Race Date: Monday 1st January 2024
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 parks 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 who are mildly bemused by the sight of club runners in their shorts and vests on an invariably cold winters 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, 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, male winner, Seyfu Jamaal became the first runner to run inside 30 minutes in this event, in 29.39. The female winner was Olivia Forrest in 35.55.
Full results: here