Serpentine RC - What’s Happening in January 2022

Hello Serpies – Welcome to 2022! 2021 didn’t start as we would have liked, and didn’t finish the way we’d expected either. However, we still had a great year with most of the longstanding activities resumed, so let’s continue in 2022! We shall abide by the latest government restrictions, but our activities are set to continue – Club Runs will no longer require sign-up, training sessions carry on as normal, the Cross Country season is still in full swing, another trail run is taking place later in January as well!

Club Runs – every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday

Our Club Runs continue every Wednesday evening and weekend mornings, come snow or shine! An important change is that from January 2022 onwards, there is no need to sign up before coming. All members are welcome; non-members can also join for a couple of runs to try out the club before joining.

Wednesday evenings

You can just turn up and run! We continue to run our two-parks, three-parks, and two-and-half park routes. From mid-January some of us will also run a mid-long run of around 9-11 miles, ideal for those training for a spring marathon. For meeting locations, you have a choice to start in:

  • Seymour Leisure Centre – for those who want to leave your belongings in our secure club room. Please remember to bring your membership card. There will be volunteers in each of these two groups to lead everyone down to Speaker’s Corner where our runs will officially begin.
    • Those who plan to run 8:30 min/mile (5:18 min/km) or faster please be ready at Seymour Centre by 18:35;
    • Everyone else will leave Seymour by 18:45.
  • Hyde Park Speaker’s Corner – for those who can come run-ready.
    • Faster pace groups up to 8:30 min/mile (5:18 min/km) – start from 18:45;
    • Everyone else will leave Speaker’s Corner from 18:55.

Haven’t run before, or don’t know your pace? Not to worry – some of us run 10-12 min/mile pace or in a “Run & Talk (Beginners)” group as well. Any questions, please get in touch with our club run rep Catharine and she will help you.

Worth noting that we continue to rely on volunteers to make this work, so please email Catharine if you’re interested in volunteering (once every few weeks, or as often as you’d like).


Saturday mornings

Our Saturday morning runs will resume on 15th January starting from the Hyde Park Bandstand, as the Winter Wonderland finishes for this winter. Route choices will be two-parks and three-parks only. Please note that unfortunately we do not operate the bag room on Saturdays (although you may use the Seymour Centre changing room, if you bring your membership card and a padlock), so please come to the Bandstand ready to run before 09:45 when run groups will be formed.


Sunday mornings - Richmond Park

Serpentine’s weekly Sunday morning run continues in 2022. We set off from Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park at 09:00 – please come on time. Most people do 1-lap (7.2 miles), some will be doing multiple laps. For more details please see this link. If you’re coming for the first time, or if you have any questions, please email our organiser Kevin.


Chat to others!          

Just a reminder that we have two Whatsapp groups – please click the links here to join the groups for Wednesday runs, and/or Saturday runs. These groups are created to give out information about the runs more easily, also make it easier for runners to connect.


Cross Country – New Year, New Mud!

Our cross country season continues where we left off in 2021 with the following races:

  • Saturday 15th January 2022 – Met League (Location: Wormwood Scrubs). No pre-entry is required. However, to support with number distribution, if this fixture is your first Met League of the season please contact our Met League rep Darren Over. We as a participating club also need to provide a volunteer to help the race organisers (Thames Valley Harriers) to host the event, if you’re available to help please email me.


  • Sunday 16th January 2022 – Sunday League (Location: Cassiobury Park, Watford). Race info can be found here. No need to sign up in advance and you can simply turn up to run.


  • There are also many cross country championship races in January – Middlesex and Essex champs on 8th Jan; Surrey Champs on 9th Jan, and Southern Counties championships on 29th Jan. Unfortunately entries for all these events have been closed. If you have signed up for the races – good luck and hope you enjoy them! Unless injured/ill, please make every effort to run, as the club has already paid for your entry.


  • Looking beyond January, the English National Championships will take place on Saturday 26th February in Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath.  We will communicate further in January regarding sign-up details, with the deadline for Serpie sign-up by Tuesday 25th January.

If you have any questions about any of the above events, please email our Cross Country Reps Sophie Flanagan or Glenn Hughes. Please note that for the above races (apart from the Sunday League), you are required to be registered with England Athletics. Please check Serpiebase to see if you have bought or renewed your licence for 2021-22.


Trail Run – North Downs Way, Kent

Following a couple of great runs in November in the Chilterns and December in Surrey, this month’s trail run will be in the North Downs Way in Kent, on Sunday 23rd January.

The route will be similar to the North Downs Run race normally held in June, but starting in Sole Street Station, so roughly 13-14 miles. To make it easier for those coming from London, we will meet at London Victoria Station to travel together (time to be confirmed – but it will be in the morning). The journey time is around 50 minutes. This run will be at a social pace. The idea is to run together and have fun. If you can run a 10k in about 60 minutes and have covered this sort of distance before, you should be fine to run at a social pace. After the run we will all gather and rest in a local establishment.

Please watch out for further information later in the month. You need to be a Serpentine RC member to participate. Any questions? Please contact Lindsey Chiswick who is our trail run organiser.


The Serpentine Handicap – Every First Saturday of the Month

Many congratulations to the winners of the 2020-2021 combined season handicap races! The 2022 season will begin on Saturday 8th January, with the race held near the Hyde Park Boat House as usual. For those who haven’t run this before, the race is over two laps of the Serpentine lake (almost 7km) in Hyde Park, with slower runners starting earlier than faster runners, so everyone has a chance to win. It is a lot of fun chasing one another, and everyone ends up in the Serpentine café for the rest of the morning.

No advance registration is required – registrations are taken on the day, starting from 8:30am until 8:55am, with the first runner starting soon after. See this link for more details if you want to come and run. Taking a morning off running but still want to come to be part of the magic? Please let the handicappers know that you can volunteers as well.


Running Training

We have the following run training sessions across different London locations, so you can take advantage of the ones near you, but of course everyone is welcome to attend any session. Also please remember to register your place in any session prior to attending.

  • Monday at Maida Vale (Paddington Track): This foundation track session is at the Paddington Recreation Ground Track in Maida Vale and is for those whose 10k time is about 48 minutes or more – a great workout to raise your pace to the next level. Details and booking via this link on the Serpie website.
  • Tuesday Intervals: Evening interval sessions at Bermondsey Spa Gardens. For details and sign-up please follow this link on the website. Any questions:
  • Tuesday at Maida Vale: Our Endurance coach Gavin Edmonds is coaching this session at Paddington Recreation Ground Track in Maida Vale. It is suitable for everyone who is able to run 30 miles or more (over 3 runs or more) per week. Details and booking via this link on the Serpie website.
  • Thursday at Primrose Hill: Evening hill sessions at Primrose Hill – please see this link. The sessions are suitable for all levels to improve strength, fitness and endurance.  Any questions please find details and contact information via the above link.
  • Saturday Greenwich Hills: Please see session and booking details via this link on the Serpie website.
  • Saturday Hampstead Heath Hills: Please see session and booking details via this link.


Swimming Sessions

We continue to have these two Serpie coached swim sessions. To sign up, please email our triathlon rep Anne Bennett indicating which session you would prefer. Please note this operates on a first-come-first-serve basis.

  • Orchard Lisle Pool, Guy’s Hospital, London Bridge - Monday evenings, 8-9pm. Cost: £90 for a block of 10 sessions
  • Pancras Square Leisure Centre, St Pancras - Wednesday evenings, 8-9pm. Cost: £90 for a block of 12 sessions


The Last Friday of the Month 5k

The first Last Friday of the Month 5k race in 2022 will be on Friday 28th January. The race starts at 12:30pm also near the Hyde Park Boat House. For race details, including how to register, please click here. Please note that registration normally closes before race day, and you will NOT be able to run without signing up in advance. If you want to volunteer to marshal please contact the race organiser.


And finally…

  • Summer Relays: Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest in running the summer relays. We are about to launch the registration for the Green Belt Relay on 14-15th May 2022. Please look out for information in January.
  • Kit: The kit room in Seymour Centre is open most Saturdays except handicap day, by prior appointment for those interested in getting kit. Wednesday kit room opening is subject to request and volunteer availability. Please email this address for details.


Happy New Year!

Hans Ho

Participation Representative

Submitted: 3 January 2022