Sunday, 12 February 2017

Abingdon Marathon - yea, right

The Abingdon Marathon was never going to be a fast time.  I travelled with some friends to the race with the intention of raising funds and completing the marathon within the 5 hour cut off time.  After running Manchester earlier in the year I had lost my love for road races.

When we had eventually found the parking and walked to the start we briefly met with the others there to support Team Lucy.   Soon it was time for the race brief and then we were off, initially around the running track and then through the sports centre car park and out onto the ring road for a few miles.  From 2 to 5 miles the route wound through local lakes and then along the River Thames before heading west to Drayton by Abingdon Marina on the first of the major 10 mile loops.

Entering Milton Park (first lap)
Nicky still smiling!!!

At Drayton the route headed east again and then south towards Milton to the large, and very uninspiring, Milton industrial "park".  I found the course demoralising with two sets of mile markers closely spaced, reminding you that you really weren't nearly there yet.  The course weaved through the industrial park, past the cooling towers, and the north to Sutton Courtenay, up along a cycle/walk way and back to the marina to start another 10 mile loop.

The second loop was monotonous to say the least and Nicky, who I had been running with, started to flag.  We pushed on around the second loop and eventually arrived back at the marina before heading north back into Abingdon town.

The last few miles were on footpaths and eventually we turned back onto the ring road with the sports centre gates in sight.  Back through the car park to complete a final lap of the sports track and finally over the finish line.  Well done to Nicky for not giving up, lesser runners would have given up.

Our friend Mark Portman travelled out to Abingdon to cheer us on at stages during the race and it was greatly appreciated.

The bottom loop (x 2) of pain
Flat, but dull
Would I do it again?  Not a hope.