In short: Another superb race from the guys at WSR In full: This race remains my absolute favourite race of the year (and as a 100 marathon club member - i do quite a lot each year). This is my third year for the race and somehow it seems to get better each year and i've no idea how they make it so good! Everything from the camping area, organisation and friendly feel just make this race the best that i've done.
You have food prepared for you by the lovely women of the local WI. They take care of you and make sure that you're getting enough (even allowing third portions!!).
The race is run to absolute clockwork and you can tell that the RD is a runner because of the care taken at the aid stations and by marshals.
The route is hard. Don't underestimate it but you're rewarded with the most amazing views and stunning scenery. It's absolutely breathtaking.
The post race ice creams that were the size of my head were amazing to see and you could see how popular they were by the queue!
The barn dance and bbq on saturday were absolutely fantastic. It was great to be able to stretch out your legs and party with the locals.
If you're looking for the best race in the UK - this is the one that you need to come to.
Is entry already open for next year? Date of review: June 29, 2015
In short: Well organised race but awful weather! In full: Cannot fault the organisers for this race! Lovely, helpful and informative. Check in was quick and easy. Course was 12 laps of the pier and seafront so nothing especially thrilling. You cant judge this race on the appalling weather conditions that we suffered but on the ability of the RDs to quickly re-route when the pier was becoming dangerous to run on.
What made this race for me was the marshals. They stood in the freezing cold helping out, giving aid and encouragement to the runners and never once did I hear a marshal complain about the crap conditions.
Good aid stations, quality medal and superb marshals. Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: FULL MARATHON REVIEW In full: The only good thing about the race were the marshals. They were awesome. The rest? AWFUL. - Poor organisation. No parking close by and i ended up on a side street where my car was scratched. - Medal was one of the worst in my collection. for a 30 year anniversary? You must be kidding me? - Route: I thought MK was bad for underpasses and boring routes... this took the biscuit. - Start: Wait... did we start? I dont know.... everyone just started running. I'm sure lots of people missed the start - Toilets: The Luxury portaloos were nice - aid on route: There was only one aid station by the scouts that had anything other than water (jelly babies and the such). - Finish: On a grass track? I saw lots of people falling over. By the time the marathoners came through it was a quagmire. - distance from HQ to start/finish. Too long. I got very cold and there was noone handing out space blackets or really taking care of you - Refreshments. I did the marathon in 4.26 - by the time i got in and changed and wanting a cup of tea there was nothing available. I got a lukewarm cup of tea. Not ideal. especially when the weather had been as bad as it was
Really disappointed in this race and wont be back. Date of review: November 5, 2014
In short: great race, pancake flat. deffo one for the calendar In full: This is my third year at Thames meander and there's a reason I keep coming back: first class organisation, great aid stations and a lovely friendly crowd to run with.
I had absolutely no issues with the race itself. There was plenty of water, sweet foods and Mel's awesome flapjack to keep the marathoners happy.
For 800runners on the course I didn't have too many issues with finding or maintaining my pace which I was initially worried about. It was packed at the start but what race isn't?
There could have been a few more loos but it didn't bother me too much as I got to chat to other runners!
If you're looking for a friendly, pb potential course then this is for you!
Huge thank you to Mel and Dave for once again showing how to put on a top class race!
My only bugbear was having the 2mile loop at the end for the marathoners but I think that'll be changed at the next event. Date of review: August 24, 2014
In short: Another fantastic event from WSR. It does what it says on the tin In full: For runners by runners. This is clear to see. This was my second year at the race and i loved EVERY second of it. Great atmosphere and comradery between the runners. Superb mnarshal and farmer support (a huge thank you to naked farmer and his posse for making my year by sitting in the bath!).
Its the most challenging race that i run all year. The elevation, terrain all mean that you need to take the training and preparation very seriously. But is it worth it? By 'eck it is! Superb medal, goodies and its nice to see everyone in the village get involved and support the race.
Would like to see more showers and cider but apart from that - cannot fault anything about this race. Its' based on this event that i'll be entering other WSR races.
See you again next year! Date of review: June 30, 2014
In short: Friendly race, great marshals, superb scenery and great trail! In full: Really enjoyed this race. Yes, it was horrendous underfoot (the mud quadmyre was very interesting!) but it was a glorious race. The marshals were all friendly, the aid stations a good space apart.
Good spirit amongst competitors and supportive as well (i pulled a girl out of a bramble bush after she slid and fell over in the mud/bramble mashup).
Great value for money. Free race photos, great medal, free breakfast afterwards, free tea and coffee, excellent parking opportunities.
Only thing that i'd like to see changed is their stance on Dogs. I think that the route is ideal for it. All trail, plenty of other dog walkers around. Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Great race, fantastic marshals, lovely scenic route In full: I really enjoyed yesterday's race. The route was scenic and the aid stations were well packed (jelly babies, chocolate, biscuits, water, squash, wine). I really appreciated the marshals and the well signed course. There were small little touches which made it a great race (signage being VERY clear, great marshals, extra quality aid station).
The only thing that let this race down was the price. It's a little steep and although you get a hog roast in the price; I didnt really like the look of it.
The organisation are great and responsive which is a really nice touch. The t-shirt was alright but is a little weird fitting (the small is more of a medium/large).
The route is really scenic. The first two miles are a little congested as you run through the streets (no road closures) but then it goes into the countryside and onto trial and this is where it becomes utterly beautiful. Lovely country lanes, great trails and well marked either with marshals or signage. The only niggle I had with the route was the two small out and back sections which were a little annoying.
The only reason that would put me off doing this race again is the price. Otherwise - i'd be back in a flash! Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Great race, organisation superb, lovely huge medal. Aid stations were stocked full of runner goodies. In full: This was my second year at Thames Meander and I didnt think the race could get better... but it did! Aid stations were packed full of gels, jelly babies, homemade flapjacks and crisps. Plenty of water. As a runner - you really couldnt ask for more (except better weather ;)).
You can tell that the RD's are runners - everything about this race was for runners. Signage was fantastic and numerous, aid stations were well placed and stocked with excellent support. Marshals were utterly superb and so encouraging.
I'll be back for next year -without a doubt! Definitely one of my race highlights from this year. Date of review: August 27, 2013
In short: Hardest Race I've ever done - but definitely one of the best In full: If you're looking for something that will challenge you beyond belief- this is the race for you. It's hard (nearly 6000ft of climb) but it's absolutely stunning. The scenery will take your breath away. Its the friendliest race i've done. Everyone encouraged each other and there was some great comradery between runners and the organisers.
It was 25'c but there was PLENTY of water and support from the marshals.The Marshals were friendly, well informed and knew what they were doing. Every aid station and well stocked and they went above and beyond to make sure every runner was OK (asking if we needed bottles refilled, wiping us down with cloths, checking that we were OK etc). I've never seen such a well run set of aid stations (this includes the largest amount of cake that i've ever seen at a race!)
The Organisation was fantastic and smooth, signage was great for an off-road with a great medal, tech tee and pint glass.
I said "never again" during the race but maybe not until next year ;) Date of review: July 1, 2013