Abingdon Marathon

2456737

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  • 3rd mile

    Turn left at the roundabout and head out of town towards Radley. Trees both sides though you don't need shade this time of the morning.
    As you reach Radley, the course does not go into the village but turns right (east ish) into Thrupp Lane.
    WATCH OUT FOR POT HOLES.
    There is also a small but noticeable drop for a few yards at one point.
    Thrupp Lane bends right (south-ish) then left (east ish) then right (south-ish). Just before that last bend there are horses in the fields.

    You then head left (east-ish) onto the Sustrans route. This is not road but cycle path through trees so watch out for twigs, mud, the odd puddle, that sort of thing.

    On the right the trees clear briefly and you get a nice view of Radley Lakes - this is at about the 3 mi point.
  • 4th mile
    After a bit more through the trees the route and cycle track head right through some barriers (wiggle those hips) and it's hedges either side and a bit less mud underfoot though there might still be puddles. This is the old route of the Abingdon branch line. At the end of the cycle track there are a couple more barriers to sashay through and you're back on blessed tarmac on Barton Lane. This bit is basically a business park.

    Run to the end and turn left onto Audlett Drive (and basically you are back on the Abingdon ring road).
  • Entry in the post. Forked out the 75p for recorded delivery!
  • Got my application in the letter box for last collection this evening.
  • Mine is printed and being posted tomorrow. Very very excited. It's fairly local to me - about an hour away.
  • posted my entry on wednesday.
  • Now im really tempted....! seeing some of the usual suspects on here! image 

  • 5th mile (miles 4-5)

    Trundle along Audlett Drive and (now someone correct me if I'm wrong here) a slight rise and then left, er, through Waitrose car park (good loos but sadly won't be open *quite* yet). This is again more or less the route of the old railway line.
    Left along Abbey Close past the council offices and behind Pizza Express (again sadly not open at this hour) and hopefully right through the archway (smile! bet there's a photographer here).

    Across the road you see the old County Hall, to its right the town square (if you do the Abo parkrun on Saturday you can get a discount at Coffee Republic here with your barcode). But you head across the road (think of the poor marshals) and then bear left-ish down East St Helen Street, past St Helen's, the widest church in the country, and the historic almshouses on the left, and on to the river bank.

    Pretty, but the pavements are a little uneven so watch your step.

    The almshouses and then the Anchor pub are on your right and the river on your left. Enjoy. Hugging the river bank you head south down Wisham Road past where the old canal (now Caldecott Road) joined the river and on to the start of THE LOOP.

    This is a good place to pop supporters who don't want to move around much because you pass this point three times.

    5mi marker somewhere round here...
  • 6th mile (miles 5-6)

    Runners head right, west, away from the river along Preston Road. Back into the burbs, basically. At the end of Preston Road you turn left (south) out of Abingdon along Drayton Road. Trees and fields but a pavement to run on. There's a bit of a rise here but not for long, 1/4 mile tops?

    The rise ends at Stonehill Lane. This is a good spot for more mobile spectators (on bikes or good walkers) as from this point they can nip down Stonehill Lane through to pick up the course at around the halfway mark on Peep-o-day lane aka the Sustrans cycle track. There is a gate in the middle of the lane so cars can't get through.

    Runners go straight on towards Drayton...
  • 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 image 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

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

  • Thanks Fido2Dogs for the posts - it's really helpful.
  • 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?image thanks , lou
  • 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 ACimage
  • 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 image
  • Tempted to do Abingdon again, especially if there is a chap in red cap setting the pace again.
  • 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 image 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 image).

    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.
  • 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.

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

    Thanks Fido2Dogs for your descriptions-really great!

  • 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.
  • 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 image
    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.

  • Fido, thank you so much for posting this. i am tempted to record it and play it as part of my training so I can commit it to memory and know I can get through the really tough bits.
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