In short: Great fast race In full: Ok so it's not particularly scenic and is on a much smaller scale than big city marathons, but the main reason to do this event is to get a fast time - it's really flat (my GPS said 42 metres in total) and definitely fast - I smashed my PB. A few very minor ups (including a gentle incline over the last 2 miles) but these are balanced out by corresponding downs. Paper cups for drinks was a bit annoying, and it's a shame the roads aren't closed, but I didn't really feel that slowed me down. Marshalling was great, very well organised in general (though long toilet queues before - but nothing unusual there I guess). Mile markers all seemed perfectly spot on bar one (21 miles was at about 21.3). All in all, not a great race if you want atmosphere, scenery etc - but a very good one if you want a crack at a really fast time. Date of review: October 25, 2016
In short: Very fast marathon course - good for potential PB In full: This is a great race if you're looking for a PB. The profile is flat, with no hills to speak of. The surface is mainly road although there are some sections along rougher path which have the potential to slow you down. The roads are mainly open to traffic so you take your chances as to whether you want to risk running on road or pavement. The marshals were all very good and knew what they were doing. When you run through Abingdon at the start of the marathon the support is great and there's a lot of cheering. However, when you come back through towards the end you feel like you're picking your way through people out doing their Sunday morning shop, which is a bit weird. The finish around the running track is great. Altogether I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a PB. It lacks the atmosphere of London, or the scenery of a trail marathon, but if it's a 26.2 time-trial you're after then you won't go far wrong.
In short: Enjoyable with trully wonderful marshalls! In full: This was my first ever marathon. The route itself is very flat and parts of it are extremely scenic. The marshalls were wonderful and the start and finish on the race track was a nice touch. My only gripes were the fact that the roads aren't closed and for some periods (especially around the industrial estate) spectators are few and far between which make things a lonely experience especially when you hit the wall. I probably won't do this again purely because I'd love to experience the emotions of a big city marathon next. However for my first marathon I'm really glad I did this. Date of review: October 24, 2016
In short: It's all about chasing a time In full: This isn't a scenic course. There aren't any breath taking or charming views to inspire you. And it can be a wee bit lonely at times with other runners and supporters often thin mon the ground. But Abingdon is only about one thing: running a time.
So probably like most, I ran a PB. Happy with that. Date of review: November 16, 2012
In short: Second time at this event with a 'gap year'. Enjoyed it more as i knew where the boring bits were. It doesn't pretend to be interesting and it kind of isn't but it gives you the opportunity to get your head down and just go for a decent time. I will Date of review: October 30, 2012
In short: Brilliantly organised In full: My second marathon and my second Abingdon marathon, so I don't have any big city races to compare this with, but I chose to run this again precisely because you have so much space without ever feeling isolated and because it is so fast. The marshals were excellent from beginning to end, as was the overall organisation. Thanks especially to the marshal and fellow runners who checked I was alright after I slipped and fell at the 14 mile mark. Battered, bloody and bruised I still managed a PB, which is testament to how fast this course is. Only quiblle: more food needed at the end, perhaps, but that was the best Mars bar I've ever had. Date of review: October 23, 2012
In short: Another belter. Thanks so much to all who make it so good. In full: I just don't think you can beat this event. The biggest little marathon in the world! (I even forgive you for the cold showers!) Date of review: October 23, 2012
In short: Very easy marathon to run, you just turn up and everything is pretty much organised for you In full: My third marathon, after doing the London Marathon twice in 2006 and 2009. I can say that this race is much easier to run and easier to get in and out of the event than anything I experienced in London - to such an extent that I doubt I will do London again.
The organisation was superb, the runners were helpful, friendless and, where required, motivating.
Yes, as many have said before, the scenery is dull, but I challenge you to find anyone with 23-24 miles in their legs to look up and say "what a wonderful scenic panorama and look, my leg pain has disappeared and I don't feel tired anymore"... perhaps not.
I didn't train as hard for this as I did for my last marathon, and yet I got a PB by a significant margin!
No downsides at all really. I didn't jump up many pavements or have any trouble passing anyone or get stuck in a bog, or mind the refreshing dip in the cool puddle in the stadium path or find the narrowing of pathways too insurmountable an object to have any effedt on my time.
Thumbs up Abingdon - I'll be back. Date of review: October 22, 2012