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Thames Meander Marathon & Half – March

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Tickets £32–£42, Charity places available

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The Thames Meander is a flat and scenic riverside run route along the Thames Path on an out / back course with awe inspiring views all along the riverside trail. There are two variations to the course, the half and the marathon. These courses are both flat and fast so were expecting some great PBs!

Review summary

14 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


Nanda K
"Nice track. The organizers planned the event well. There were quite a number of..."


Ross H
"Started on time and was easy enough to find. I felt disappointed from the..."


Sam B
"I went to this race with a big group of the team. It's a really great race for..."
See all reviews

How to enter the Thames Meander Marathon & Half – March

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  1. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
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    Charity Entries
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  2. Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
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Thames Meander Marathon & Half – March routes

Marathon Route

A flat scenic riverside trail marathon starting and finishing at the YMCA Hawker Centre HQ.The course meanders along the Thames Path out to the far side of Canbury Gardens and then returns past the HQ and along the Thames Path trail as far as the Barn Elms Rowing Club turnaround point, returning past the HQ again to the far side of Canbury Gardens which is the final turnaround point, returning to finish at the YMCA HQ.

Half Marathon Route

A flat scenic riverside trail half marathon starting and finishing at the YMCA Hawker Centre HQ.The course starts in the opposite direction to the marathon and meanders along the Thames Path out to the first turnaround point at the Kew Gardens car park, then returning past the race HQ and on towards Canbury Gardens just past the Boaters Inn Pub which is the final half marathon turnaround point, returning to finish at the YMCA HQ.T


The route for both races will be very well signposted with fixed Hermes Running signs marking the run-route (yellow/black chevron fixed directional signage and pink ribbons all along the route). There will be marshals at both the full and half marathon turnaround points and respective check points which will be well stocked!

The marathon runners will be given red race bib numbers and the half marathon runners will be allocated blue race bib numbers, this is to make it much easier for our marshals / runners to distinguish between the full and half, so if you see a runner flying past you just check out his or her race bib before you decide to speed up!

Time Limit

The time limit for the half marathon course is 6hrs and it’s 6.5hrs for the marathon course.

How difficult is the course?

The majority of the course 99% is flat / fast and is run along the Thames Path out / back. Both half marathon and marathon runners should exercise due care when running under Richmond Bridge then past the Richmond town centre as this area can get very congested so please take extra care when running past this area and be very courteous to the general public.The conditions are weather dependent and if it rains the Thames Path trail can get muddy on stretches due to the tidal flow, so we would recommend light trail or hybrid shoes although if it’s been sunny leading up to the event then road shoes will be fine too. At the turnaround points which both have Aid Stations at the Kew Gardens car park for the half marathon and at Barn Elms Boat Club for the full please move out of the way of your fellow runners if you stop to re-fuel to avoid congestion.

Event Details

What’s Included
  • Bespoke Thames Meander bespoke medal.
  • Winners’ trophies for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Male / Female runners for each event.
  • Race Director Chip Timing, free race certificate and net chip times sent directly to your mobile after the race.
  • Sports Action Photography with an option to purchase the race photo’s.
  • Well stocked Aid Stations supplying Tailwind, Chia Charge Bars, jelly babies, pretzels, bananas, coca cola, fruit cordial and water.
  • Cue Medical professional medical support through the race for all runners.
Raceday Logistics

The race HQ is the YMCA Hawker Centre, Lower Ham Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, KT2 5BH.

Registration at YMCA HQ from 7.30am sharp so get there with plenty of time to spare in order to get changed and get your baggage secured in the designated area. There will also be 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, in order to collect your bag. Event organiser does not accept liability for any loss of personal possessions but there will be someone in charge of the baggage. There are no parking spaces for runners at the YMCA HQ, so you will need to go straight to the Seven Kings Carpark, Sury Basin,Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 5ND this is a multi story car-park and from here you can walk along the Thames Path from Kingston Bridge, through Canbury Gardens to the YMCA HQ and it’s literally a 1 mile walk.

The start time for the marathon is at 10.00am sharp and 10.30am sharp for the half marathon, at the YMCA Hawker Centre HQ (Kingston) and both events will finish back the HQ, with the intention of the staggered starts being to ease the congestion on the Thames Path trail.

Mandatory 10 minute pre-race briefing at the start, just to talk through the course conditions and health and safety.

Kit List
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. Check BBC Weather for a forecast on the day, or a pre-race briefing will be sent out with expected weather conditions.

Are there changing facilities, showers and 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, though we would ask you to be courteous if someone is waiting for a shower. The same applies to the toilet facilities which will be adequate, as there will be a number of toilets inside the YMCA (clearly marked) and in addition there are numerous portable toilets that will be positioned on the sports field at the front of the YMCA. Again please understand that your fellow runners may also require urgent calls of nature pre-race too.

Where will the aid stations/marshals be for both courses out and back?

    Aid Station 1 YMCA HQ start / finish
    Aid Station 2 Petersham fields
    Aid Station 3 Kew Gardens car park (half marathon turnaround)
    Aid Station 4 Barnes Bridge (marathon runners only)
    Aid 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.

What will we get at the aid stations?

At the 5 Check Points including the Start / Finish, Petersham Fields, Kew Gardens Car Park, Barnes Bridge and Barn Elms Boat Club will have a selection of food / drinks including Torq Energy Electrolyte drink, Chia Charge bars, dates, crisps, banana’s, water and fruit cordial. I would recommend you bringing 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.

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. We would urge you not to discard any litter on the Thames Path trail please. 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.

How will the course be marked?

Marking the course with fixed Hermes Running pink / black chevron signage throughout the run-route and using fixed “Caution Runner” yellow / black signage on the Lower Ham Road section of the course. You will be directed to run along the pavement to the left hand side of this road on the way out, and on the right hand side again on the pavement on the way back, but please take extra care when crossing this road section, this road will be manned by our marshals too.

Will the course be chip timed?

Chip Timing will be provided by Chris Mills from the Race Director RFID 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. The provisional results will be recorded initially and will be pinned to a notice board directly by the race start / finish, but please note that these will only be provisional and will be subject to final verification.Your race results will be sent though to you via the mobile number you provided at the point of registration and will be uploaded to the website directly after the event has taken place, via embedded links at the bottom of my homepage.

What happens if I have to drop out?

If you are feeling unwell and need to retire from the race, please contact David Ross 0798 4540177 or Phillip Howells 0780 226 0906. You can also inform a marshal or a first aider and they will pass on the message. Please on no account leave the course without informing someone of your whereabouts as your safety is the main priority. Contact numbers will be printed on the front of the race bib if needed and you should make sure to complete your emergency contact information too at the back of your race bibs.

Is there a limit to the number of entries for each distance?

There is an on-line entry limit of 700 runners inclusive for the full / half marathons, although the event organiser may additionally be accepting some entries on the day on a discretionary basis.

Will there be race photography and when will this be available?

Yes, the photography will be done by Edward Thomas from Sports Action Photography and the race photos will be available to purchase shortly after the race has taken place.

When will prizes be awarded after each race?

Winners trophies will be awarded to the top three male / female runners for each race distance and these will be handed out straight after the top three runners have completed their respective races.

What level of medical support can i expect on race day?

Qualified medics managed by Kevin Peach from Cue Medical will be providing professional medical support on race day. Your safety is of paramount importance and if you’re feeling unwell prior to or on race day you are strongly urged not to run. If you have to retire from the race due to feeling unwell please ensure that you notify a medic or marshal so that you can be looked after. Contact numbers are clearly displayed on your race bibs for this reason.

Can MP3 Players/iPods be used whilst running this race?

The use of MP3 Players / iPod’s is banned as there are some busy road crossing sections on all courses and in addition there is a duty of care to maintain relationships with members of the public that use these trails. Your heath and safety is of primary concern so please do not wear these devices as you’ll be DQ’d if you contravene these rule.

Are there race permits for this event and is it an official qualifying race for big events?

The race is fully TRA (Trail Running Association) and UKA (UK Athletics) permit certified, fully chip timed and is this respect we have all the necessary indemnifications in place required for these to be officially recognised events. The marathon can be used for Good For Age (GFA) qualification for the London Marathon and as a pre-qualification event for the Comrades Ultra Marathon (South Africa).

Questions & answers

  • I

    Iain H
    Will our bib numbers be sent or do we collect them on the day?


    Steph E
    Hi there. Race numbers can be collected at Registration on the day. Enjoy the event!
  • T

    Tanya S
    The website says entries are closed, can you sign up on the day at all?


    Steph E
    Hi there. Just to let you know that the Thames Meander races do offer on the day entries depending on availability.

Thames Meander Marathon & Half – March weather forecast

Predicted highs
Predicted lows
IconLight breeze possible, up to 9mph

Meet the organizer

Hermes Running

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Hermes Running are ranked #45 in the UK out of 560 organizers

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 – March reviews (14)

4.1 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    The event was well organized, and the staff was extremely quick to answer any questions I would have.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    I went to this race with a big group of the team. It's a really great race for a spectator and lots of places to cheer on from along the river and because part of the course is out and back you can see the runners multiple times without having to move very much. It's very flat and fast so good for PBs and the waves they released the runners in meant there was no issue with pinch points which was a great way of doing it.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Despite the epic winds, the Thames Meander experience was superb. Really well organised, great atmosphere and supportive volunteers. Even my fellow runners were some of the friendliest I have encountered. A great race to boost confidence and achieve a PB. I would definitely sign up again for either the full or the half.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Good fun, nice stretch of the river. No headphones permitted which is a bit annoying and having to run 800m beyond the finish and back is a psychological killer
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Started on time and was easy enough to find. I felt disappointed from the course. You run along the river and turn back on yourself and run same route back. However, you have to run past the finish line another mile and turn around again and run back to finish the race. Extremely annoying as the people who had already finished are standing around stretching ect in the way of the path of the runners who still have to run past. Poorly designed. No stewards at all to make any room for continuing runners. I wish I checked out the route before signing up. If I had known I wouldn't have done it.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    This was my first half marathon and enjoyed it mostly. For what is I'd imagine a relatively small event the atmosphere was good. However my main complaint was getting to the "finish" line to be told we still had 2 miles to go. I didn't seem the only person that thought this was just cruel! Other comments are more toilets needed and seemed to be no security checking bag numbers at the end. I found my bag no problem, but it struck me it would've been very easy for anyone (not even just runners) to have wandered in and pick any bag(s) up.
  • Did the event in 2019

    Nice track. The organizers planned the event well. There were quite a number of refreshment station to motivate the runners.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Pleasant flat course. Not nearly enough portaloos, so long queues. I won't run any events like this again if they continue to disqualify people for wearing headphones. I understand it is a safety thing, but music is an important part of my training.
  • Did the event in 2019

    It was my a first marathon, a very friendly atmosphere and a great route. I definitely recommend. Thank you!
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Very enjoyable relatively low key event. Smooth check in and good pre-race venue. More toilets would have been good. A nice, scenic and flat route along the river up to Kew on mostly paved or compacted surfaces. Easy to follow with adequate, well stocked way stations. The finish area was a bit confusing as the aid station had people wandering back into the path of people yet to complete the loop in Kingston.