Thames Meander Marathon & Half – Winter

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Meander, or do anything but, in the winter edition of the Thames Meander Marathon & Half Marathon. The flat riverside trail starts and finishes at the YMCA Hawker Centre HQ, and provides the perfect course for runners of all abilities to set a new PB and enjoy the city sights along the way.
Half Marathon, and Marathon
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Sat 6th Nov 2021
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Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom
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(31 Reviews)
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<5m elevation gain per km

Where and when
YMCA Hawker, Lower Ham Rd, Kingston upon Thames KT2 5BH, UK
Start times
8:30am |
Half Marathon:
Races summary
Here's what races are available for Thames Meander Marathon & Half – Winter
Route information
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
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.
Organiser route images
What's included
  • Thames Meander Finisher's Medal
  • Winners’ trophies for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Male / Female runners for each event.
  • 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
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Finisher's Medal
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How to get there
YMCA Hawker, Lower Ham Rd, Kingston upon Thames KT2 5BH, UK
Get full directionsExternalLink
There is an on-site car park for your use which will be free of charge although there is only space for 120 cars so please ensure you arrive early if you wish to park here.
There is also unrestricted car parking on the surrounding residential roads and a good parking area available close by in Burnell Avenue TW10 7YE, a 0.25 mile walk along the Thames Path to the race HQ. The Seven Kings Car park in Skerne Road near Kingston-Upon-Thames town centre, which is a 1 mile walk from HQ, is a great option for parking.
By Train
If you’re coming by Train the nearest stations are Kingston which is 1.6 miles away or about a 25-30 min walk.
Event day logistics
08:30 Marathon starts
09:00 Half Marathon starts
Please arrive at least 45 minutes before race time to ensure plenty of time to find parking, register, store your bags, and warmup.
Race Packs
All final raceday instructions will be available in the race instructions sent to participants before the event. There will not be any registration on the day.
Cut-off Time
There will be cut-off times in place at the event for both races. The cut-off time for the Half Marathon is 6 hours and 6.5 hours for the Marathon.
You will be provided tear off Tyvek baggage tags that correspond numerically with your colour-coded race numbers on the day, so please ensure that these are tagged onto your bag when you hand your bag to the baggage marshal.
When you collect your race bags you will need to show your race bib number for security purposes to collect your bag.
The YMCA has adequate changing facilities for runners, but no shower facilities. There will be a number of toilets inside the YMCA, as well as portable toilets positioned outside by the start line.
Winners’ awards will be awarded and will be handed out to the M/F 1st, 2nd & 3rd runners once the directly after the race, there will not be Vet Category awards for these race distances.
Aid Stations
There will be checkpoints along the course with a selection of food / drinks including GU Energy gels, Chia Charge bars, and water and will be situated at the following points:
  • Check Point 1 – YMCA HQ Start / Finish (KLP Medical Support)
  • Check Point 2 – Kew Gardens Car Park (half marathon turnaround) (KLP Medical Support)
  • Check Point 3 – Barn Elms Boat Club (marathon turnaround only) (KLP Medical Support)
Hermes Running's logo
Hermes Running
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.
View more Hermes Running events
What is the cut-off time for the Thames Meander Marathon & Half?
The cut off time for the half marathon course is 6hrs and 6.5hrs for the marathon course.
Can I listen to music during the Thames Meander & Half?
For safety reasons, wearing headphones will be banned as there are some busy road crossing sections on all of their courses.
Will there be showers at the Thames Meander & Half?
No, there will be adequate changing facilities, but no showers will be available.
31 reviews
FriendlyFaceFriendly atmosphere
ActionHighFiveHelpful volunteers
ThumbsUpWell organized
Aliye M
Did the Marathon in 2019
I ran my first marathon on Saturday 11th November taking part in the Thames Meander. It was extremely wet and windy day so although the scenery was very pretty, every time I looked up I saw something beautiful, the path was treacherous at times and I ran in wet socks and trainers. The volunteers at the water station were very positive and helpful even though they were stood in the rain for us. My main issue is with the finish line.....passing your family and other runners finishing, knowing you have to run away and come back is cruel. My brother ran the last loop with me. Please change this for next year! Extend the route so the finish line is the finish. If not I urge all first time runners to arrange for a family member to run the last part with you, I needed it. I feel this being such a quiet route, there aren't any road closures, no crowds cheering you on, you have to be confident you can do it and wouldn't recommend it for a first marathon. Also when I finished the music had been turned off and it felt like everyone was packing up.
Nurjehan K
Did the Marathon in 2019
For the above reasons and for first time marathon runners, it was a great course. Stunning scenery, a simple out and back route.Advice: I felt there was insufficient marshalls along very long stretches.Re-route the end. Its never a pleasure to see the end and have to pass it, before you finish it.Was there a goody bag/T Shirt/Protein Bars/Drink/Fruit?My main disappointment was the medal ribbon didn't have the year 2019 on it.
Mohamed M
Did the Half Marathon in 2019
An excellent running route along the Thames path. Well organised. Awesome medal. Friendly volunteers and participants. Great course for a pb time as mostly all flat.
Did the Marathon in 2019
I do want to be positive, the medal is awesome! I would suggest that at the start you arranged pens, unfortunately there was a very large person going very slowly, who managed to be at the front!! making it very difficult to overtake to get your pace going. Right there and then I knew a good race time was out of the window.There was something not quite right with the layout of the finishing drink station, I know it was also being used for the actual races which would mean me getting in the way of the runners whilst standing to drink at the end of my race. Thank you to everyone that helped!
Did the Half Marathon in 2019
A nice course along the river, a little un-even at times but aid stations were really excellent. Banning headphones (even jaw bone ones) outright was a shame, especially as many ignored that so the course got boring at times. Running past the finish line to do the end bit wasn't ideal - the aid station at that point was also very crowded so I wasn't able to get a quick drink before the final run. I did the love medal though :-) Starting earlier would be helpful as it is open to the public and the route got crowded quite quickly.
Did the Marathon in 2019
A really nice marathon with a personal and cozy atmosphere. The weather was not great so parts of the course was muddy. The positivity from the organisers and the crowds made up for that though!
Heather K
Did the Half Marathon in 2019
The bag drop at the beginning was not clear. Everyone left their belongings in a big pile in the tent which felt unsafe. However when we returned the organisers had sorted them into rows if you had attached your number. Great they did, but we didn't know it was going to happen. The course was great. Flat with lovely views. A few grumbling locals who didn't enjoy their weekend walk being populated by runners - fair enough. Some were also very encouraging. The helpers en route were fantastic. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but I couldn't find any water at the end and had to queue up in the club house for a warm tap.
Did the Marathon in 2019
Well organised, the Air Cadets at the feed stations were awesome. The medal was OK, but good to see green thinking with no t-shirt or 'goody bag' at the end
Did the Marathon in 2019
Really well organised, good stations - awesome cadets. The medal was Meh but glad to find a decent marathon in November that doesn't involve going abroad!
Rach F
Did the Marathon in 2019
One thing which I thought was not so good was having to run past the finish line and back to complete the course. Mentally this was horrible. It would be great if next year the course could finish at the finish line without having to run past it.
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