Thames Meander Marathon

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24/08/2014 at 16:34

Hi Jucumari

Hope your battered feet heal soon.

Thanks for the brief review. I thought that the course would be difficult especially in August when there are plenty of walkers/runners/cyclists to avoid. And it is cruel to have to run past the finish!

So, despite the hardships, would you do this one again next year?

24/08/2014 at 18:51

I ran this yesterday as a training run for Abingdon in a couple of months.

It's pancake flat and for most of the route it was nice scenery. I didn't find the crowds too annoying but I wasn't racing all out which made it easier to dodge and weave! The organisation was generally good and all who were involved were very friendly indeed with all marshalls being very encouraging.

My only minor gripe was the finish - it got pretty hot from Midday on and there was no water available at the finish line. There was a water station about 50yds from the finish but you had to cross back over the marathon route which resulted in a few very thirsty finishers narrowly avoiding very tired people still running. There was a lady trying to direct traffic but she was also trying to direct the people coming the other way at about mile 24 so had a lot on her plate. The station itself was struggling to keep up as their primary concern was giving water to the runners still going at mile 24. I think that an August marathon probably needs water available right at the finish.

It didn't detract from a good, well organised race but is maybe something to think about for next time

25/08/2014 at 13:42

Hi Kathy H

Mmmm probably not the summer one but I think I would like the winter one more.  With less crowds it would be easier to pick the smoother bits and hot feet are alway more sensitive.

I have read the other reviews and it is always such a personal thing. I can't even decide which shoes would be best. Do they do a road shoe with rock plate?

If you are anywhere near London I would do an early recce (train assisted run one way?) to test your shoe choice and so you can train on similar terrain for some of your other runs. This is assuming this is a target race for you and not a training run.

I run with a bottle, energy powder and gels as part of the ultra training thing but if I had been aiming for a marathon pb i would have found the drink stations frustrating.  The gu gels are very thick so they need a lot of water to go with them.  The only provide water in cups although I saw bottles at the finish.  Flapjack and cake may be ideal for the back of the pack shufflers but I find it a bit of a choke hazard when racing. On a hot august day you could get yourself into a lot of trouble with either dehydration or electrolyte issues.

However, it is all so personal. it was a harder than I needed at this stage and I did a 50k two weeks before so maybe that might have been an issue. The feet and legs seem back to normal now although I did skip the 5 mile run and went for a walk instead. I was in a very good mood at the finish despite the pain and slow time so it cannot have been that bad. Back to training tomorrow.

Good luck with yours. You will probably post a pb and love every second of it. I might be getting fussy with age.

25/08/2014 at 14:16


I would definitely recommend this race.

I love the fact it is 10am on a Saturday so I can to it by public transport. If you don't drive Sunday races are a nightmare to get to. And it's twice a year! Not so long to wait for the next one.

I did this race on Sunny Saturday and there was very little problems with other path users, of course there are people out and about but it didn't cause me any problems at all since the path is wide almost all the way. And it was a nice day (and bank hol weekend) so I think the winter one will also be fine since less people will be out and about.

It's a lovely route, mixed terrain (which is always good in my book - less chance of injury), varied from gravel, tarmac, woodchip, (dry) mud, cobbles, bricks... I wore normal trainers and think these would be best unless rainy/ tidal for the winter one. A lot of the route was shady so I didn't find it too hot (I normally feel the heat).

My only gripe was not knowing how far I had gone - there were no mile markers and the bridge wasn't halfway as I assumed. At one point I was told I had 10k to go, did 3 miles to the next water station, then they said I still had 5 miles to go so thought I had gone the wrong way and discovered the half marathon runners had 10k to go, I actually had 9.5 miles, all this was a bit demoralising since I convinced myself I had gone the wrong way and went back to check. Mile markers would be great, if possible please?

Still, after all that I still bagged a pb so it must be a fast course.

Someone commented there was only water, no squash at the aid stations. They did have squash (orange and blackcurrant). However, they didn't have much squash mixed but I spied a bottle of concentrate on the table and mixed my own. They also had jelly babies and gels, as well as lots of cakes and stuff which looked tasty. I think salt would be good on the table too, I normally add a pinch to dilute orange juice.

I would recommend it, I've signed up for the winter one now.


26/08/2014 at 11:01

I did the half on Saturday and really enjoyed it! I've never done a race where it's not been on closed roads with a large field of runners so after about half a mile I wrote it off as a PB course, but actually it was completely flat, mostly shaded and whilst there were walkers, cyclists and dogs I didn't find them to be a real issue - in fact I smashed my PB! I didn't avail myself of any of the aid stations because I take my own drink and gels, I'm always quite shocked to see people complaining about aid stations because (particularly in a marathon) in my mind you shouldn't be putting your health and nutrition into someone else's hands, the aid stations should really just be back-up in case you've run out.

26/08/2014 at 12:49

It did this last year and this year. I much preferred the finish last year. It was very hard to pass the finish just before 24 miles still knowing you had over 2 miles to go. I would have preferred to do the extra loop at the start of the race. I wish I had

carried water with me as there wasn't enough on the course for the conditions. Parking was also an issue.

All of that said it was a great race well organised and I would do it again.

26/08/2014 at 18:51

Thanks for the reviews, everyone. It does sound a good one and I am looking forward to November.

A lot of the route is on my training runs. So I hope that gives me an advantage.

05/09/2014 at 15:29

I signed up several months ago for this as my first full marathon. Really nervous about making the distance as I've only raced at 1/2 distance before. Terrified of the last 10 miles . I've been out to 18 miles in my long runs and feel my legs go after that ... So watch out for me .. I'll be the one eating flapjacks on the start line and leaving a trail of crumbs all the way through the course. I've bought a camel hydro pack with side pockets to load up with snacks to keep me fueled ..

07/09/2014 at 21:50

Hope everyone's training is going well. I bruised my toes on a walking holiday at the end of July (!) leaving me with a black toenail.

So I am way behind on my training plan, as I felt that I should take it easy. So I am not expecting a PB, but just hope to finish.

19/09/2014 at 22:30

I think that my hopes were too high. I am going to reluctantly back out, and maybe run next year.

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