YMCA Hawker, Lower Ham Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 5BH
Sat 08th August 2020
Two ﬂat scenic riverside trail runs, starting and ﬁnishing at the YMCA Hawker Centre in Kingston-Upon-Thames. The marathon meanders along the Thames Path out to the far side of Canbury Gardens, returns past HQ and on to the Barn Elms Rowing Club turnaround point, past HQ again to the far side of Canbury Gardens, the ﬁnal turnaround point, and back to the ﬁnish.
The half marathon starts in the opposite direction, meanders along to the ﬁrst turnaround point at the Kew Gardens car park, returns past HQ and on towards Canbury Gardens, the ﬁnal turnaround point, returning to ﬁnish. Organised by Hermes Running.
Great flat course. The terrain was tow paths and double width walkways alongside the River Thames, a loop of six miles up and back in one direction and the rest in the opposite direction of the start line. After a very tight slow first two miles the gaps became larger between the runner’s abilities, the tight and slow start was a failure by the organisers to release the runners in ability at the start. Pens are needed. There was a very large lady "running" very slowly, she blocked the tow path making me unable to achieve speed until mile two.
The finish is positioned at mile 12 which means you have to run 1 mile in the opposite direction to the start in order to double-back to get to mile 13.1, the finish. My husband witnessed multiple runners seeing the finish and just crossing it without doing the correct loop. Cheating the runners who complete the whole 13.1 out of their finishing position.
The medal is very nice
Out and back and back again. I'm sure on a nice day this would be quite a nice marathon to run, but we were blessed with a wet and windy Saturday, but it did brighten up later on, so not all bad.
It's a flat route that follows along the edge of the River Thames, passing through Kew, Richmond, and Putney. The organisation is great, with well-stocked aid stations. It is literally a run 13 miles 1 way and comes back the same way though so doesn't really take your mind off of the miles. Personally I prefer a run that keeps me guessing. There is no real difference in terrain or view which makes it quite a boring run. I would love to use it as a training run but as a complete marathon not so much.
The hardest part is at roughly mile 24 you run past the finish line to go out to a turning point roughly a mile away, then you have to go back to the finish. I found that bit really hard, but then I guess that's just what a marathon is, hard.
Cheeky false finish. This is a great half marathon route along the side of the river Thames. Up towards Kew for 6 miles and then back. Most of the route is flat, but there are some muddy bits and uneven ground - so take care. But these changes in terrain just kept things interesting!
The only downside is as you approach the finish area (which is already bustling with finishers and their families), and you push into a faster gear to cross the line, you actually have to run past it for a second turn around point about half a mile away! This crushed me! And it was sad to see others approach the line after me with the same jubilation to realise they weren’t done yet!
Other than that minor issue it’s a great race!