Serpentine - What’s Happening in January 2021

Hello Serpies,

Happy New Year! I hope 2021 works out better than 2020 for all of us. In particular I hope what I mention in this monthly email will actually take place, rather than being cancelled due to new restrictions (as happened in November and December)! The Prime Minister announced new lockdown measures effective from 5 January, but if you think there won’t be anything happening in the Club in January – think again! Below is what’s happening in January to get us all started in this new year.

No Club Run?  Why not “Run in Pairs”??

Under the newly announced Lockdown restrictions on 4th Jan 2021, we are allowed to exercise with one other person outside of our household. Therefore, we thought it would be a good idea to help you find running buddies, in order to continue running regularly. Running in pairs has also been encouraged by England Athletics since the November 'lockdown'. There are possibilities to run anywhere around London, any pace/distance, even to do an interval or fartlek session. To sign up, please follow this link:

The usual precautions apply - please don't run if you are displaying symptoms of Covid, or if you should be self-isolating. Maintain social distancing at all times - you are encouraged to keep a distance with your run partner during your run. Also, you are encouraged to stick to a regular run partner or a limited number of run buddies. Come back to me if you have any questions.


Serpiesphere Virtual 5k - the *NEW* Spring Series!

The Serpiesphere 5k has re-opened its virtual door in 2021, now under new management! It will still be a 5k, it will still be a regular handicap race so everybody can win, but we have introduced a couple of changes to the Spring Series to keep everyone entertained:

  • There will be two races each month, so cut-off dates will not necessarily be on a Friday as usual. We will inform you which day the cut-off date is in advance. This will make it easier for us to record everyone’s monthly age-graded performance as we did in the Last Friday 5ks.
  • There will be a ‘Special A-Race’ once every few races with the chance to score extra points and a spot-prize for a lucky participant. Fancy being our winning Valentine (cut off 14th Feb) or the April Not-Quite-the-Fool’s champion (cut off 31st Mar)? Make sure you enter those races!

Please follow this link for more information. To record your time between now and Friday 15th Jan, please click here. Questions? Please email the new sheriff in town Sophie Taylor, who works together with Baiju McCubbins and Pete Mackintosh to keep the race running nicely.


Team Hatch Bingo Challenge - January

Want to donate to charity and keep fit at the same time? Look no further than the Team Hatch Bingo. You just need to perform a daily exercise (range from a (not)parkrun, climbing loads of stairs, or doing yoga for 30 minutes) or a fun activity (running in fancy dress or making your own Bollywood dance video!) throughout January, as long as you comply with the current Covid restrictions (note that the new January lockdown restrictions will unfortunately mean the closure of outdoor swimming pools). We have already received a lot of great photos and videos of people doing a cold winter swim, baking, even taking a nap on a ‘rest day’ in January! Your £10 entry will go straight to Great Ormond Street Hospital. It’s so much fun, even I have joined the 50 or so Serpies and friends since New Year’s Day! For more details please see this link, or contact our Team Hatch Captain Hamilton Huxham.


Zoom training sessions

New year, same great sessions on Zoom:

  • Our track coach Andy Reeves leads a circuit training session on Wednesday evenings. Everyone is welcome to join. Look out for the Facebook messages by Andy before Wednesdays for the Zoom link and details.
  • Rosh Karunaratne runs the weekly spin classes over Zoom at 7pm every Tuesday. The sessions will have an interval training-based focus and are open to all abilities. Any equipment that allows you to spin is suitable (turbos, exercise bikes, spin bikes etc), plus you’ll need water, a towel, and a computer to run Zoom. Please email Rosh if you’d like to join.


Zwift Weekly Team Time Trial

Probably the best thing coming out of the Covid pandemic – the Zwift Team Time Trial is now a regular fixture in the Club, with our riders getting faster and stronger, and the Serpie Zwift group growing in numbers! Just like every week since April 2020, we will continue to field teams every Thursday evening. We currently run teams of varying levels including a beginner’s non-drop team, high-level mixed teams, and ladies-only team. We compete against over 500 teams every week. It is a fantastic workout, and very social at the same time. So if you have access to Zwift and are free on Thursday evenings, please join us using this link to find out more. Once you have joined, the team can help set you up to race.

Following the success of the Zwift time trials, since October 2020 we have joined the Zwift Racing League every Tuesday night.  At the moment we have one men’s team (with about four to six riders) taking part in Season 2 (which starts on 11/12th Jan), but in future we would like to field more teams and expand to other categories. Please get in touch with me if you’d like to take part.


Some new ideas in 2021

As if the above isn’t enough to keep you active, we also have a few new ideas for the new year:

  • Once restrictions are eased and we can meet more than one person properly, we are hoping to organise a series of trail runs around the Capital Ring – a 78-mile route around the suburban greenery in London. I’m looking for volunteers to plan and lead these runs, which will hopefully take place every few weekends.  Want to take part in running and/or planning our runs? Please contact me.
  • We’re planning to organise a scavenger hunt during the current restrictions. Our Juniors Coordinator Liz Ayres will give out a list of seven items (such as a monument or a building of some kind) regularly on Facebook, one to find daily on either a walk or run, and you can take a picture and send it to us. Hopefully, this keeps us motivated for daily exercise, at the same time looking out for interesting things. You might even tick off the ‘landmark photo’ box in the January Team Hatch Bingo!
  • You may recall our recent fundraising campaigns last summer. The idea has been to subsidise our members’ training as coaches, race organisers, run/cycle leaders, and officials. Due to the changing nature of Covid restrictions since late 2020, we have not been able to sign up for any training course. However, if you would like to get to the front of the queue once restrictions are lifted, please feel free to get in touch with me now to express your interest. Don’t miss the chance to help the club whilst obtaining additional skills and doing something fun!


And finally…

Did you know – you can renew your membership two months before it expires? As you know Serpentine is a club for everyone – we want the fastest, the slowest, and all runners in between to join us. And once we’ve joined, we hope you stay with us! With the vast number of virtual events, we are keeping our non-London based members engaged, as well as those in the Capital. We know there were members who had their memberships elapsed last year and hence have missed all the fun and the possibility to exercise, train, and race together in the future. We don’t want that to happen to you! Therefore, please go to Serpiebase, check when your expiry date is, and renew as soon as the system allows you to. Together, we can have a great 2021 both virtually and in person!


Happy Running in 2021!

Hans Ho

Participation Representative (

Submitted: 4 January 2021