#Review: The Thames Meander in bullet points
1. Really well organised. Despite a relatively small car parking facility and the area for registration equally small the organisers managed to get it together and keep runners and supporters aimed in the right directions. You’d probably say there was a good flow to the people traffic pre-race. The bag store was good, the start line was nice and wide, there were showering facilities and delivery of numbers was quick and efficient. The organisers should be congratulated for an easy pre-race.
2. Excellent aid stations. You can have no complaints at the aid stations for this marathon, drink options and food options. Not much for the savoury fan but then there rarely is at any marathon.
3. Reasonable Route. There’s only so much you can do with the Thames Path – it’s a path along a river. The scenery was pleasant and weather conditions made it more testing than a normal Autumn marathon. The path thankfully wasn’t too busy with normal route users either but it still felt a little cramped in places but if you like looking out over a river then this is the run for you.
4. Medal and goody bag. Medal was classically awesome and chunky too, not Traviss chunky but it’s nice. No goody bag but I think the price of the marathon reflected that a goody bag was not needed. Plus these days the ‘goody’ bag is usually rubbish anyway
5. Atmosphere. Very positive, good vibe with the runners, small enough field to feel intimate (350ish) but big enough to feel like a race. As usual the people who were most chatty and keen to have a laugh were the ultra distance runners I knew in attendance. So my thanks go especially to Rob and Gary both banging out further miles after successful recent ultras – special mention must go to Emma though who I ran with briefly and was properly awesome as she hammered out a great time despite illness and the wheels coming off about halfway through. The other point to make about the atmosphere is that the volunteers/marshals/medics were 100% outstanding, 100% jolly and a superb asset to the race, my thanks guys.
6. Good value for money. The race was pretty inexpensive (about £30) came with lots of positives and a great medal. I’ll be honest you can’t go wrong
7. Again? I wouldn’t do it again anytime soon but with a couple of years passed I’d be tempted to go back. There were so many positives to take from this but it wouldn’t make my favourite races list. I’m probably being a little harsh in that I fell a couple of times on the route, I was feeling ill anyway, I’d stopped to help an injured runner to an aid station and I was exhausted going into the race from my over training in the days leading up to it. But it’s certainly one I’d recommend having a going it and maybe you’ll be more inclined to be a regular repeat runner for the Thames Meander Marathon
8. Overall. 8/10 visit hermesrunning.com for entry details for all their races