Abingdon Marathon

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03/02/2012 at 23:00
7th mile (6-7)

Drayton Road undulates slightly as it heads south. Hopefully the car boot sale won't be on, but if it is, be glad you're running not marshalling It's fields either side and then you head into Drayton.

The pavements are narrow and frequently dropped. There's a python shop on the left as you go through the village.

You get to the village green and a mini roundabout. Pub on the right. This is about mile 7 now so who knows, it might be open. But before you hurtle left (east) along High Street, look over the roundabout to George and the Dragon painted on the gable of one of the houses opposite.
03/02/2012 at 23:07
8th mile (miles 7-8)

Heading east through quite an old and attractive bit of the village you then come out into the country and the road drops a bit before a turn right into the road to Milton. Where there is pavement it isn't that wide so again watch your step just a little.
03/02/2012 at 23:15
9th mile (8-9)

South mainly through fields (a few farm/industrial buildings), quite pretty here but the roads are narrow and there will be some traffic still.

There is a very fine view to be had of Didcot Power Station over to the left across the fields as you head towards Milton village.

Supporter note: there is a bench on the left just before you get into Milton (this is about Mile 9)
03/02/2012 at 23:23
10th mile (9-10)

Head south through Milton village itself - again, a not unattractive place - and then you turn left (west) into - bwahahah - Milton Park, the business park. Upside - diddly squat in the way of traffic or ankle-turners - downside - it's obviously a bit quiet and dead to say the least - anyone who can remember back to the 70s might expect to see Dr Who racing round the corner with a battalion of Daleks rolling after him (they did film a Dr Who a bit further south from here in the chocyybox village of East Hagbourne, The Android Invasion).
03/02/2012 at 23:26
11th mile (10-11)

Aaand the next mile you spend touring the delights of Milton Park. Which is NOT in bloody Abingdon, note to lost drivers, it is a couple of miles from DIDCOT.

FetchPoint normally station themselves here so a bit of actual support! Hooray!

By mi 11 you have nearly escaped!

If you are dropping off a cv at any of the companies here remember to put it in a plastic bag, everyone sweats a lot more than they realize when they run.
03/02/2012 at 23:37
12th mile (11-12)

By now you are heading north again. On your right and back a bit, Didcot Power Station (and possibly, also, a nature reserve iirc).
Fields, blah, blah, bungalows...

by the 12 mi marker you are in Sutton Courtenay.

03/02/2012 at 23:53
mile 13 (12-13)

This is part of the pretty, old bit of Sutton Courtenay (though sadly the prettiest bits and the churchyard with George Orwell buried therein are off the course to the east). But it's still nice - very Midsomer Murders.

You reach a little green triangle in the road and bear left (west) past a thatched cottage into Brook Street, which turns into Drayton Road.

The road carries on west and leaves the village, pottering on through fields. Maybe 1/3 mile after the end of the village the route heads right (north) on to the Sustrans cycle track aka peep-o-day lane.

This is tree-lined on both sides and bordered by sometimes rather stagnant streams or channels.
Same goes as for the cycle path earlier past Radley lakes - no potholes, but the surface is not as flat and smooth as tarmac, plus there can be twigs & mud etc.

Mile 13 and the half way point are up here.
04/02/2012 at 13:55

My entry is in the post...roll on October.

Way things are going the race will be full before the online entry opens.

04/02/2012 at 16:30
Thanks Fido2Dogs for the posts - it's really helpful.
04/02/2012 at 16:39
Fido2dogs, is it ok if i use your quotes of the mile descriptions for peeps on another thread who are doing Abingdon if they ask me abt specific miles? thanks , lou
04/02/2012 at 16:41
Aching Calves wrote (see)

My entry is in the post...roll on October.

Way things are going the race will be full before the online entry opens.


mine too but dont want october to arrive too quickly, plenty of other runs to fit in before then AC
04/02/2012 at 19:32
Sure, it's not like any of it is state secrets or stuff you couldn't work out from Streetview and peeps who'd run it before! I should finish it off.. been out running you know
05/02/2012 at 17:06
Tempted to do Abingdon again, especially if there is a chap in red cap setting the pace again.
05/02/2012 at 21:27
Mile 14 (13-14)

Right where are we? Coming up Peep-o-day lane on the cycle track. About half way on this lane is the junction with Stonehill Lane and this is an open area and a bit dusty. Where the cycle track joins the junction and where it leaves it (at the north and south of the junction basically) there are whacking big concrete blocks (usual thing to stop people driving down the cycle lane). IIRC they are taped or whatever to make them more visible but still, don't run into them Also, this open dusty bit has a few potholes, so watch your step.
There can be a handful of supporters here having popped down Stonehill lane from the mile 5 point on Drayton Road.

Spectator note - Peep-O-Day lane / the cycle track is a bit narrow so probably not a good idea to go up / down it on a bike while the race is going on.

Heading north after the second set of concrete blocks, there is a footpath off to the right to the site of the old Kennet and Avon canal (don't go down here, I just mention it as a point of interest) and then a bit further on there is the sewage works on the left (there is usually a big ol' drinks table here ).

As playing fields appear on your left and notices about fishing clubs on your right (fishing lakes but you can't see much of them through the hedge) you're coming into Abingdon and the mi 14 point is about here.. somewhere. Concrete underfoot for a stretch here.
Edited: 05/02/2012 at 21:29
05/02/2012 at 21:36

If RW dont sort out online entries tomorrow my head will explode!

 I don't have a cheque book so can't post an entry.

05/02/2012 at 21:40
Mile 15 (15-16)

The route continues north through the new marina-y type bits of Abingdon (sadly just the houses rather than boats & stuff).

I am not sure whether the route makes the runners wiggle through some black barriers (you know, the staggered barriers designed to slow down mad cyclists) or (alternatively) a little to the right up North Quay and then a sharp step to the left on a footpath through a couple of flower beds. Either way just don't [run into the barriers/fall into the bushes]. Take care out there.

You're back on Wisham Road now and the river (and the local rowing club) appear again on the right. Preston Road comes up and you rejoin THE LOOP there, turning left.
05/02/2012 at 21:45
Miles 16-23
Repeat the loop. Don't fall over. If you have to nip into the bushes ... good luck!

23-24

By the time you emerge into Abingdon from Peep-O-Day lane the second time and head *past* the junction with Preston Road, you'll have done 23 and a bit miles.

By mile 24 the route is tracking back along the river back the way you came.
05/02/2012 at 22:00

Brian  I think online entries should be sorted by tomorrow...Fingers crossed!

Thanks Fido2Dogs for your descriptions-really great!

05/02/2012 at 22:02
miles 24-25

The route heads back along the river (where there are trees in the pavement, it's a bit uneven, so watch your step).
At the church the route branches off north along *west* St Helen's Street and heads through the town centre along Bath Street.

I am not sure why it was thought a good idea to bulldoze half the old Abingdon town centre and do what they did but a lot of it did go on at the time. Before and after photos are here.

Anyway. At this point, because they decided to do this and drive Stratton Way through the middle of Bath Street, you now have to face...


THE UNDERPASS

I have power-walked the up ramp and it took me 14 seconds, so really, people - nobody seems to miss a big target by 7 seconds or less, so if it bugs you, walk it, it won't make that much difference!

The route trundles (it is now a gentle rise, sorry) along Bath Street, outside the town centre now, past the backside of Abingdon School where Radiohead once sat at the desks and stared out of the windows.

Then on the left, John Mason school and on the right the housing estate which was built on the site of FitzHarris House.

At this point the road becomes Wootton Road.

Mile 25 is somewhere towards the top of this road. Not a lot of support or sights here, so keep back an emergency tank of mental strength for this section.
Edited: 05/02/2012 at 22:03
05/02/2012 at 22:21
Mile 25 to the end

The pavement along the top stretch of Wootton Road suffers from rising tree roots so watch out for this, especially as everyone is tired by now and staggering past bemused householders mowing their lawns etc.

At the top of the road you turn right, heading east along Dunmore Road where you started.

Now, the parking for the race is in Abingdon College (or it used to be anyway) back along Wootton Road.
What this means for slower runners is that along the last stretch of the race, you get to see the shiny medals and tech teeshirts worn by the faster runners who are now walking back to their cars! This is, however, still support
IIRC you run on the left here (can people confirm) and the finished runners will be on the pavement on the other side of the road.

There is a short rise just before the route turns through the main gate (iirc) of Tilsley Park. Then - prepare yourself, people - you do NOT head straight for the track. No. The route then heads back west through Tilsley Park and round through the bushes to make up the distance. This is actually very pretty!
There are two small bridges over streams and after the second one you turn right and head towards the track with the five-a-side courts etc on your left.
A slight uphill to get to the track gate.
In through the gate you left by, three quarters of the way around the track clockwise, and You. Are. Done.

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