Wimborne Athletic Club

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Abingdon Marathon Ė  19 October 2008

I decided on Abingdon after a disappointing finish to the London Marathon this year due to injury. I hoped a flat course would offer the chance of a decent time with the bonus of not having to worry about running uphill!

 My training had gone well and I was aiming for a time of 3Ĺ hours. Leaving early for the 9.00am start it looked like the conditions would be favourable.

The start and finish are at Tilsley Stadium the home of Abingdon Amblers, with parking about a mile away there was chance to get warmed up before the start. The race starts with a lap of the stadium; with an entry limit of 1000 this makes for an easier start than London.

The course is described as flat with very slight inclines which it certainly was, the first couple of miles are slightly down hill into the centre of Abingdon then flat until the last couple of miles when it climbs slightly to finish with a lap of the stadium. The course is not that picturesque, taking you round a large industrial park twice! It is also a loop, it is the first time I have run this sort of distance over a loop and it is certainly off-putting to go past a mile marker and then have to pass another a few metres ahead which is still at least an hourís running away! There were plenty of marshals offering encouragement, drinks, sweets and biscuits, which in the later stages were appreciated.

The race went reasonably well as far as the running was concerned. I didnít achieve 3 Ĺ hours, but I did finish with a PB of 3 hours 48 minutes, 40 minutes faster than London and still actually able to run, so my aim was achieved.

Would I recommend this race? Certainly if you are looking for the opportunity of a good time on a flat course, however if you are looking for a scenic marathon then this is not the one.

Jeff Hinsley

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