Both the Serpentine Running Club's and the Serpentine Swimming Club's top girl Ros Young provided the prizes for the first "scratch" race of the 2023 Club Championship. The championship is decided by a series of five races during winter, spring and summer over varying distances as the water warms up. This process identifies not just the fastest of the Serpentine swimmers but also a champion who competes in all weathers and temperatures.
Today was a Luckhurst brothers one and two - young Will followed by not quite as young Alan. Previous club champion Cameron Kelly came in a close third.
First home in the 50m dash was Will Luckhurst
Alan Luckhurst 2nd, with 3rd place Cameron Kelly
How do we decide the club champion?
The club championship is swum over a series of five scratch races during winter, spring and summer over varying distances as the water slowly warms up. February 55 yards (50m); early March 110 yards (100m); late March 220 yards (200m); April 440 yards (400m); culminating in the 880 yards (800m) race in July for the honour of winning the Arthur Goffrey cup.
This process identifies not just the fastest of the Serpentine swimmers but also a champion who will compete in all weathers and temperatures.
Ready for the first of the championship scratch races
Johnny Weissmuller wannabe Rob Ouldcott proudly let it be known he had swum all the way back to the pontoon.
Ros also presented prizes to to the first ladies home.
Ros joined us as a club member in 2013, bringing with her a formidable sporting pedigree
Ros was a regular competitor running around the lake, but a late convert to racing in the lake.
Ros joined the then recently formed Serpentine Running Club in the early 1980s. She went on to take part in all that club’s activities from cross country and track and field to running numerous marathons and ultramarathons. Indeed, aged 49 she ran a marathon in what would have been a British record had she been 50. Sadly she was injured when she was 50 but went on to run the prestigious Comrades Marathon (54 miles, uphill route- Durban to Pietermaritzburg) aged 52. Ros became a keystone of the running club, holding the position of Secretary and then of Chair, the latter when the Club was rewriting its constitution. She also added age grading and computerisation to the monthly handicap system which is still in use today on the other side of the lake.
In addition she did a little cycling on the side. One of her more notable rides was to accompany, by bike, World Ultrarunning Champion Hilary Walker when she set the record for running from Lhasa to Kathmandu. Getting into triathlon in her 60s she started cycle time trialling and last year, some 11 years older, set personal bests on 10 and 25 miles, beating times she did as a “youngster”.
Ros won the 2014 Bridge to Bridge
For many years Ros took the lead in organising the club's wardening scheme
Ros's running, swimming, cycling compatriot Jan Farmer wrote - "she was rather a late convert to the joys of open-water swimming but has seen the light since joining the SSC in 2013, winning the Bridge to Bridge on her first time of swimming it (in 2014). With her background in computer systems and local government (once working under John McDonnell!) she is extremely efficient and it was no time at all before she applied her skills to running the club’s wardening system in the "twentyteens".
(report compiled by Brian Thomas)