Serpentine New Year's Day 10k Race and 3k Fun Run

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Thank you for taking part in the 2024 race!  The photos from this year's event are available herehere and here. Sign-up for the 2025 edition will be open later in 2024. See info in the ATW website here. Don't miss out on the first race of the year! 


General information

The NYD10k starts at 11 am in Hyde Park and is run on entirely traffic-free paths through Hyde Park, with the majority of the race taking place in Kensington Gardens.  Runners complete two short laps in Kensington Gardens before returning to Hyde Park, finishing on the south side of the Serpentine by the Old Football Pitches.

The course takes in many iconic landmarks including Kensington Palace, the Italian Gardens and the Henry Moore statue.

A maximum of 650 runners take part. All entries are in advance with no entries available on the day.  The race is open to all abilities with a cut-off time of two hours.

The 10k course is accurately measured with a UKA certificate of course accuracy.

The races are UKA licenced and held under UKA rules - UKA race licence.

Serpentine RC New Year's Day 10k in Kensington Gardens near the Albert Memorial on 1st Jan 2024. 


History of the race 

In the mid-1980’s London Road Runners Club organised a race in Hyde Park on the morning of New Year’s Day. The race continued until the London Road Runners disbanded in 1989/1990 when the Serpentine Running Club took over the running of the race. The inaugural Serpentine NYD10K took place on 1st January 1992.   It has taken place every year since with the exception of 2021, when Government enforced restrictions pertaining to the Coronavirus pandemic prevented it from going ahead.

Early editions of the race were staged entirely within Hyde Park on a three-lap course, but the arrival of the Winter Wonderland in 2007 meant that a new course had to be found. The Royal Parks were keen that the race continued as it had started to become an important attraction for both tourists and locals enjoying the park on New Year’s Day.  As such, a course was devised which takes in some of the park's iconic landmarks including Kensington Palace, the Italian Gardens, the Henry Moore statue, George Watt’s Physical Energy statue and The Old Police House. This ‘new’ course started and finished in Hyde Park with the majority of the race taking place in Kensington Gardens. 

For the 2024 race, due to an unforeseen incident over the Christmas period, an important part of the normal route was blocked, and therefore the organisers devised a new route which required changes to the start and finish location (at the Old Football Pitches by the Rotten Row at the South side of the Serpentine lake), compared with previous years.

Spectators – some of whom are mildly bemused by the sight of club runners in their shorts and vests on an invariably cold winter morning – gather at landmarks around the course. 

The race is open to all abilities, attracting 650 competitors, with many keen club runners and some new runners putting their New Year resolution to get fit into place as early as possible.  The NYD10K has, however, seen some outstanding competitive performances and has attracted former Olympians and elite athletes.  Triathlete, Annie Emerson was the first woman in 2004, and Jonathan Hay, the 2016 English Cross-Country Champion, won in 2017.  Better known is Jake Wightman, the 2022 1500m World Champion, who won the race in 2015.  In 2002, Hugh Jones (London Marathon winner in 1982 and 1984 Olympian), who measured the initial 10K course, swapped his course measuring equipment for running shoes, finishing in third place.  In 2024, Seyfu Jamaal became the first runner to run inside 30 minutes in this event.

Current records for the NYD10K are:

Female: 33:53 - Emma Pallant (2018)

Male: 29:39 - Seyfu Jamaal (2024)

Non-binary: 39:38 - Alex Baird (2024)

The organisation of the race relies on the volunteers and members of the Serpentine Running Club. The club is grateful to the members who curtail their New Year revelries for an early start to mark the course in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and set up the start and finish lines.

In the early days, when the race was smaller, Peter and Maureen Foster used to park their motor home by the finish and served mulled wine and mince pies for the finishers. Nowadays, competitors take home memorabilia including a medal and the glory of having finished their first 10K before lunchtime on the first day of the year.



Full results from our timing partners Event chip Timing


Event photos from 2024's event are available herehere and here