Next Race: 12/03/2022
I also wrote a review but it hasn't appeared yet.
Basically I agree with everything the reviewer says in the post entitled 'GREAT ROUTE, REALLY POOR FACILITIES AND SUPPORT'
I've done about 8 half marathons and this was by far the worst of them. The organisation at the start was pretty good with plenty of pins and labels and pens etc. And the scenery was nice, along the Thames for almost the whole thing. But there's not much else good to say. Hardly any water stations. No mile markers! Not enough toilets which meant lots of runners were late to start the race as they were still queuing. Poor PA system with a half-hearted announcer meant there was no pre-race atmosphere. Very few stewards until the halfway point where there was a Captain Mainwairing type shouting 'turn round now' - gee thanks for the encouragement! Cheap lightweight medal and no t-shirt. At the finish line there were no refreshments, literally nothing! - eventually someone told me I could go and get something from a table on the route the other side of the trees. And maybe worst of all, the route wasn't even properly measured and it clocked in at 13.45 miles. Several others have corroborated that.
A good race has - at the very least - a marker at every mile, hot drinks and food at the finish, more marshalls/loos, a water/ribena station every 3-4 miles and a correctly calculated distance. A really good race has atmosphere to begin with and t-shirt to show off until you do the next one.
All told it was a bit anti-climax and I didn't feel well looked after. It just felt a bit amateurish and cheap - yet we paid full price for entry. Maybe there's a reason for that but it didn't seem fair. I won't take part in this one again.
I wrote a review but it hasn't appeared, presumably because it was negative. Hopefully this will get by the moderators.
The Thames Meander Nov 2021 was my first marathon but while I don't have any other marathons to compare it to I've run plenty of shorter distances that were all significantly better organised. The route is great - scenic and flat - but other than that there's not much positive to say unfortunately.
- Marshalling was limited and for long stretches of the route non-existent. Some people who I *think* were marshals because they were giving directions weren't wearing anything at all that identified them as race officials, no hi-viz vest, badge, hat, nothing.
- signage was pretty basic / minimal with no mile markers and fairly awful in the Canbury garden turnaround section, the route there was just confusing, especially because we had to run a figure of eight which meant runners having to take evasive action so as not to collide.
- aid stations were 5/6 miles apart at least for some sections. The emails beforehand did at least warn us of that so I wore a hydration pack and carried several gels with me - I felt really sorry for anyone who'd missed that info and was relying on stations for fuel though.
- the PA system at the start was totally inadequate. I wasn't even at the back of the pack and couldn't hear a word.
- there were seven toilets plus some urinals to cover several hundred runners which is just ridiculous - no toilets along the route either. The queue meant loads of people missed the start time.
- some of the food at the end was past its best-before date. That's pretty gross.
- the "bag drop" was just some tarpaulins on the ground with no-one manning it or checking numbers and no protection from rain (fortunately it was dry but if it'd rained then everyone's change of clothes would have got soaked)
- medal was fairly underwhelming and there were no other freebies whatsoever, no T-shirt, no bag, nothing.
- race photography was minimal or non-existent. I saw one person with a camera once, but it's several days after the event and I've had no emails about it. I didn't even get an email with my result either!
- finally the last section of the route, where you have to run past the finish line for a mile for the final Canbury garden loop, is just cruel. I knew it was coming so was at least prepared but it's still psychologically horrible to be running *away* from the finish line at mile 24. Why not just extend the route down the river a bit further so that section isn't necessary on the return?
That's probably enough. Quite honestly I've got no idea what my entrance fee went on. Wouldn't recommend this event to anyone.
At 36km we noticed a runner collapsing and struggling to breathe. We sat with him and gave our water, food, gels and extra layers to help him to raise his temperature and get back to normal.
We called the organiser for first aid 3 times and had to wait a full hour before anyone arrived. When the paramedic arrived they were ill equipped, had no electrolytes or even a foil blanket. They did nothing to help the athlete besides help him to stand up after a passerby happened to have a bottle of lucasade which brought him back to normal. Because we had to wait over an hour, our muscles were then too sore and there was not enough time to complete the marathon.
We later found out that the athlete had called for first aid 30 minutes before we arrived and in total waited 1.5 hours for professional help.
We spoke with the organiser after the event who said he didn't think he would need to hire more paramedics as this "hadn't happened for a while", I could only assume that this has happened before?
This is a huge health and safety issue and also cost my and my wife's opportunity to complete the event.
I was very surprised there was no food or drink (besides water) offered at the end. I refused to use the coffee van out of principle and walked a mile to the nearest shop. My 32st marathon. First time there's been nothing on offer at the end.
hi yes very good race nice n flat. well manned and enough water stations
Good course but woefully inadequate water stations. I appreciate that this is noted in the race instructions, but why so few? The first station was at 6 miles, and the second station at the turnaround point poorly signed and badly positioned (do you want runners to stop on the hair pin?) A bottle ow water at the end is a basic requirement, but nothing unless you walk back to the course 50 meters from the finish to collect a cup! Not sure I saw any medical support either?