Thames Meander Frequently Asked Questions

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The race Thames Meander Race HQ is directly adjacent to Burnell Avenue and will be hosted in a small field called Burnell Avenue Open Space Area, Richmond, TW10 7YE here. The start time for the marathon is at 8.30am sharp and 9.00am sharp for the half marathon, and both events will finish in this field. The marathon/ half marathon both start in the Burnell Avenue open space field adjacent to the Thames Path. The marathon out / back route proceeds from the HQ and runs along the Thames Path past the Boaters Arms pub, out towards the far side of Canbury Gardens where the course then loops around at this marshalled turning point, returning past the race HQ and proceeding all the way along the Thames Path as far as the Barn Elms Rowing Club (Barnes) Aid Station. Marathon runners will then turnaround here repeating the same route in reverse, so returning along the Thames Path bypassing the race HQ again to the far side of Canbury Gardens which is the final turnaround point for this last 2.0 mile out / back section, and completion of the marathon course at race HQ. The half marathon also proceeds from the HQ in the field and runs in the opposite direction out along the Thames Path towards the Kew Gardens Car Park Check Point which is the marshalled half marathon turnaround point. The course returns along the Thames Path bypassing the race HQ towards Canbury Gardens where the course turns just past the Boaters Inn pub to return in reverse direction to finish back at the race HQ Start / Finish area. The route for both the races will be very well signposted with fixed Hermes Running signs marking the run-route, and there will be marshals at both the full and half marathon turnaround points.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 their race bib before you decide to speed up!

Yes, there will be a 5 minute “Health & Safety” briefing that will take place before the start of the half marathon and marathon, so please get to the start in time to attend this. We would also like to make it clear that all runners should use the UKA Approved “Aftershokz” over ear bone conducting earphones so you can hear what is going on around you at all times, and to pay particular attention to our marshals when you cross the Lower Ham Road (Kingston). If you run using earphones as per our terms and conditions, you do so at your own liability risk. 

Registration will all take place on the day from 6.45am onwards, in a large Marquee in the Burnell Avenue Open Space Area. There are no parking spaces for runners at the race HQ, so you will need drive directly to the Seven Kings Carpark, Sury Basin,Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 5ND this is a multi story car-park, from here you can walk along the Thames Path from Kingston Bridge, through Canbury Gardens to the race HQ and it’s a 2.5 mile walk from this car park along the Thames to the Race HQ area.  

Please be aware that there will not be changing facilities at the registration area near Burnell Avenue Open Space Area (Richmond) TW10 7YE. There will will be 7 portable toilets and a 6 man WC unit that will be positioned in the field adjacent to Burnell Avenue, but please show consideration to all fellow runners, as they may also require urgent calls of nature pre-race too. 

The majority of the course 99% is flat / fast and is run along the Thames Path out / back. We would ask both half marathon and marathon runners to 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 dependant though it’s mainly a firm running surface, I would highly recommend road shoes for this course. The turnaround points both have check points and these are at Kew Gardens car park for the half marathon, and at Barn Elms Boat Club for the marathon.Please ensure that move out of the way of your fellow runners if you stop to re-fuel just to avoid any congestion occurring at these two turnaround points. The turnaround for the half marathon (Kew Gardens) will be well marked and marshalled as will the marathon turnaround point adjacent to the Barn Elms Boat Club, but please pay attention to our marshals at these respective points on the route.  

  • Check Point 1 – Race HQ Burnell Avenue Open Space Area, Richmond, TW10 7TE (KLP Medical Support) 
  • Check Point 2 – Kew Gardens Car Park, Kew (half marathon turnaround) (KLP Medical Support) 
  • Check Point 3 – Barn Elms Boat Club, Barns (marathon turnaround only) (KLP Medical Support)

*Marshals will also be positioned at Canbury Gardens (far side) for the marathon turning point, just past the Boaters Arms Public House for the half marathon turning point and also at the Barn Elms Boat Club marathon turnaround point and in additional on both sides out / back of the Lower Ham Road leading to Canbury Gardens. 

At the 3 check points including the CP1 Burnell Avenue Open Space Area, Richmond, TW10 7YE Start / Finish, CP2 Kew Gardens Car Park and CP3 Barn Elms Boat Club all have a selection of food / drinks including GU Energy gels, High 5 Gels, Chia Charge bars, and water.I would also highly recommend that you bringing a hydration pack so that you can carry your own electrolyte drinks in a bladder / bottles and to ensure you can carry electrolytes and any food that you’ll need for your race, you will be able to re-supply with nutrition at the respective Check Points too. 

There will be plastic pop-up bins provided at all the check points for your water bottles, GU Gel packs, High 5 Gel packs and Chia Charge wrappers to be discarded. We would urge you not to discard any litter on the Thames Path trail at all please, our marshals will take any litter from you so just keep it until you get to a marshal, or use the bins provided which will be at each of the 3 respective check point locations.  

We will be 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.  

Our chip timing will be provided by Matt Brown from the Timing Monkey, you will be issued with your race number containing your electronic timing chip which is at the back of the race bib for registration in a race pack.Registration will take place only on the day so nothing will be sent out by post in advance.The pack will also contain your race instructions information and this will also be replicated via email in advance of the race day. Your provisional race result will be uploaded to my Hermes Running website directly after the event has taken place, via embedded links on the homepage. 

If you are feeling unwell and need to retire from the race, please contact me David Ross 0798 4540177. You can also inform a marshal or a first aider and they will pass on the message to us. Please on no account leave the course without informing us of your whereabouts as your safety is our main priority. My contact number will be printed on the front of the race bib if needed and we would like to complete your emergency contact information too at the back of your race bibs.

There is an advance on-line entry limit for the full and half marathons and as soon as we have filled these spaces we will close the entry portal. There will not be any further entries on race day, and we will not be permitting any switches on the day either. 

Yes I would recommend that all runners bring along a hydration pack or waist pack with at least a 500ml water carrying capacity so you can then top up your water bottles / and carry gels easily on race day and you’ll be able to re-supply at all the check point locations. Road shoes are  definitely recommended for this course as 80% of it is run along asphalt paths and the rest on very hard packed dirt trails, so you can easily run this in road shoes or hybrid trail shoes. I would also encourage you all to check the projected weather forecast on BBC Weather here.

 

There is no car parking at the Race HQ near Burnell Avenue Open Space Area, Richmond, TW10 7YE so we would kindly request that all runners use the Seven Kings Car park here in Skerne Road near Kingston-Upon-Thames town centre, this is about a 2.5 mile walk along the Thames from this car park so please allow yourself ample time to park in the multi-storey parking. We would urge you to get there early to find a parking space and then walk to the Race HQ. Race registration will be open from 6.45am and both we will endeavour to start both races on time, the marathon at 8.30am followed by the half marathon at 9.00am.  

If you’re coming by train the nearest stations are Kingston which is 2.5 miles away or about a 35-40 min walk. For train details here please refer to the Trainline link.

  • Thames Meander bespoke medal.
  • Winners’ Awards for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Male / Female runners for each event.
  • Timing Monkey Chip Timing, provisional results links will be posted on the homepage. 
  • Gareth Parker Photography – the race photo’s are available for £7.50 each after the event.  
  • Well stocked Check Points supplying GU Energy, High 5 Gels Chia Charge Bars, and water. 
  • KLP Medical Services professional First Aid medical support throughout the race for all runners.
  • Becky Fit Sports Massage Therapists – sports massage pre/ post race at £10 for 10mins.  

Our photographer does really professional photo’s and this will be done by Gareth Parker Photography, the photo’s will cost £7.50 each and  will be available they have been uploaded using geo-tagging and this will take place within 24hrs of the event staging. 

Our chip timing will be provided by Matt Brown from the Timing Monkey, you will be issued with your race pack at registration this will take place on the day, and your RFID Race Bib will contain your electronic timing chip at the back of the race bib. The provisional chip timed results will be recorded initially but please note that these will only be provisional and will be subject to final verification. These will be uploaded to our Hermes Running homepage directly after the race has taken place. 

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. 

We have qualified medics managed by Kevin Peach from KLP Medical Supplies Ltd. they will be providing professional First Aid support on race day. Our race medics will be stationed at all 3 check points namely the CP1 Start / Finish Burnell Avenue Open Space Area, Richmond,  TW10 7YE, CP2 Kew Gardens Car Park, Kew (half marathon turnaround point) and at the CP3 Barn Elms Boat Club, Barns (marathon turnaround point). Your safety is of paramount importance to us and if you’re feeling unwell prior to or on race day we would strongly urge you not to run. If you have to retire from the race due to feeling unwell please ensure that you notify a medic, marshal or one of us so that we can account for you. My contact number will be clearly displayed on the front of the race bibs.

Yes we work closely with GU Energy, High 5 and Chia Charge they sponsor my events and provide much needed sports gels, electrolytes / carbohydrates which will be on the course, we strongly recommend you using these as they are there for a specific reason and that is to balance the electrolytes lost when sweating, restore glycogen levels, enabling you to have more fuel in the tank. We would also encourage you to pay particular attention to drinking little and often, especially if it’s a hot day which will mean that your sweat rate increases. Remember that as little as a 2% drop in body weight (caused by excessive sweating) can lead to a 20% drop off in performance. The responsibility for your fuelling needs lies solely with you, although our check points will be well stocked to ensure your needs are sufficiently catered for during the race. We would also strongly recommend that you use Succeed Capsules whilst running in the heat, these help to restore the electrolytes that you have lost through excessive sweating, and can be purchased via the Ultramarathon Running Store under nutritional products, the discount code can be applied at the footer of my sponsors home page. 

If you have to use music players (MP3 Players / iPod’s) please ensure that these are the Aftershokz over-ear bone conducting earphones, not in-ear earphones as your health and safety is our primary concern, and we ask you to comply with our Marshals instructions at road-crossing and to be courteous of all other trail users. The use of any earphones in accordance with our “terms and conditions” of entry also means that if you use any form of earphones, you do so entirely at your own risk.  

The race is fully Trail Running Association (TRA Permitted 4389) and professionally chip timed. In this respect we have all the necessary indemnifications in place required for this to be an officially recognised as a pre-qualification event for the Comrades Ultra Marathon (South Africa) and 2 Oceans Ultra Marathon (South Africa). This is not an officially measured course however and therefore cannot be used as a Virgin London Marathon (GFA) qualification time. 

The time limit for the Half Marathon course is 6hrs.

The time limit for the Marathon course is 6.5hrs. 

 

To adhere to UKA and TRA licensing requirements there is a minimum age that runners need to be to participate in race meetings. We have a minimum age for both the half marathon and marathon which is 18 years old. 

 

We operate a no refunds policy as initially stated at the point of entry. We do however reserve the right to offer future switches or deferrals if the event cannot take place for reasons out of the control of race management including but not limited to flooding, severe weather or denial of access to the original course. Race management also reserve the right to postpone the event until a later date and all entries will be carried forward to this date and refunds may not be offered under these circumstances. Event cancellation due to reasons such as Coronavirus (COVID 19) or other such pandemic, public health, local authority travel and movement restrictions and bans of any kind etc are beyond our control and no refund will be given in such circumstances. 

 

We will not be accepting any defers or switches now to alternative events if you cannot run the forthcoming race. We have set permit limits for all our events, thus we will not offer switches if you cannot run your event. If you email me in the event that you are unable to run, I will offer you a 10% discount for any future event of your choice in 2022.  

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