Serpentine RC - What’s Happening in May 2022

Hello Serpies – May 2022 will see the start of our athletics season and also the Assembly League. The Green Belt Relay will take place in a couple of weeks’ time.  It is also time for trail runs and Serpie rides! Our usual club runs, training sessions and monthly races are also on. And don’t forget to buy your tickets for our 40th anniversary party in July, and if you’re still interested in joining us for Welsh Castles Relay in June please get in touch as soon as possible!

The Athletics Season Begins!

We are involved in several athletics leagues and they all have their opening fixtures this month. There are all kinds of track and field events (from 100m to middle-long distances, also jumps and throws) on offer. In the past few years we have not been able to have enough participants on most events, so you’re more than welcome to give the events a go even if you’ve not done them before!

  • Southern Athletics League (SAL): The opening match is at Lee Valley (postcode: N9 0AR) on Sunday 22nd May. We are co-hosting this match with Enfield, and therefore we also need volunteers and officials. Please get in touch with Nic Barberis if you can help – many roles do not require any qualifications, we would appreciate you sparing just your time! If you can’t make this one, don’t worry – the rest of the season’s fixtures are here.


  • Southern Vets Athletics League – The first fixture is at Battersea Park Track on Monday evening 16th May, starting at 18:30. Again, we will need volunteers and officials (track & field assistants, results’ assistants, stadium announcer), most roles do not need any qualifications or prior experience – please contact the meet organiser Lee Tolentino if you are happy to help that evening.


  • Rosenheim LeagueOn Wednesday 18th May, this season’s first fixture will also be in Battersea Park Track. Please contact Dave Robinson and Sophie Flanagan if you would like to compete.  Belgrave are also looking for volunteers to assist – please contact Dave / Sophie or Robert Norville directly.


  • Finally, for our junior runners, the Middlesex Youth Athletics League will have two fixtures this month – Sunday 8th May at Parliament Hill track (Hampstead Heath), and Saturday 21st May at Finsbury Park. The timetable of the events is via this link. We need a few volunteers to help with judging the field events – no previous experience is needed. If you can help, please contact our Juniors Rep Ewan Maynard.

We also have these two key roles for the club vacant at the moment for someone to take on:

  • SAL men’s captain – this is essential the club’s rep in the event, we welcome someone taking part in SAL to take up the role.  Anyone interested – please get in touch with Nic Barberis.


  • Committee Athletics representative – we need someone to take up the role to manage our athletics and cross country activities. We welcome anyone who constantly takes part in athletics or cross country events to volunteer.  If that is you, please get in touch with me.


Assembly League – First race 5th May in Beckenham

The Assembly League is back for the first year since the pandemic. Join us for these popular fast-and-furious summer Thursday 5k’s or 3-milers. The first fixture of the season is on Thursday 5th May in Beckenham Place Park. Starting at 19:30, the race will be a 5k, using the parkrun route. If you want to take part, you don’t need to pre-register or pay for your entry, but please come to race HQ at Beckenham Sports Club (Foxgrove Rd, Beckenham BR3 5AS) by about 19:00 to get your race number. Any questions, please email Philip Whitehouse who is our rep for this race and will be there to hand out race numbers.


Green Belt Relay – 14-15th May

After months of preparation, we are looking forward to the Green Belt Relay 2022! We now have enough runners to field three teams of 11 runners (plus a few of us running in an incomplete ‘mixed’ team), so we are signing up reserves now. That means if you sign up now, you are not guaranteed to take part, but you may be required if some of our teammates unfortunately get injured or have emerging commitments elsewhere. We can perhaps accommodate 1 or 2 more runners, once you sign up we will get in touch to let you know if you are expected to be running or not. Check out our Green Belt Relay page for details and registration, or email us.


Trail Run – Surrey Hills, 29th May

The next Serpie trail run will be on Sunday 29th May. This time we will be in Surrey, doing a loop from Godalming. The route will be about 16 miles (26-27km) around the Surrey Hills.  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, enjoy hills and have covered this sort of distance before, you should be fine to run at a social pace. We will travel together in the morning from Waterloo Station.

Please fill in this form if you’d like to come, so we know who to expect. Any questions? Please contact Lindsey Chiswick.


Club Runs – every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday

Our Club Runs continue every Wednesday evening and weekend mornings. All members are welcome – there is no need to sign up beforehand. Non-members can let us know by filling in this form to try out the club before. (Members do not need to fill in this form.)


Wednesday evenings – and kit room opening!

On every Wednesday, we meet at Seymour Centre at 18:35, or Speakers’ Corner at 18:45. For run details, please visit our website via this page. For those coming to Seymour Centre, where we operate a bag drop, please bring your membership card. For those starting in Speakers’ Corner, please come run-ready.


We are pleased to announce that our Seymour Centre kit room is open every Wednesday after the club run. New members can bring your joining voucher to redeem a Serpentine vest or T-shirt. All members are welcome to purchase Club kit as well. For further information, please contact Marina.

We will also be visiting the pub after running for some socialising. Please join us at the Larrik from about 20:15 onwards.


Weekend mornings

On Saturday morning we meet at the Hyde Park Bandstand at 09:45 – please come a few minutes before so we can form run groups. There is no bag drop on Saturdays, although you may use the Seymour Centre changing room – please bring your membership card and a padlock. Also note that there is no club runs on the first Saturday of the month, when the handicap takes place instead. Please join us for a coffee at the Serpentine café after running. Our Seymour Kit Room will also be open from about 11:00 onwards for those who want to purchase club kit.

On Sunday mornings we set off from Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park at 09:00 sharp – please come on time, ready to run. Most people do 1-lap (7.2 miles / 11.5km), 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.


Join the club run volunteering team!

We rely on volunteers to make the club runs work – e.g. check membership cards at the Seymour Centre gate, guard the bag room, and help with the bag room operation so club members have kit to wear for competitions. This is ideal for those who are not running but still want to be involved, although some roles can be carried out before you set off running as well. Please email Catharine if you’re interested in helping out, once every few weeks, or as often as you’d like.


Training – Running, Swimming & Cycling

We have the following run training sessions across several London locations, please click the hyperlinks for details and sign-up process (if applicable):

  • Monday at Maida Vale (Paddington Track): Foundation track session at the Paddington Recreation Ground Track in Maida Vale – for those whose 10k time is about 48 minutes or more.
  • Tuesday Intervals: Evening interval sessions at Bermondsey Spa Gardens.
  • Tuesday at Maida Vale: Our session is at Paddington Recreation Ground Track in Maida Vale, for anyone who is able to run 30 miles / 50km or more (over 3 runs or more) per week. IMPORTANT: Please sign up in advance of joining the session, as we would like to limit the amount of runners so that it is manageable to the coach.
  • NEW SESSION Thursday at Regent’s Park: Our run coach Kevin McQuaid has led a new endurance session since mid April. This session aims for experienced runners and triathletes who take part in running events throughout the year. The session will start at 19:00 at the Regent’s Park Running Track (Northern side of Outer Circle, near Macclesfield Bridge and west of the London Zoo). More details will come out within the next week. Please contact Kevin for any questions.
  • Thursday at Primrose Hill: Evening hill sessions at Primrose Hill, suitable for all levels to improve strength, fitness and endurance.
  • Saturday Greenwich Hills: Hill session on Saturday mornings in South-East London.
  • Saturday Hampstead Heath Hills: Another hill session on Saturday mornings.

We have two swimming sessions, both coaches with dedicated lanes. Please email our triathlon rep Anne Bennett indicating which session you would prefer.

  • 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

Also, club members are welcome to join the our cycle ride and triathlon groups – please note that these sessions are arranged on an individual basis, and the cycle rides are not officially club events, therefore participants will take part at their own risk. The best thing to do would be the join the relevant Whatsapp groups: please follow these links for the Cycle rides’ group and the Triathlon chat group.


Regular Monthly Races – Handicap and Last Friday 5k

The next Handicap race will be held on Saturday 7th May. The race will be held near the Hyde Park Boat House as usual. As usual, the race covers two laps of the Serpentine lake (almost 7km) in Hyde Park. Slower runners start earlier than faster runners, so everyone has a chance to win. No advance registration is required – registrations are taken on the day, starting from 08:30 until 08:55, with the first runner starting soon after 09:00. Volunteers are required to be marshals, time keepers, finish areas, bag-watchers etc, so that our race can happen as it does every month. Taking a morning off running but still want to come to be part of the magic? Please let the handicappers know.

The next Last Friday of the Month 5k race will be on Friday 27th May. The race starts at 12:30 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. Volunteers are required to be marshals, timekeepers etc. Please contact the race organiser if you can help.


Serpentine RC 40th Anniversary Party – Get your tickets now!

In 2022, we celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary. Our 40th anniversary party will be:

  • Date: Saturday 16th July


  • Time: From 18:00 until late.


Party tickets are now on sale via this link – get them soon before they are gone! You can purchase a ticket for just yourself, or optionally also include a guest as a plus-one. Tickets are £35 each, which will include food and welcome drink. Please make sure you complete this Google form here when buying your ticket, so we have details regarding food etc.


And finally…

  • Welsh Castles Relay (11-12 June) – Thanks to those who signed up recently, we are now very close to forming a full team. We still require a couple of runners to complete our 20-strong Welsh Castles Relay team, plus a few reserves so we can deal with injuries, emerging commitments etc, so please sign up if you are able to join us. For more details and registration, please visit our Welsh Castles webpage, and also contact the organising team.


  • London Marathon Place – As mentioned back in March, we have one London Marathon place on offer for a club member who has contributed to the club in the past year based on volunteering and race participation. If you would like to apply for the London Marathon place for the race in October, you would need to have accrued points until the end of this month, with application open now until 19th June. The winner of the place will be announced by 24th June. More details can be found via this link.


  • Next social drinks – Mark this date in your diary for the next Serpie drinks: Saturday 18th June. More details to follow.


Have a wonderful May,

Hans Ho

Participation Representative

Submitted: 3 May 2022