed. We will return when you've had enough beers!

The first one back in November was quite a success with a dozen Serpies hiking around Tring. Interested in joining this time? Please click here to join our Hike Whatsapp group. Also if you’d like to volunteer and organise another walk somewhere around London, please contact Ana Penalver. There will be more Walk & Pubs in the coming months.



Marathon training groups

If you’re a marathoner this spring, you’ll probably start pounding those hard miles in January. Not only that, many of you might have joined the Club to train for a marathon – I myself joined in January 2009 to prepare for the Paris marathon that April (and you lovely people have kept me in the Club ever since). Those who have trained for a marathon would know it’s much more enjoyable (and effective) to train in groups. Therefore this year I’d like to make it easier for you to join a group, according to your pace or location you’d like to run.

The idea is this: I know there are existing or ad-hoc groups organised by club members (I was in the ‘Sunday Long Run and Roast’ group last year!). Please can I have a show of hands of those who organise groups and want people to join? I’ll then put the willing participants in touch with each other, and off you go! Email me if you’re a group organiser, or if you want to find out what training groups are available. Once I know more I’ll email again in the first few weeks in January.

Regular club activities

· 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.

Regular club races

The new Handicap season will start on Saturday 4th. Those who want to establish some early points in the Hogshead table, or just a Saturday morning jog around the Serpentine Lake – come to register between 8:30 and 8:55am at the Serpentine Boat House in Hyde Park. Not running? Volunteer with the handicap crew and stay for a coffee afterwards.

January’s Last Friday of the Month 5k is on Friday 31st. The race starts at 12:30pm near the Boat House in Hyde Park. Register to run here, or to volunteer to marshal please contact the race organiser.

Finally, dates for your diary…

Want to party and don't want to wait for another Christmas? Come to our Winter Party on Saturday 1st February in the London City Runners’ Clubhouse in Bermondsey. We did fancy dress in the Summer Party back in August. In winter the theme will be reversed – Dress Fancy. Not obligatory of course, but any effort will be greatly appreciated! Tickets will be on sale shortly in January, look out for our emails.

After a successful Serpie parkrun Day in November in Clapham Common, the next edition will be, as promised, north of the river – Saturday 29th February in Hampstead Heath. I’ll have more details in the February “What’s Happening” newsletter.

Happy Serpie Twenty Twenty!

Hans Ho

Participation Representative

Submitted: 29 December 2019