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Thames Meander Marathon & Half – Summer

Event details
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Push yourself to new limits with the Thames Meander half or full marathon. Perfect for first-time marathoners or veterans alike, the out and back course takes you right along the scenic Thames Path. Sign up now for the chance to record a PB or for the bespoke finisher's medal.
C-19 Plan
Hermes Running has confirmed that this event will be going ahead as planned on Friday 6th Aug 2021 in accordance with the COVID-19 safety measures. Learn more

Review summary

34 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


Patrick T
"Decent event for my first marathon however the course wasn’t very well..."


Sam J
"This was my first ever marathon and I enjoyed it immensely. The army cadets..."


Gerhard N
"it was a great course with definite PB potential (which i manage to get!)...."
See all reviews

How to enter the Thames Meander Marathon & Half – Summer

  1. Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
    Book Now
  2. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
    Book Now

Thames Meander Marathon & Half – Summer routes

Marathon Route:

This flat, scenic riverside trail starts and finishes at the YMCA Hawker Centre HQ. Starting on the far side of the meandering Thames Path by Canbury Gardens, and returning past the HQ. The whole time along the Thames Path trail, you will go as far a the Barn Elms Rowing Club turnaround point, before running towards your final turnaround point past HQ to the far side of Canbury Gardens, and finally returning to the finish at the YMCA HQ.

Half Marathon Route: 

Although following a similar scenic route statting and finishing at the YMCA Hawker Centre HQ, this course starts in the opposite direction. Start by meandering along the Thames Path to the first turnaround point at the Kew Gardens car park, up to the next point just past the Boaters Inn Pub, and to the final turnaround point which takes you back to the finish a the YMCA HQ.

Course Markings/Signage:

Both routes will be very well marked, with both Hermes Running yellow/black chevron fixed directional signage and 'Caution Runner' yellow/black signage on the Lower Ham Road section of the course. The whole course will be well marshalled and checkpoints will be well-stocked.

Event Details

What’s Included
  • Lovely Thames Meander finisher's medal
  • Winners’ trophies for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Male / Female runners for each event.
  • R & R free race certificate with personalised chip time.
  • Sports Action Photography, option to purchase some lovely photo’s at £4.95 each.
  • 5 Well stocked Aid Stations with Tailwind, Chia Charge bars, jelly babies, crisps, bananas, pretzels, coca-cola, fruit cordial and water.
  • Free on-site parking at the race HQ on a first come first served basis.
  • Cue Medical professional medical support through the race for all runners.
Raceday Logistics


0730: Registration opens

1000: Marathon starts

1030: Half-marathon

NB: There is a 10 minute pre-race briefing which will be mandatory.

Please arrive at least 45 minutes before the scheduled race start to ensure there is sufficient time to complete the registration process.

Kit List

You are recommended to bring a hydration pack so that you can carry your electrolyte drinks in a bladder / bottles and to ensure you can carry electrolytes and food that you’ll need for your race.

Check the BBC weather forecast on the day, but there will also be a pre-race brief sent out with expected weather conditions. A Gore-Tex or rain jacket is recommended if it’s raining, including a beanie and gloves, alternatively if it’s a sunny day bring a cap and sunglasses. Light trail or hybrid shoes will be adequate for all weather conditions, but road shoes will also be fine if the course is dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time limit for the half / full marathon?
The time limit for the half marathon course is 6hrs and 6.5hrs for the marathon course.
Are there onsite changing facilities, showers & toilets?
The race YMCA HQ has adequate changing facilities for both male / female runners. In addition there will be shower facilities for runners wanting to freshen up post-race. Additionally, there will be portaloos while you are out on the course.
Where are the aid stations based along the route?
- Station 1 YMCA HQ start / finish - Station 2 Petersham fields - Station 3 Kew Gardens car park (half marathon turnaround) - Station 4 Barnes Bridge (marathon runners only) - Station 5 Barn Elms Boat Club (marathon turnaround point) *Additional marshals will be positioned at Canbury Gardens (far side) for the marathon turning point and just past the Boaters Arms Public House for the half marathon turning point.
Where do I discard my litter?
There will be plastic pop-up bins provided at all the Aid Stations for your water cups / gel sachets to be discarded. The marshals will take any litter from you too, so please just keep it until you get to a marshal, or use the bins provided.
Will the course be chip timed?
Chip Timing will be provided by Chris Mills from Race Director Chip Timing. You will be issued with your race number containing your electronic timing chip which is at the back of the race bib Registration on the day.

Meet the organiser

Are you the organizer? Claim this page

Organised Race Events In Surrey & Kent. These include the Thames Meander (Kingston-upon-Thames) Surrey, Magna Carta (Runnymede) Surrey, North Downs Way (Reigate) Surrey and the Bewl Water (Lamberhurst) Kent. All of the races are geared up towards both the novice runner, as well as the more experienced veteran runners.



Thames Meander Marathon & Half – Summer reviews (34)

4.2 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • P

    Patrick T

    Did the Marathon in 2019

    Decent event for my first marathon however the course wasn’t very well marshalled, a lot the signs had fallen over and ended up going the wrong way at one point.
  • S

    Sam J

    Did the Marathon in 2019

    This was my first ever marathon and I enjoyed it immensely. The army cadets were surprisingly encouraging and I loved the route. In the half marathons I've done the distances the aid/water station are at are usually displayed/prominent before the race/in emails - maybe I missed that information but would be v nice to have available (ignore if it was!). The race photographs are quite heavily half marathon focused, and don't cover any of the marathon finishers - obviously a very minor critique. Thanks for putting on a great race!
  • Did the Marathon in 2019

    it was a great course with definite PB potential (which i manage to get!). great day out, well organised, great support!
  • S

    Stuart P

    Did the Marathon in 2019

    Excellent event, well planned and organised. Great out and back course, superb great support from organisers, marshals and pit-stop crews.
  • A


    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Was holidaying in London and decided to do this HM over the weekend, great scenic run around the Thames River
  • L


    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Great race, my main request for future would be that the half marathon does the 1 mile out & back at the start rather than the finish!
  • D

    Dee W

    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    A nice scenic run (along the thames, of course), unfortunately a lack of experienced marshalls and unclear turning points made it seem unprofessional. Witnessed marathon runners turning at the half marathon turn point - and therefore not running the entire race distance and jeopardising the results - due to young marshalls not taking their role seriously. Also wooden medal felt more like short-change than fun novelty.
  • A


    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Having just run the Thames Meander race, its great to have such a route.

    However I felt slightly disappointed by the shower facilities. In an email from the organisers it was said that showers were available, so after the race I located the showers as advised by the staff in the YMCA. The showers which were not marked as male/ female were being used by men. No showers for the females. I therefore had to pay £7.50 to use ones in the YMCA. It’s not fair that men should get the showers for free and women should have to pay. I thought we had progressed in fairness and men and women were being treated the same, i was left with the impression this was certainly not the case here.

  • C

    Chrissy L

    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    I really enjoyed the Thames Meander, beautiful course with lovely scenery and great flat route for enjoyable running. I would say the half marathon course could have done with a couple of extra water stations. Also I didn’t love the use of so many single use plastic cups especially on such a windy day so close to the river (definitely saw some blowing away towards the river), think you should encourage people to bring their own water packs/camelbaks to minimise the use of plastic cups. Or ask people to pay an extra couple of pounds each and get paper cups! Otherwise amazing event - will be back in November!
  • S


    Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Generally a great race, but three issues:
    - I didn't understand the total ban on headphones. Many people were wearing them without any problem. If this is a safety issue, why do many races allow them?
    - The lack of any distance markers (eg, 5km, 10km, etc) was not ideal.
    - The safety briefing was totally inaudible to most of the crowd.
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