Water of Life Marlow to Henley Half Marathon & 10K
Enjoy a superb scenic multi-terrain 10k or half marathon route starting and finishing in the prestigious Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. The course follows the Thames between Marlow and Henley, before looping back through beautiful countryside. Fantastic facilities and magnificent spectator-friendly start/finish by the river.
Your family and friends can enjoy a morning in the Abbey grounds, by the river, with food and refreshments available all morning. Children's races to keep the young ones occupied while the main race is on. Sorry, dogs are not allowed in Bisham Abbey grounds
We’re pleased to confirm that we’re hoping to offer carefully adapted, smaller and simplified events from September onwards.
Following updated guidance from the UK Government and the governing bodies who license our events - UK Athletics and British Triathlon - we’re working on the details to determine which events could safely take place. There’s a quick reference list on what we know so far at the bottom of this page but if you see an event open for entry on our website it means we are planning for that event to take place.
We know how important races and organised runs are to every runner. We understand that for some, the return of events can’t come soon enough. For others, taking part in an event still holds significant concerns.
It’s not going to be quite like it was before. Things will have to be a little different for a while. But the benefits of committing to a goal, running with others and that finish line feeling will be all the greater for the recent challenges we’ve all overcome.
Specific details on each of our events
We’re carefully adapting our event plans – from getting there to going home. We’re thinking through every detail that makes events feel great to work out what the safer alternatives are. Whilst the specific details for individual events are changing, all events will incorporate a range of fundamental changes to ensure a socially-distanced and contact-free event, the details of which are summarised below. Sadly, it is likely that some events will not be possible under these new requirements and in those cases we’ll announce their cancellation and explain why. Each event is different, so where they do go ahead we’ll explain what’s changed and why it’s all in place to keep everyone safe. We’ll also summarise everything you need to know in a final ‘Event Information’ email, sent a few days before your event day. If you have a question before entering, we’re here to help.
What to expect at events that go ahead:
Small and scheduled staggered/rolling wave starts
Contact-free registration with race pack by mail.
Simplified bag drop measures where available
Covid-secure water stations although self-sufficiency is advised Safe pick-up for medals and snacks
Bookable time windows from getting there to going home to control capacity.
Thank you for your support and understanding over these four months. We’ve missed you! That finish line feeling will be worth the wait. #SeeYouOnTheStartLine
Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Marlow Road, Bisham, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1RT
Baggage drop close to the start/finish area
Marshals will be stationed along the route at strategic points
Toilets at the start/finish area
There will be water stations at approximately 3, 5, 8 & 10 miles
Hot and cold drinks and great food will be available at the start/finish throughout the morning
Medical services will be available along the route
Prizes in each race will be given to 1st, 2nd, 3rd Male & Female (regardless of age) then 1st Male & Female in the following categories: V40, V50, V60, V70.
Each finisher will receive a medal commemorating the event.
Both main races take you along a mixture of road, trails and off-road footpaths, some of which go across fields that may be muddy, depending upon the weather. Trail shoes are recommended, especially during or after wet weather. You will follow the towpath from Marlow towards Henley, before looping back to Marlow. As a multi-terrain route, it will provide you with different challenges along the way. You will occasionally come across kissing gates, bridges and steps. The route follows public footpaths and you will meet other users, whether on foot or bicycle – please be considerate to other users. We will do all we can to warn other users in advance and to facilitate your run, but we have to share the towpath. The footpath is narrow and rutted in places – please take extra care on these stretches. Above all, enjoy the route, the countryside, and all that entails.
There is a Junior Race too so bring the family along! The course is entirely within Bisham Abbey grounds and is approx 100m. If your child is under 5 years, please run with him/her (no charge or need to register!).
08:30am: Number Pickup opens for you to collect your race pack (pre-registered).
08:30am: Late Entries being taken (entries on the day).
09.00am: Baggage drop opens.
09:15am: Junior Race Number Pickup closes.
09:30am: Junior Race starts.
09.45am: Half Marathon and 10k Number Pickup and Late Entries desks close. Baggage drop closes.
10:00am: Half Marathon starts.
10:10am: 10k starts.
10:48am (approx): 10k winner finishes.
11:15am (approx): Half Marathon winner finishes.
12:15am (approx): Prize presentation.
All races start and finish at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, off Marlow Road, Bisham, Marlow, SL7 1RT. Look for the Purple Patch gantry!
There is NO parking in the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. Event parking will be in the farmer's field opposite Bisham Abbey (unless there has been very wet weather, in which case you will be advised either beforehand or on arrival). Please follow the car park marshals' instructions. Please note that once you have driven down the lane to the car park, you will not be able to drive back up until both races are underway. Therefore, if you are dropping off only, please drop off elsewhere. There will be NO parking in Temple Lane as it is part of the race route. Once you have parked, please follow direction arrows to the race HQ - please take care crossing the road from the car park to Bisham Abbey.
Late Entries will be available on the day. Please go to the relevant desk and complete an entry form. Please allow yourself plenty of time to do this as this desk will close 15 minutes before the first race starts. Late Entries have a surcharge of £3 (10k & HM) and £1 (Juniors).
Race Number & Timing Chip Race Number:
Your race number will be available to pick up from the ‘Number Pick-Up’ desk in the race village. Please leave enough time to do this before the race start.
- Attach your race number securely to the FRONT of your running top using four safety pins, one in each corner.
- Pins will be available from the registration desks.
- If you have a medical condition that will need consideration, please mark the front of your number with a cross and write details on the back. If you have been unwell or injured in the days before the race, please do not start. Please check with your doctor if you are unsure.
- Your timing chip will be attached to the back of your race number - you should not remove it, and you do not need to do anything with it. When attached correctly, timing chips will be detected as you cross the start and finish lines, and your time and race number will be recorded automatically. Do not be concerned if your chip number and race number do not tally!
- You must not pass your race number and/or timing chip to another runner.
- The 10k route will be marked with km markers in RED and the Half Marathon route will be marked with mile markers in BLACK.
- Medical services will be available along the route; if you need help, please wait with a marshal until you can be picked up.
- Please advise us if you have any medical condition that we should be aware of. In addition, mark a cross on the front of your number and write this information, with your name, emergency contact and telephone number on the back of your number. If you have been unwell or injured in the days before the race, please do not start. Check with your doctor if you are unsure.
T-shirts are available for purchase during the order process and, subject to availability, at the race for £10 (cash only). Please note that pre-purchased T-shirts must be collected at this race and will not be available for collection at any other events.
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