In short: Well organised/marshalled and great for PBs... In full: This was my first time running this race and I wasn't disappointed; the marshals were fantastic and the organisation was excellent! A big thank you to all concerned.
My only (minor) gripes were the few awkward twists and turns, the narrow footpath bits, and the pavement sections (bearable early on, but no fun after 20 or so miles in your legs!), although oddly enough the infamous underpass section didn't bother me at all! Plus I quite liked the industrial estate, as it was smooth under foot, wide open, and traffic free.
All-in-all I thought it was a very good event and I will be back to grab another PB in 2013! Date of review: October 22, 2012
In short: Flat but underwhelimng............ In full: Definately would side with the more negative comments on here, it was definately flat but unspectacular ( dull ) also I agree, I thought there was a lot of jumping up & down kerbs & along rough paths, a lot of people seemed to run PB's though, so I doubt they are complaining. Marshalls & Spectators were great like they always are, these type of events seem to bring the best out in the human spirit. To be honest, I dont see myself doing this one again. Date of review: October 22, 2012
In short: Flat, well marshalled and great support at the finish In full: A very well organised race, with plenty of marshalls on route, excellent traffic management and a good atmosphere at the stadium.
A T shirt and tea and biscuits at the end were most welcome.
Support was great at the stadium and in the villages, however lots of the course is along lanes, where there is only the odd spectator. The down side of having the start/finish at the track with a nice, warm indoors with tea and coffee etc is that most of the spectators/supporters will gather there rather than on the course.
It's a good course for PBs as it's generally flat. However, I agree that in places it is "awkward". There are some narrow paths and pinch points early on which makes overtaking difficult. Also towards the end through the town, there are a lot of twists and turns (and an underpass), which makes it difficult to maintain your rhythm. Then there is the incline back to the stadium and another twisting path to get back onto the track. If you have a target time, you need to have enough energy or time in the bank for those 'challenges' in the last few miles.
For me the scenery was pleasant enough, through villages around Abingdon. The business park is a bit dull, but the support at the water station is uplifting and if you're a PB-chaser, then its flat and traffic-free.
Thanks to all the marshalls and volunteers who stood out in the cold for hours, much appreciated. Date of review: October 22, 2012
In short: Flat, but awkward and dull In full: It will always be a fast course in this area, it is flat or gently rolling at most. A lot of this benefit is cancelled out by a very awkward course, there are lots of twists and turns and narrow winding paths and pavements where overtaking can be difficult. There are also countless curbs to hop up and down and the most awkward part of the course is the last 2-3 miles where it is very hard to maintain any momentum. The marshals were great though, along with the general organisation and facilities. My only gripe here is water in cups and not bottles, this is not a cheap race and there's not really any excuse. I also measured the course a tad long at 26.44, as did everyone else I asked.... Date of review: October 22, 2012
In short: Yet again well organised and superbly marshalled on a flat fast course In full: My 5th time at Abingdon and 3rd time running a PB on the course. I come back every year as it is a fast course and well organised race. Apart from the course and marshallig it is the little touches such as: free T-Shirt, stadium finish, coffee and biscuits at end and hot showers.
This year was no exception apart from the shortish off-road sections which were a bit muddy from the recent heavy rain but it seems to be the only thing the organisers could not sort out.... and it would be nice if they could fill in the subway at mile 24 and keep that stretch flat ;) Date of review: October 22, 2012
In short: So many marshals and all of them friendly and encouraging, they have got to be some of the best marathon marshals out there! In full: I'm used to running marathons with much bigger fields of runners, but at no point was I alone through the race. The atmosphere and camaraderie between the runners was brilliant. I liked the mixture of terrain throughout the run, even the subway with the cheeky marshal at the top! To top of a good race I not only came away with a new P.B but with a T-shirt that fits! As an extra good point, the two times I visited the ladies toilets there was no queue what so ever!! Date of review: October 22, 2012