Thames Meander Marathon

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01/06/2014 at 11:49

I have run this race a couple of years ago. But they have now changed the route so it is all along the river.

I am not sure of this as 10 o'clock on Saturday morning is quite busy with cyclists and walkers anyway. It is a small field of 300 though.  What do people think? Who is signing up for this one?

02/06/2014 at 14:20

Never run a marathon before and after a few half's scheduled for Aug/Sept am looking for a beginner friendly 1.  This sounds good except for the last little bit all uphill.  Seems nice and relaxed as well which is appealing. 

I think this one goes in the "if halfs go very well category". Fingers crossed.

02/06/2014 at 14:45

I did it last year and the worst section of the course was the half-way point which was on a bridge across the river - the paths alongside the river had been fine up to then, but the bridge itself was a nightmare with tourists and football fans and the like. If having more of the race beside the river cures this then I'd be in favour of it!

02/06/2014 at 22:59

Thanks for the replies. It does seem a good marathon; but very different to the two I have run. And it is at the time of year I would like to run another marathon, and it is local to me.

How have people found a small marathon as opposed to a 'big' marathon? Both of the ones I have run have been well-supported. Does it make a lot of difference running without the crowds? I really got a boost from the well-wishers and don't know if I could do as well as I did without them.

04/06/2014 at 11:07

Hi Kathy H

I am doing this as a training run for an ultra along the Thames path but I have not done it before.  If you need the crowds you might struggle but you will not know until you tried it as its a very personal thing.  I hated every second of the London Marathon but many people think it is one of the best in the world.

I find the constant noise tiring and distracting.  I  prefer the occasional encouragement of smaller events - you do get some normally.  My biggest worries about this one are the dogs, children on scooters, texting pedestrians you may have to run around.  If the sun shines it could be busy (glad shazza 3 found it ok on the path) but I will still be hoping for light occasional drizzle.

04/06/2014 at 11:54

Hi Jucumari

Thanks for your reply; you made some good points. You are right that I will just have to try it and see.

04/07/2014 at 21:04

Hi there, I am thinking of running this too. It would be my second marathon - though my first was over seven years ago so I feel like a newbie. 

I am a bit worried about the smallness of the field. And also the bit in the FAQ recommending trail shoes if the weather means the course might be muddy. I don't own any and only ever run on road. Does anyone have any experience running the route in November?

09/07/2014 at 19:18

I have entered the marathon, and it is about in 16 weeks time. So I should start a training plan soon.

It is definitely going to be a challenge, harder than my previous marathons. My two marathons have been big, well-supported by crowds, and in the Spring.

But part of the attraction is that it will be different. And I am fairly certain that I will beat the cut-off time of six hours.

10/07/2014 at 17:26


I have entered the Summer (August) version of this and may also do the Winter version too (November). I wouldn't worry too much about trail shoes. It's mainly along the Thames Towpath, which is predominantly hard gravel. There are a few spots where it can get wet, but I would just expect it would mean running around puddles and not through them.

I ran this race in 2012 and even with a small field and a slow time, you don't really feel by yourself. There were both slow and quick people running so I doubt anyone will be left completely alone. Plus because it's an out and back course, you have even more people around running back pass you for the first half at least.

As it's flat, it's a fast course as well.

14/07/2014 at 13:44

For what its worth I used the Thames Path between Richmond and Putney Bridge for marathon training in the spring, and its ok, but the path can flood a bit when tide is high. There was one section last time I did it where I had to actually leave the path and find another route around some pretty deep water.

17/07/2014 at 14:46

Kathy we have about 400 runners for the full marathon and 350 for the half so IRO 750 in total. We've had to start the marathon at 10am as there is a Park Run scheduled for 9am starting at the YMCA too thus the later start time. All said and done the field should spread out and we'll get the racing snakes to set off at the start of the field. It'll be a great event mark my works - we're almost full now. In respect of re-route I have already got contingency measures in place. Near the Ship Pub (Thames Bank) we have an alternative route going along the pedestrian path to where the White Hart Pub is just before Barnes Bridge this will be well marshalled at both ends and marked with fixed signage. We have done everything possible to cover all eventualities.     

17/07/2014 at 18:04

Hi David. Good to know that it is going to well organised.

Looking forward to the day.

17/07/2014 at 22:24
We'll do the best we can to ensure that you all have a great experience and we have some entertainment planned at the start but you'll have to wait and find out what that is. See you all in a few weeks time.
07/08/2014 at 09:33

This is a brilliant event and that's why the summer marathon is full up. I would deffo recommend it and am doing the summer version and reason I am on here is that I am toying with the winter run....decisions, decisions. Ahh who am I kidding.....I WILL enter !! 

07/08/2014 at 12:30

Guys we're hoping the Summer race is nice and toasty for you this year, though the Winter one could well be rainy (though hopefully not). You can rest assured if you're doing the Summer or Winter ones (or both) that you won;t be on your own, we are at 200 + runners for the Winter one already and have nearly 800 runners for the Summer one so no more entries for this! The CP's will be very well stocked with homemade flapjacks, jelly babies, GU Gels, crisps, banana's and there will be water, fruit cordial in abundance. It's much flatter / faster this year as we won't be running through Richmond Park as per course description so all you racing snakes will be able to run like gazelles !!! See some of you in just over 2 weeks time we're really excited !!! Road shoes will be fine as long as it hasn't rained in the days leading up to the event, if so wear a less aggressive trail shoe.            

10/08/2014 at 09:11

What is the race cut-off time? Looking to do a first marathon but worried about entering one with a short cut-off time in case it all goes wrong!

10/08/2014 at 15:05

There is a six-hour limit. This is quite generous as most people who intend to run (or run most of the way) 26 miles can do it in that time.

22/08/2014 at 07:52

Hello,  if you or you know anyone who cannot use their space anymore please let me know. I need 2 places for myself and partner. Will pay the full face value. The organisers for this race are happy to transfer spaces as per their website. Many thanks for any help

23/08/2014 at 09:54

Seventy days to the Winter Thames Meander. But best wishes to those who are running the Summer one. Hope all your times are PBs.


24/08/2014 at 13:06

Hi Kathy H

thanks.  I could not get my battered feet to do sub 4h.  There is a lot of concrete, cobbles, and the gravel path is actually broken tarmac and quite rocky in places. The Richmond section around mile 20 was hot and crowded. I had near miss with a boris bike. It should be nicer in winter- less busy with meandering tourists.

knowing the course I would wear the most cushioned shoe you are comfortable in bearing in mind that there are sections of uneven ground.  Nothing that in my mind would justify a trail shoe even the less aggressive kind.  Many trail shoes would be lethal on wet cobbles. I own several so this comment is based on experience.

You do get to see plenty of runners due to the out and back course. I high fived several kids, cheered marathon man, chatted to various other runners.  The worst section is the last 3 miles. You run past the finish and hit a twisty narrow section of the path. However, everybody was hating it so much that we were cheering each other along.

A London friend wants to run the winter one but I am not sure I can face another pounding.  The organisation was great and the facilities at the start/finish very comfortable. I might post a review tomorrow once my feet are less sore!

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