Thames Meander 2008

Back for its 9th year is the much-loved Thames Meander. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of old friends and new faces. The TM is a friendly event with lots of support from previous runners, MdS vets and friends. Plus hot soup and a place to sleep at the end (but you’ll need to bring a sleeping bag). Visit the <A href="">Thames Meander website </A> for more details, or book online here at Runner’s World.


  • I was looking at the website last night funnily enough whilst idly thinking about training runs for GUCR. Think I will enter as it's very local.
  • Hi Too Much Water

    The TM is very good training for the GUCR and Dick Kearn will be there with help and advice as usual.
    Hope to see you there.
    Regards, Steve
  • Interested in this event just wondering how easy is it to navigate the route ? I am taking part in the MDS the folowing month.
  • Hi Steve

    The course is very easy to follow as the Thames past is clearly marked in the same way as all long distance footpaths.

    The last part is sometimes more difficult but this year we are marking the course in the same way as the Mds (That is with green light sticks). I will only do this for the last section as the path is clear all the way provided you read the map.  The new Thames path map is extremely helpful in highlighting the route but you still need the OS maps as they give you a position for all the checkpoints.

    The MDS is a lot harder than people make out and it is a risk listening to someone who has completed it once as the conditions change from year to year. It needs more preparation than people realise and also the preparation needs to be kind. Too many people complete the race but due to the injuries take weeks to recover. You need to do a lot of walking as well as running. I walk around work and try to complete 50 k during work a week as well as a long run a week. Working in the city this isn’t too difficult, but that’s the sort of distance you should be looking at by Christmas.



  • Cheers Steve,

    Thanks for the info and advice it is appreciated. The problem i have at the moment is knowing whether the training i am doing is enough. I suppose until you're out there you just don't really know !

  • Hi Steve

    I am putting up atraining schedule for the Thames meander and the MDS,which should be up on the TM web site in the coming week. Many of the events I use for trianing for both events are LDWA events ( Long distance walking association) or TRA (trail running association) events.

    They both have a numberof Off road races throughoutthe year which runners are allowed to join in. The sheer effort of running adn walking 50k across a muddy course in the winter over stiles and navigating yourself around the place coping with different weather conditions has been great training for both events.

     Ironically Mud is great training for sand as it tends to sap the calf muscles in much the same way. I have my favorites allof which are fairly gruesome but it is all worthwhile when you return with a medal.



  • Hi Steve

    Actually looked at the LDWA website yesterday and decided i needed to get involved in some of their sat/sun events. I am running two marathons towards the end of October so once i have them out of the way i shall have a look the training schedule on the TM web site.  Thanks for the advice it is always good to hear any comments that may help

  • Am seriously thinking about this event as my introduction to ultras before the MdS in 2009.  Was going to do the La Trans Aq but the cost of it and the MdS together is fairly prohibitive.

    Only issue for me is that although I've been running 50 mile weeks my longest run rarely exceeds 16miles.  I would hope that this might increase to 20 miles - is this going to be enough for the Thames Meander?  Never done a marathon for that matter but plenty of Mountain Marathons e.g. OMM etc if you know of them?

    Do you have any advice?


  • Errrrrmmmmm....... BBH thinks this looks like a nice slow event that she can amble along at own pace so entry sent off.  Also seems to have entered the 30 Mile Moonlight Challenge the week after.......dohhh!!!

    Sorry last person on earth to give training tips (BBH ambles behind sofa to hibernate for Winter).

  • Cheers Steve - only just looked back at this forum. I put my entry in today anyway

    Thanks again, looking forward to it. I have done the first 30 or so miles to Windsor as a training run last winter and didn't get lost.
  • Hi

    Just asked this on another thread, but thought I'd post here as well - could anyone tell me how this event compares to the Thames Path Ultra that's held a month earlier? Seems to start at the same place but end a few miles earlier (50 miles total). Is there anything else (besides month & precise length) to distinguish the two?


  • Errrm - isn't it the othjer way round - Meander might finish 'earlier' along Thames - depending on which end you're coming from, but is actually longer than Thames Path Ultra (54.6 as opposed to 50 miles). Also rather more generous in timing as meant to be prep. for MdS. 
  • Although of course so is Ambition Events - in case they set Jason X on me for dissing them - but I think they expect a faster pace and are stricter about cut off times.  Thames Meander seems a little more 'relaxed' both regarding pace and equipment list.
  • Thanks BBH

    Yes, you're right, my post wasn't clear (I meant that the TPU ends earlier & is 50 miles)

    I'm not training for MdS - just looking for a 50-miler this winter. But it would be my first time over 50'ish km, so more lenient cut-offs are probably a good thing.

    Any idea what the breakdown of MdS vs non-MdS runners there are likely to be? I wouldn't like to be the only one not carrying my own body weight in my rucksack.

  • No idea, never done it before and deffo not MdS material, so will be carrying Bear's necessities only!!
  • Steve

    Is this event definitely full now for 2008? Do you have a reserve list?


    p.s. I have emailed you directly  

  • Sorry All I have been away in sunny and dusty Dubai; nothing but cranes everywhere. Anyway I will try to answer satisfactorily.

    Hi Hillwalker

    20 is not going to be enough You need to have a couple at 30miles and at least one at 35-40miles. The reason for this is that mentally it won’t be such a huge leap to the 54 miles. With out this mental strengthening the race will be very difficult. I wish you luck.



    Hi landrover

     I don’t know how it compares; that’s for other runners to say, but this race is in its 9th year The Thames Path started last year.

    With regard to the breakdown of MDS and non MDs runners; There are about 100 runners not running the race. Some are coming to do fast times. The field this year will be the best ever and the quality of the front runners is on another level to previous year’s. I won’t be surprised if all the records are broken. We even have three runners returning battling it out for the marshals choice trophy.



    Hi Bear B Hind

    You will really enjoy this route and the camaraderie of the event. I will be surprised if you don’t walkaway with a medal and new friends on the day.

    It seems to be a meeting place for a lot of the runners who have met up here gone to the desert and returned and a chance to meet up again.

    I hope you have a great time and hope the weather is kind it usually is.



    Team Hurtmore

    We are doing our best to get everyone in. 



  • Many thanks for encouragement  Bear has maps and will be getting other necessities soon!!!
  • If anyone has a spare entry for this due to injury can you please contact me.



  • Hope it drys out a bit for you. I did the the Thames trail ultra last Saturday and the water was waist deep several times. Good luck.
  • So who's doing this on Saturday ? I hope that I am not the only one!!
  • I wish i was. Race full!!
  • i am

    not sure how prepared i am though 

  • Oh - glad am not only one - totally unprepared image  
  • How did you all fare in this event ? I was out with my young son on the towpath between Staines and Laleham from about 15:30 till 17:00 supporting all you runners. I must have cheered on between 25 - 30 of you mad people, quite envious of couse !! I hear it was a lot drier than last month, no waist deep water to contend with !!
    I will be entering next year and I will be sure to enter early as when I tried for this year it was fully subscribed !! I would be interested to know how many runners failed to start !!
  • I think in the region of 40-50 failed to start. There was around 230 competitors on the list. Around 150 finished and around 30 retired. Haven't bothered to count up accurately but I think I am right. Someone please correct me if I am being stupid... 
  • Ah that's what was going on in Staines on Saturday night!  Was going into the curry house by the bridge at about 8pm when 4 or 5 runners came vaulting over the barrier and down the steps, but all of them were going too fast to read what it said on the numbers!! 
  • Nokka

    Thanks for the support, I was one of the runners. It was really nice to get support in Marlow and around Staines from lots of strangers. We must have looked a funny bunch - and a little tired by Laleham as that was about 46-ish miles. At least, the TP wasn't  flooded as in last month's TPUltra when we had to stick to the main roads for this section and most of the first 20 miles.

    Both TPU and TM (essentially the same events bar a different finish - TM is longer) are great events and fun (????) ultras.


  • Dan ADan A ✭✭✭

    What a great day out.  Thanks to Kathy & Steve for all the hard work that goes into organising these things, and the same for all the volunteers without whom this race could not go ahead.  And well done to all those that made it round; was freezing by the time the sun went down, so running in the cold and dark is a significant achievement.

    I did have a chuckle to myself, when a young lad said to his mum, as I raced past - "Mummy, what is that man doing?".  A fair point.

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