Thames Riverside 20 miles 2024

Chasing Marathon Pace

Clapham Chasers' Thames Riverside 20 helps marathon preparations...

As Gavin Brandie of Clapham Chasers says: "It's that time of year again when entries are open for our Thames Riverside 20 event, scheduled this year for Sunday 24th March. The perfect event for anyone training for a spring marathon."

With a stormy old January now fading in the rearview mirror and the marathon season just around the corner, one of the biggest hurdles for seasoned or novice marathon hopefuls is getting the pacing right over four-fifths of the distance – knowing (or hoping) the final fifth will be fuelled by the on the day adrenalin rush.

There is no better way to practice marathon race pace than to enter the Thames Riverside 20 where for an entry fee of £30/£32 you will be able to join an experienced club athlete who will pace you at 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, or 10:00 mins per mile on a flat, traffic-free and mostly off-road route along the south side of the Thames.

From Race HQ (start and finish) at historic Old Deer Park, Richmond, runners complete an accurately measured 20-mile course along the Thames towpath. The terrain varies and is primarily on gravel with mud in places and limited lengths of footpaths. Normal marathon road or light trail shoes are the ideal footwear.

Thames Riverside 20 is a perfectly timed opportunity to test your marathon kit, race pace, nutrition, and hydration while accompanied by hundreds of other runners and supported by friendly marshalls and professional first aiders. And if you need any more incentive the event website informs us that, as long-established tradition dictates, to reward runners' magnificent efforts the Clapham Chasers baking squad will be conjuring up a spread of delicious post-race cakes for runners. Voluntary contributions will be donated to charity.  

Last year's winners were Alastair Matheson (Queens Park Harriers, 1:52:42) and Gaby Reynolds (Sutton Striders, 2:14:36). There were 292 finishers in 4:52:43 and 177 runners were inside three hours. The race starts at 8:30am and the official cut-off time is at 1:30pm.

There will be a covered, supervised bag drop in Old Deer Park; portaloos at the start/finish; energy drinks and water every three miles; mobile first aid cyclists, and rapid online results to check. The race HQ is a five-minute walk from Richmond Railway Station.

Full details at the Thames Riverside 20 website here.

Results are available at the runABC South race listing here.

Photo courtesy Clapham Chasers on Facebook

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