50/50 marathons

5. The Thames Meander

2nd November 2019

The Thames Meander

So my first month of marathons is now behind me. I had expected to be feeling it now in my legs, but dare I say, I actually feel ok. I had a couple of recovery runs in the week and my legs felt positively fresh! I do still have a pain in my left ankle and I thought I started to get a few sharp pains in my left foot, but apart from that not too shabby. I’m actually finding that I’m counting the days till the next race, which is a total surprise. It is early days though so things could change.

tomorrow morning is the Thames Meander, the 5th marathon of my challenge and I’m on my way to stay in a cheap room in Kingston upon Thames. The only downside to doing these marathons is the travel to get to them. The early starts means that I have to go up the night before and either camp or find a cheap hotel. It’s all getting quite expensive, but I don’t want that to over shadow the challenge. If I remember rightly I stayed in Kingston upon Thames when I did the London to Brighton cycle ride about 10 years ago. I remember it being a bit of a rough area, oh well, it’s just one night.

The other downside to this particular race is that it clashes with the rugby World Cup final, the last time we got into the final and won, clashed with my daughter’s birthday party! I think I’m destined to always miss England in a final. I’ll have to try and go through the day without knowing the result so I can watch it when I get back home, not much chance of that I’m sure.

Not such an early start this morning but I still woke at 6:30 wondering where the hell I was. Took me a while to realise I was in a travelodge in Feltham.

I set off to Kingston at about 8, to try and find race start at the YMCA. It was a very grim morning, very wet and windy. A lot of people were huddled in the registration tent trying to stay warm, but the majority of people were in the YMCA watching the rugby until we got ushered out to start the marathon.

It was a fairly low key event but there were a few hundred runners. The run starts by heading south down the rivers tow trail. About a mile or so in we hit the turn to go back where we’d been. On passing the start line again, we headed out towards Kew, Richmond and Putney. On a better day I’m sure this would be quite picturesque. It was pretty much flat all the way so I started off at a fairly good pace which I would regret later on!

The half way turning point was a relief to pass, but then it meant going back the way we’d already been. This kind of route can be more difficult because you don’t have things to keep your mind busy, making it easier to let those nagging little doubts to take over.

Not sure why but I really felt every mile today. My early push came back to bite me on the arse. By 16 miles I was hanging, making those last 10 miles very hard.

By mile 24 you actually run past the finish line and see all those people already finished. You head out to the same turning point that we went to right at the start, leaving you with 1 more mile.

The finish couldn’t come any sooner. I had hoped to be sub 4 but those last few miles wouldn’t allow it. I came in at 4:18.

After crossing the line I had to make my way back to the car straight away to try and get on the 4:30. Had to stop for a quick vomit, this seems to be the norm now when I finish, not nice.

Driving back was hard, I was tired and didn’t feel great. I had a can of coke to try and get my sugar levels back up, but driving down the M3 I suddenly felt sick! I moved into the left lane and prayed for a place to stop, nothing came.  I couldn’t hold it any longer and proceeded to projectile vomit all over myself!!! I had no option but to pull over as soon as possible to sort it out. Pretty grim way to end the day, inevitably I missed the ferry so had a nice wait for the next.

Athens Marathon next week, I hope I fair better in that one.

If you’d be interested in running Thames Meander in the future, take a look at Hermes Running.

The Thames Meander


Time taken




Calories burned

I am running these marathons to raise money for Mind. If you like what I’m doing and would like to donate you can go to my Just Giving page below.