October 24, 2017
Thanks to Collin Taylor for the following report:
Many of you will already be familiar with the popular Abingdon Marathon. Located just south of Oxford a ‘flat and fast’ course awaits those prepared to forego a Sunday morning lie-in to beat the 8.00 am road closures and be on the start line ready for the 9.00 am kick off. The start and finish centres around the athletics track at Tilsley park where the race starts before heading off in to the lanes of Oxfordshire. The course essentially consists of 2 loops, one of which you do twice. This has the effect of alleviating the usual ‘mental torture’ associated with 2 lap courses when encountering that 19 mile marker at the 6 mile point and the second lap markers seem to go by quicker than expected. The course winds through a real mixture of lanes, busy roads, a pretty waterside village, industrial and residential areas and even a brief ‘off road’ section. For the most part you are sharing these with the Oxfordshire traffic and dog walkers and much of the time is spent ‘kerb hopping’. Mostly it’s fine but one particular section bought the narrow path a bit too close to a member of the local white van brigade, even more impatient than normal after his half-hearted attempts to avoid the several hundred finely tuned athletes invading his patch. On the day conditions turned out to be near perfect. The usual start line shiver was soon gone once we were underway and the predicted high winds from the remains of storm Brian did not amount to much more than a steady breeze. Occasional pockets of support and plenty of encouraging marshals kept us going. Apart from the exit from an underpass in the last few miles nothing on the course could be described as a ‘hill’.