Abingdon Marathon

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21/10/2012 at 19:36

You know less than 1% of all the people in Britain have completed a Marathon ?

That's because they aint easy. 

21/10/2012 at 19:42

Thanks for that Stephen. I must admit I didnt find it easy at all but so glad I can say that I did one.

21/10/2012 at 19:49

Thanks SR3

21/10/2012 at 19:54

I ran this (admittedly it was a different course then ) as my first marathon 6 years ago and have marshalled it in recent years. Wanted to see what it was now like "from the inside".

Can't argue about the comments re. surfaces and dropped kerbs. However as a local yokel (these days I think I count!) I was very impressed at the changes wrought on the cycle path stretches in the last week. In fact on Tuesday I caught the workers in the act of clearing back the early stretch (round mile 3, that bit). I think a lot of chopping, sweeping, and conkerclearing got done, well done guys!

Ecky well done sticking with your mate. Might well have run with and/or seen you + m8 - do remember someone being tended where the cycle track comes out into the town/marina area.

A lot of folk did well & I'm pleased for you all. (Particularly pleased for my Amblers clubmates who got the ladies team prize, the win, or the bungee record without falling in the ditch !) Personally I had not trained a lot. I'd picked the Hal Higdon Novice program as a sensible get-U-round plan following a big A race earlier this year, but a combination of injury and Olympics-related business meant that I didn't even reach that modest amount of running - long runs were like a small child playing hide-and-seek : 12, 13, 15, 13, 18, twent-er-17, ready-or-not!

Did manage to get round (thank you energy gels!) but the last 3 miles were like running through sand. Would have been even worse if I hadn't caught up with a clubmate so we could stagger in together. So yes, training is a Good Thing .

The upside of being too untrained to do anything but trundle was that I could enjoy the rural scenery (particularly on those roads too hairy to train along normally!) and chat to the other runners I knew and wave at all the marshalls (a lot of whom I also knew ). The marshalls and supporters really really helped during those final deathmarchy miles!

I was surprised that we didn't run through the arch any more but really liked the run through the town square! Looking at the traffic management guys and the extra efforts taken this year I'll be surprised if there weren't fewer car-related "issues". And I bet having the CPSOs at a few key points didn't hurt (thx guys).

I know how much hard work people put into this and from the point of view of my little ten-and-a-bit-minute-miling bubble - two thumbs up. I would put up more thumbs but I don't have any (and my big toes both have blister plasters on !!).

21/10/2012 at 20:31
Results now on Abingdon website.
21/10/2012 at 20:38

Hi, dropped in to congratulate all the runners today at Abingdon. I disappeared from the thread a few weeks back following injury holiday, and illness. This threw my plans and I ended up running Leicester last week but still recovering. I missed my sub 3 attempt by 4 mins. Spent the last week moaning and decided yesterday to roll the dice and run Abingdon. It hurt from mile one, but didn't regret a second of it.

The event was superbly marshalled and organised, and after Leicester being billed as flat, Abingdon was ridiculous - like a bowling green (with a few dodgy bits of curb, pot holes etc)!

Loved being treated as a professional in the changing room by receiving an ice shower 

Just scraped inside 3hrs for the first time so this one will live long in my memory.

21/10/2012 at 20:59

Pretty good day for running out there today. Unfortunately I was still not over the man flu and was coughing up all sorts on the run and resting heart rate was still not anywhere near where it should have been. Got to halfway in 1:26:30 or so I think. Had a bad wobble after halfway and started to really struggle, but then had a good chat to myself and told myself to just hang on to a decent pace to 20 miles and see what was on from there. The last 6 miles were interesting. After 21 I had decided to just settle for 2:59. Then I just decided to try keep it going at 2:57 pace so I don't finish slower than when I did Abingdon a few years ago. Then at 23 miles I slowed again, got chatting to someone and said I'd settle for anything under 3. After a few hundred metres of the reduced pace, I thought, I still feel good enough to put in a bit more effort. Took off at a better pace again and started passing people. I got passed by someone finishing even stronger so hung onto his pace and started to really grit my teeth and squeeze just about every bit out of it. Even managed a bit of a kick when onto the track and passed about 5 or 6 people to finish in 2:55:09.

Happy enough with the result, given the lack of training and the illness this week.

Well done TickTock, we must have been quite close on the road. Well done Seesteverun on completing your first marathon. Well done as well to Ecky and Fido and any other I may have missed.

The marshals and the support were great. Still the best marathon I have done in this country by a fair distance.


21/10/2012 at 21:01

X - post, great run there Also ran. The first sub 3 is a really special feeling!

21/10/2012 at 21:19

Well done to all you runners today.  Having run the Abingdon Marathon last year I wanted to put something back into the event and volunteered to do some marshalling this year.  I was posted out at the 11 mile / 20 mile point in Milton Park (just before the water station) and had an absolute blast cheering all you guys and girls.  From the leader to those at the back of the pack - you're all heroes and were fantastic.  How on earth so many of you had the energy to wave, smile or throw back a witty comment in response to me cheering you on, I don't know.  If anyone is thinking of marshalling - do it.  I really, really enjoyed today and loved cheering you on.

Oh yes, to the runner who ordered a cider on lap one and then had the wherewithal to cancel it on lap two, to show such humour when in such agony - BRILLIANT.

Well done once again !!!

21/10/2012 at 21:44
Reaching the 20-mile marker will live with me for a while. I had been paranoid about missing the cut-off but in the end made it with plenty to spare. Thank you Chalgrove for being part of making this a great day for us all. I enjoyed exchanging banter with marshals where energy allowed.
21/10/2012 at 23:57

I didn't order that cider, but I'm certainly drinking some now. Sheppy's Dabinett Apple single variety - posh cider indeed, and 7.2%!! Last one of three before I collapse into a heap and wake up blaming dehydration for feeling like cack until teatime

22/10/2012 at 00:12

The odd thing about the Tilsley Park showers is that they are too hot to be useful after a track session there

22/10/2012 at 08:27
Well done everyone for yesterday ecky I said hello as I passed I disagree with those saying its not a fast course, it is very fast. Yes there's some raised bits and potholes etc but having run various marathons around the country this is the fastest by far!! Excellently organised fantastic marshals you should all be really proud of yourselves. I will most definitely be back next year. I set off what I thought was a bit quick averaging around 6:20's and managed to settle in just behind another guy and after about 10 miles we started picking people up. A bit early in the race for me to do that but I felt comfortable enough so went with it going through halfway in 1:24:10, I was aiming for 1:25. Again maintained a steady pace upto 21 and left my running partner behind (felt a bit guilty lol) and from 33rd at mile 17 worked my way to 18th at the finish with a 10 second neg split of 2:48:11 a 7 minute pb. Really really chuffed and totally unexpected!!
Thanks to everyone for listening to my boring posts and whines post holidays this thread has been a really valuable training tool and I hope to see you all next year
22/10/2012 at 08:33

Well done everyone - some great stories on here already - pleased that everybody is so pleased !

Got home to Devon, via Wiltshire, too late to post last night. Long drive was difficult with marathon legs - several stops and cups of tea.

Always knew that it would be Proud Dad v Competititive Dad yesterday (those that have been on the thread since the bginning will know my thoughts on this !). Pleased to say that Proud Dad won out and my 20 year old son debuted at 2:49:03. He ran it like a professional 1:24:58 at halfway and 1:24:05 for the second half !! Was in the same group as him at halfway and still on rough 2:50 pace at 20 miles (2:10:15), but legs tightened disappointingly at 20 miles and slowed by 30 secs/mile eventually coming in at 2:53:16. Not quite the sub-2:50 that I dreamed of but still a pb by a minute and first V50, so mustn't grumble.

Waiting for MG15's post - my son thinks that he was about a minute behind you which means you achieved your sub 2:50 goal - 2:48 ?  If so that's fantastic - very pleased, you certainly put in the work and got what you deserved.

22/10/2012 at 08:36

Fantastic result MG. I saw your time on the results page, and it was a just reward for the training effort you put in. Not surprised you are chuffed. 2:48:xx sounds amazing.

You are right about the course - when can I rebook a place! Ran Leicester last week which was flat, but Abingdon was something different - a real PB hunters course. 

22/10/2012 at 09:25

Hi Fido.We had 6 runners in the CRAC team so it may have been them as you would have been well in front of us. I was near the back for the whole thing. Well done on running 10 and a bit min miles. I want that for my next one.

CC were you the very same chap who offered us Beer only to dissapoint us with just water . Thanks so much for the amazing support although it was much better seeing you the second time at 20 miles.

Thanks for that MG. Going from 6st overweight and struggling upstairs to completing a Marathon I must admit that encouragment from the Fast Runners means more than anyone could imagine. I would love to do this run again next year. Well done too on such an amazing time.




22/10/2012 at 09:52

Tick Tock -  Congrats on the PB and negative split,  impressive.

SR3 - Well done on your first, first of many?

Chillies -  Good effort, yeah always enjoy the walk back to the car park.

Hellen -  Very good running 2 in 2 and an impressive time.

Peter -  Congrats on the big PB.

Steve - Time does n't matter, we all have our targets, you got around and finished massive congrats, these speedsters spend under 3 hours giving it their all while you were out there 5 hours, who had the hardest day?

Ecky -  same to you brilliant effort getting around.

AR -  Massive congrats, sub 3 PB well done.

Warren -  Still a very good time given your build up. If only I could speed up in the last 3.

Martin -  In my books performance of the day, quick time never in doubt given your training but a 7 minute PB at the pace you run is dam impressive.

Dart - Brilliant family day out, congrats to you and your boy.



22/10/2012 at 09:58

My report copied from the sub 3:30 thread.

Barry B wrote (see)

So Abo, perfect running conditions even if a little cold before we set off.  Starts at the athletic track so really good facilities. Got there a little early as allowed time for fog. Felt reasonably confident, planned to set off between 7:10 and 7:20.  First mile is one lap of the track then through some tight twists and turns before out on to the road. Past a turkey farm and then down a woodland path  before heading into the town centre. Splits for first 4 miles -  7:24,6:55,7:03,7:15.  Through the town centre and along the river - lots of support, start the first of the 2x8 mile loops just before the 6 mile point. First gel at 6 miles, always slow down when I take a gel just can't help it.  Out in to the countryside and through a village, through the hour at about 8.3 miles, I'd broken up one of my electro tabs into thirds and added one to my water at mile 9 splits for mile 6 to 9 -  7:07, 7:16,7:08, 7:14.  Still plenty of company.  Garmin a little ahead of the mile markers, Mile 10(second gel), 11 through an industrial estate, Fetchies at mile 11, through halfway just over 1:34 - perfect. Lucozade stn at 14 but passed. Splits for miles  10 to 13 - 7:13,7:13,7:14, 7:11. Start the second loop and having felt OK so far started to feel the pace a little but no major worries.  Missed the 14 mile marker due to taking second electrotab so had next gel at 15. Runners now spaced out.  I thought my pace was dropping dramatically but was n't as bad as I thought, splits for 14 to 17 miles - 7:25, 7:13,7:23, 7:12.  Took gel at 19(4th) through 20  at about 2:25 I think, I kept think keep this together and you  will do it. Splits for miles 18 to 21 - 7:27, 7:28,7:32, 7:30,  Really starting to feel it now overtaking a few but getting overtaken, needed something, did n't want last gel so at lucozade stn took and bottle, bad mistake, one swig, too sweet for me  and nearly puked.  Kept saying to myself nothing over 8 and you will be OK.  Finished second loop and back along the river towards town centre, starting to lose it now, gel belts get taken off and chucked.  Through the underpass and 2 miles to go, "keep them less than 8".   Which unfortunalely i did n't, splits for 22 to 26 - 7:34,7:51,8:13,8:17,8:09  back to the athletics track but you have to go around some parkland before a final lap of the track to the finish.  I keep checking my watch and try to push on, just before 200m to go I see the finish clock on 3:14:35 -  I ain't going to do this. Turn into the final straight as it ticks over 3:15,   Looked up at the clock when I finished 3:15:09. Last bit was 0.35 miles at 7:10.

If you had said at the end of August I was going to run a PB I would n't have believed it .  So very happy I turned my training around, Very happy with PB and very happy I did n't cave in totally in last 3,  a 7 min positive split which is good for me .  But I think the problem I have is I don't have the mental toughness to push through when the going gets hard.  Celebrating with a bottle of red tonight and celebrating eldest daughter's 18th tomorrow.




22/10/2012 at 10:02

Thanks Barry,so that was your Gel belt.

22/10/2012 at 10:13
Those 9s must be really annoying Barry, well done on the PB and others too, some v impressive times

I agree that this is one of the faster courses but I think it depends where you are running. The person above who said it was fast did 2.48, it is not busy at that time. For me on 3.19 it was very congested on the narrow parts especially for the first lap. Last year on 3.37 and previously on 3.52 I don't remember it being a problem. Those early miles on the off roady bit with the big puddles were not good with the congestion.

It is definatly flat though its just when it busy and there is uneven surfaces with puddles it does slow you down.

I'm looking forward to my track marathon in a couple of weeks time!!!!
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