Serpiesphere Virtual 5k Week 16 (25th to 31st July) & Week 17 (1st to 8th August)

Hello Serpies,

Well done to the 53 Serpies who ran in last week’s Serpiesphere Virtual 5k. With 3 weeks of racing to go, this is the last preview email (for both weeks 16 and 17) of the series, before we move on to the final week – the Club Championship week from 9th August. But first, let’s look back on Week 15…

Last week we had some fantastic performances – with both men’s and women’s race records broken. 11 of us did the best-of-series time, another 15 ran within half a minute of the handicap time. Also, well done to Sophia Holder who won the perfect 60 challenge (handicap time exactly 60:00), and Karen Hancock who came under 50 minutes and hence a personal best for her 5k run-walk whilst recovering from an injury. She rewarded herself with an ice cream on a sunny day in Greenwich Park…

Karen's ice cream

I’d like to thank everybody for sending their beautiful and fun photos in the past 15 weeks. We have really enjoyed including them in our communications. Let’s see what new initiatives we have when we start a new series of virtual races.


Last week’s Virtual Podium

Congratulations to the following runners for their Virtual Podium performances:

  1. Encarna Rodriguez won the race for a second time with a time of 24:40 (handicapped time of 57:25).
  2. Anne Bennett was rewarded with a podium place after successfully organising our virtual duathlon a week ago, with a 5k time of 25:47 (handicapped time 58:47).
  3. Kent Blocher continued his good form in Connecticut and became our first US-based podium finisher with a quick time of 21:12 (handicapped time 59:12).

Also, our fastest performers of Week 15 are both record breakers – the Club Champs in three weeks’ time will be very interesting:

  • Fastest Male & best age-graded: Scott O’Connor broke the Serpiesphere Men’s Record (previously by Chris Wright – 15:51) by running a 5-min-mile 5k and finishing with a time of 15:35 (age-graded performance 85.6%).
  • Fastest Female: Jess Welborn also achieved the Serpiesphere Women’s Record (previously by Tash Sheel – 18:27) and stopped the clock at exactly 18:00 to win with her first entry of the race.

Full results here:


The next two weeks – How to submit your time

Note that there are two races – the Week 16 race from Saturday 25th to Friday 31st July; and the Week 17 race from Saturday 1st to Saturday 8th August (an extra day in Week 17 to bring us to the Club Champs 5k race).

  • Enter your time before 22:00 (New cut off time!) on Friday 31st July for Week 16 via this link: Click “self-add result”, then scroll to find “Serpiesphere Virtual 5K” and choose “25 July 2020” (which includes all performances from 25th to 31st July).
  • The link for Week 17 will be created on 1st August – cut off time will be 22:00 on Saturday 8th August.
  • Take a photo or screenshot that shows your time and distance, this can be a screenshot of your Strava / Garmin result page, or a picture of your watch. As long as the distance is a minimum of 5.00km (or 3.11 miles) and it shows a finish time, it will be accepted.
  • Submit the photo or screenshot at this link (also before 22:00 on the cut-off day): (this link can also be found in the same page as the “self-add result” page). Click the “+” sign on the page to ‘Choose Files’. You do not need a Dropbox account. This will just ask for your name (so we can correlate your performance with the time submitted) and email address (so you’ll get a confirmation of upload).

Email me if you are unable to do so. All members who have not done the race yet are welcome to join - you'll be a scratch runner for the first time week so you won't be on the Podium; from next week onwards you will have a chance to win!


The Lockdown Championship

With 3 more weeks to go before the Lockdown Championship concludes, here are the Top 10 after Week 15:

  1. Hilary Walker – 161
  2. Victoria Brown – 153
  3. Hugh Torry – 151
  4. Stephanie Vaatz – 143
  5. Andrew Reeves – 141
  6. Martin Carmack – 133
  7. Natalia Delfino & Keith Evans – 110
  8. Grace Sim – 107
  9. Anne Bennett – 103

The full results are here:



Thanks to everyone for logging into the Serpiesphere Café over the past three months. As club runs have restarted and we have resumed post-run café next to the Serpentine Lake on Saturdays (outdoors and socially-distanced, of course), we think now is the right time to migrate the Zoom setup back to real life. Missing our coffee fix? Come to the next Club Run!  (Remember to sign up – sign up link on the first page of the Serpentine website.)


I’d like to thank my co-organisers of the Virtual 5k for their help – Sarah Maisey, Nic Barberis and Pete Mackintosh. Any queries about the race, please contact me or one of us.


Happy running,

Hans Ho

Participation Representative (

Submitted: 26 July 2020