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Abingdon Marathon

Listed by MarkC
, Abingdon OX14 UK
63 Entrants Club PB SB Pred Time WAVA
Ant1 Unaffiliated 3:35:13 3:35:13 3:35:13 58.60
bassy Unaffiliated 3:50:30 3:55:42 3:45:00 3:55:42 53.89
Bazza Unaffiliated 3:42:11 4:37:22 4:30:00 4:37:22 45.06
BEAGLE79 Unaffiliated 3:58:00 3:58:00 4:00:00 3:58:00 52.51
Bedarat Unaffiliated 3:58:49 3:58:49 3:58:49 52.33
Biastai Unaffiliated 3:18:30 3:18:30 3:10:00
Blackbird Leys (boy) 100 Marathon Club, Woodstock Harriers AC 3:17:25 3:24:00 3:24:00 66.57
Blackers800 Southampton AC, Southern Counties Veterans AC 2:54:35 2:54:35 2:59:00 2:54:35 72.75
Capricorn Unaffiliated 3:27:16 3:41:22 3:44:00 3:45:37 65.26
CumbriAndy Trail Running Association 3:19:28 3:32:32 3:32:32 60.73
Darlo Darlington Harriers & AC 4:06:41 4:16:15 4:16:15 51.24
Dull Napoleon™ Trent Park Running Club 3:01:29 3:01:29 2:59:59 3:01:29 76.20
eL Bee! Unaffiliated 2:59:43 3:16:44 3:50:00 3:54:00 54.28
fetcheveryone FERC 4:14:59 4:44:11 4:25:00 4:44:11 43.96
Forest Runner Bracknell Forest Runners 3:21:04 3:28:16 3:30:00 3:28:16 67.00
gingergrumps Unaffiliated 4:42:00 4:42:00 4:42:00 44.30
Gogeroo RAF AC 3:31:01 4:15:06 3:45:00 4:15:06 48.99
Hollywoof! Unaffiliated 3:21:40 3:31:42 3:31:42 59.04
J-Lard Stubbington Green Runners 4:06:00 5:08:00 5:08:00 46.27
KatieB Bedford Harriers AC 4:12:31 4:14:31 4:30:00 4:14:31 54.25
Kieren Serpentine RC, Ealing Eagles Running Club 3:39:27 4:01:03 3:59:00 4:01:03 51.85
Kittenheels Kath Unaffiliated 4:16:27 4:33:28 4:33:28 53.84
LC Darwen Dashers RC 3:00:27 3:04:12 3:07:18 77.20
Leg End Sandhurst Joggers 3:56:55 3:56:55 3:59:00 3:56:55 64.69
leysrunner Unaffiliated 3:21:25 3:24:44 3:24:44 66.37
libra Unaffiliated 3:24:11 3:49:00 3:50:00 3:49:00 65.71
Lieutenant Lucerne Unaffiliated 3:10:19 3:27:58 3:27:58 64.22
LucyG Compton Harriers RC 3:15:31 3:35:00 3:35:00 69.87
MarkC Unaffiliated 3:31:01 3:47:53 3:50:00 3:47:53 54.90
Martyn Fisher Almost Athletes 3:59:43 3:59:43 3:59:43 54.32
Middler Unaffiliated 4:23:58 4:23:58 4:30:00 4:23:58 57.69
MISERABLEMRGILES Witney Road Runners 3:06:30 3:28:09 3:34:53 58.14
moore06 Unaffiliated 3:55:56 3:55:56 3:55:56 58.10
Mrs Jigs (Luverlylegs) Kettering Town Harriers 3:15:02 4:27:56 4:30:00 4:27:56 61.25
nabox Unaffiliated 3:26:38 3:52:57 3:45:00 3:52:57 54.98
plodding hippo 100 Marathon Club 4:16:46 5:09:22 5:21:40 45.77
ps-66 City of Salisbury A & RC 2:57:51 3:10:57 3:10:57 67.07
RacingSnake26 Sandhurst Joggers 3:21:52 3:21:52 3:21:52 67.08
Rhino Trail Running Association 4:05:03 4:13:10 4:45:00 4:13:10 54.87
Running Fish Unaffiliated 2:59:15 3:02:58 3:02:58 71.16
Sam. Unaffiliated 3:51:00 3:51:00 3:51:00 58.65
Shiny72 Unaffiliated 2:56:52 3:20:28 3:20:28 62.32
Sir Moses Hill Unaffiliated 3:20:20 3:25:00 3:25:00 60.97
Slow Going UKnetrunner 4:06:48 4:06:48 3:57:59 4:06:48 50.64
Sodahead Loftus & Whitby AC 2:41:46 2:42:53 2:45:00 2:42:53 82.70
SoreBits Unaffiliated 3:27:48 3:37:00 3:37:00 66.63
Stellameister 100 Marathon Club 3:40:08 3:51:02 3:53:29 56.21
SteveT Hart Road Runners 2:49:53 3:27:30 3:20:00 3:27:30 62.23
SteveX Striders of Croydon AC 3:29:49 3:31:56 3:35:00 3:31:56 64.11
streatham stroller Herne Hill Harriers, Road Runners Club 3:45:29 3:48:49 3:55:00 3:48:49 56.90
Sully Kirk Hallam AC 3:11:00
The Croc Unaffiliated 3:28:44 3:30:19 3:49:00 3:30:19 61.40
TickTock Unaffiliated 2:55:26 3:19:52 3:20:00 3:19:52 63.10
Tiger Epsom Oddballs RC, Reigate Priory AC 4:04:04 4:15:00 4:15:00 59.01
TingTong Exmouth Harriers AAC 2:56:32 2:56:39 3:05:00 2:56:39 70.82
Um Bongo Sandhurst Joggers, Windle Valley Runners 3:54:49 4:08:26 4:10:00 4:08:26 53.76
Uniqua The Pink Knight Unaffiliated 3:49:00 4:24:00 4:24:00 51.48
Velociraptor FERC 3:36:39 3:54:49 3:54:49 63.36
Vimes Unaffiliated 4:20:02 4:20:02 4:00:00 4:20:45 47.93
Windsurfin' Susie Victory AC 3:15:18 3:24:10 3:24:10 74.58
woss Purple Patch Runners 4:49:19 4:54:38 5:00:00 4:54:38 47.32
Yellow Fang Reading Roadrunners 3:06:53 3:06:53 3:15:00 3:06:53 67.96
yid23 Witney Road Runners 3:23:00 3:23:00 3:23:00 61.57

This event is listed on these dates:

fetcheveryone
That hurt. For some reason, 26.2 miles seems to be disproportionately more painful than 20. That said, it was a really great experience, and "respect the distance" is one of those sayings that means a lot more to me now. Despite being at least 20 minutes off my most conservative of predictions, I am very happy to have made it. The buzz of slightly tearful excitement that took hold of me as I made my way around the track, with everyone shouting for me, and all the smiles from everyone I've met through this site made it all such a positive experience.

Technical details: I ran consistently sub-10 min pace for the first 12 miles, mostly around 9.30 pace - but the really patchy training meant I couldn't keep this up. The first half took 2:06, the second half 2:38, with lots of walk breaks, and chats with jelly baby angels. Each transition from walking to running, and vice versa was accompanied by a groan of pain as my body switched modes.

Everything up to and including my nipples is aching. My left ankle feels a bit dodgy, both my calves, both my knees, I can feel my groin muscles(?), and my back is also quite stiff. JPR grabbed my right nipple earlier, and made me yell!

After completing the personal challenge, by far the best thing of the day was meeting so many people who have been Fetching for so long. There are too many to name, but I like you all.

Now I'm just waiting to see if I've got in to London. Lord have mercy on my soul. Oh no, I've just remembered - I told Vomit that Gobi could have it, if I could just get to the end. However, according to my Garmin, I actually ran an ultra yesterday, by about 0.2 of a mile - have that :-)
Kittenheels Kath
I'm very, very happy. In fact I was very happy for about the last 6 miles. Looked at my watch at mile 20, and thought "I've just run 20 miles in 3.22". Looked again at mile 23 and thought "I've just run 23 miles in 3.56", I could have walked the rest of it and still been completely and utterly delighted!

The support from fellow fetchies was brilliant. You're all lovely people!

Not sure if there's anywhere else to record my splits, so here they are:

1 : 9.57
2 : 9.07
3 : 9.23
4 : 9.43
5 : 9.11
6&7 : 19.20 (I just didn't see the marker!)
8 : 10.09
9 : 9.51
10 : 10.30
11 : 10.01
12 : 9.50
13 : 10.34
14 : 10.35
15 : 9.59
16 : 11.54
17 : 9.24 (where did that come from?!)
18 : 11.52
19 : 10.37
20 : 10.51
21 : 11.55
22 : 10.30
23 : 11.22
24 : 11.19
25 : 12.22
26 : 13.01
MarkC
Yay! A good run today - even the rain held off long enough for me to nail a good PB. The difference between this year and last year was not falling apart in the last 6 miles. What can you say about Abingdon Marathon except FAB! Think I might have a year off marathons next year though!
KatieB
Me and you both, Mark.

I'll say more when I'm less tired and emotional. ;-) Don't want to take up more space, report is in my blog.
Slow Going
First 18.5 miles:
A lovely sociable run, with lots of vocal and enthusiastic supporters on the course (some I knew some I didn't) and chatty runners.

18.5-23.5 miles:
solitary personal hell after hitting the wall (although marshalls still lovely etc etc)
23.5 - end:
Inspired by shouts from Vomit and the family Tappers managed to get running again, managed not to cry from the pain, managed a sprint finish, managed not to further injure Jo's back at the finish when she gave me a great big hug while I was in a bit of a state.
Post-race:
Tappers walked up the steps to get a cup of tea-coffee for me(lovely man). I got to cheer KatieB and Fetch home. I got to meet MB. I got to meet MB again when I realised who he was. Had a chance for a chat with Mr + Mrs MRF (a storming run from him).
Pub:
ACE
Forest Runner
A long overdue pb for me.

The last three weeks of tapering started putting massive doubts in my mind and I just couldn't contemplate keeping up 8 minute miles for 26.22 miles.

My plan was to start off slow - first mile 8:30, second mile maybe 8:15 and gradually settle into steady 8 minute miles, probably getting around halfway about 2 minutes behind schedule in 1:47, and then running the second half in about 1:43. Negative splits don't worry me any more, as I have found I run much stronger towards the end of the race if I have taken it relatively easy to start off with. That was the plan anyway.

I knew 360 was aiming for around 3:30 as well, but I also knew he was intending to start off with 7:45 pacing, which I felt would be ok to start off with for me, but I would suffer later if I started at that pace. I decided I would run my own race, and started off at a leisurely pace - or so I thought. At the first mile marker, I checked my time and found I had run it 45 seconds too fast, in 7:45.

Shortly after this, I think it was, 360 caught me up and we did run together. We were reeling off the miles averaging less than 7:45 minutes per mile and got to halfway in about 1:41, 6 minutes ahead of schedule for me. We continued at sub 8 minutes per mile pace until 20 miles, which I reached at 2:35:36. At this stage, 360 had pulled clear of me and I was beginning to feel tired. I knew that if I could continue at 9 minutes per mile, I would still be able to creep in at just under 3:30.

Immediately, but not really intentionally, my pace dropped to about 8:40 per mile and at 22 miles, I was really beginning to struggle. I thought that I might end up doing significant amounts of walking, but tried to delay what seemed inevitable. I knew that if I walked, I wouldn't manage sub 3:30. I managed to pass 23 miles without walking and then I could see 360 ahead and saw that he was walking a bit, so I thought I would try to catch him up.

When I reached 24 miles, I suddenly felt a new lease of life and my legs didn't feel tired any more. I missed the split at 24 miles though, and at 25 miles, I had 11:22 left to complete the last 1.22 miles. When I reached the track and the 26 mile mark, my legs suddenly seemed to get really tired again, and I had to grit my teeth to get around the track. When I saw the clock, I could see that I was definitely going to break 3:30 and I was so relieved. I think 360 was just seconds behind me.

I'm just so happy to break 3:30, I couldn't really tell you much about the course, but we did see UV at the 18.5 and 25 mile points and TMW was also there at the 24 mile point.

Really good to meet KatieB, LuverlyLegs, 360, Slow Going, The Croc, Tappers and Snapstinget for the first time (and probably some I have forgotten too) and meeting others that I had met before.
Blackers800
What can I say? A sub 3 is in my top 10 life dreams. I've been chasing it for 6 years, and today I got there...
streatham stroller
The most painful race ever but I knocked 30 minutes off my PB on a course that I would describe as gently undulating rather than flat. Great race I may well be back . . .
Yellow Fang
I went into this race hoping to get under 3:15 and trying to get as near to 3:00 as possible, maybe even dip under it. There seemed to be quite a lot of good runners as there were plenty ahead of me and I was trying to keep up 6:52 minute miles. I went off a bit too fast because I got to half way at 1:29. I found the second half rather a struggle. I got to 20 miles at 2:18, which wasn't too far off target, but then I slowed right down. I had to do a Paula at 22 miles. The last 10K was about 48 mins. The course was fairly flat; no real hills. The traffic was a bit of a pain. There was plenty of support in Abingdon and the other villages. We were also lucky with the weather: we avoided the worst of the wind and rain.
Um Bongo
Tough run especially last few miles -just had to keep going. Last mile I had nothing left in tank but managed to keep running -finishing on a track not great when you have nothing to give. On the positive side PB by about 14 minutes from Loch Ness three weeks ago.
Windsurfin' Susie
A little disappointed that I didn't get the 3:15 qualifier, but I beat my PB by 7 minutes, and set the ladies club record. I'll post a full report on my blog: runsusierun.blogspot.com later
Middler
What a fantastic day! The race went so well and I'm so pleased with my time. I found it easier than some of the training runs. Had loads of support around the course from large group of friends and family (hence I had no time to meet up with fellow fetchies), ran the whole way with my sister, we even finished together - a never heard of feat! Thought it was superbly organised, very friendly and very scenic in parts. Didn't like that last loop though, it was a boring and desolate run. Finishing in the stadium was fab - it spurred us on to do the fastest mile of the lot, having all those people cheering you on. Fab, fab, fab.
Mrs Jigs (Luverlylegs)
I got to the start line about 5mins before the gun went off, as I was waiting Kath (LP) spotted my name on the back of my Fetch shirt and came up to speak to me, also saw Keiran as we set off along the track Kath spotted Hollywood so we all chatted briefly, My Garmin froze so I had no idea of my pace, Kath and I ran approx 3 miles together, passing Fetch & Katieb along the way, at the 1st drinks station Kath said she was going to have a drink and walk for a few moments, I carried on, around 5 mins later I got chatting to another guy who turned out to be a Fetchie but I can't remember his name, we ran together until around mile 5 when he dropped back, Fetch then caught up with me and said he would be running until mile 6 then would stop for a walk/stretch at mile 6, he was feeling good when we got to 6 so said he would carry on until the first hour, at which time we were in a well supported area so he didn't stop, with that Katieb caught us up and we all ran together until mile 12 where Katieb took a quick break and Fetch stopped for a stretch, I carried on, at half way I asked a supporter the time it was 11.06 so it had taken me approx 2.06hrs which was about what I was hoping for, Katieb then caught up with me again, we ran on to drinks break around 17-18 miles there we saw [I think] Shiraz??, my friend was waiting for me at mile 18, just before I got there LLL(No1) called me on my mobile to see if I had finished!! time from start was now 2.55. I stopped for a few seconds to see my friend and Katieb carried on, a Fetch called me telling me to catch Katieb, I am not sure who it was?? as I was a bit focused, I caught Katieb up just as she met her OH and support, I think Tappers was at that point and cheered me on, at around eighteen and a half miles there is a split, across the road mile 25 marker can be seen but we still have 'the loop' to do, at around mile 19 I lose Katieb, either I have slackened my pace or Katieb has increased hers, I know I cannot catch up with her so I plod on, suddenly I have got the most terrible tummy ache and there is absolutely nowhere to stop for a comfort break as it is all MOD land which is cordoned off, I am quite desperate!! it is another 2 miles before I can find access to a fairly private area and relief! I lose quite a few minutes here but am soon back on the road, I must say for me this was the worst part of the run, no supporters and no-one to run with, however I was determined to carry on, it seemed to take an age to get to mile 24 where my friend was again waiting for me, I feel much better mentally by this time because I can picture mile 25, after all I have seen the sign earlier, I know my pace has slowed considerably and I tell myself all I want to do is to finish this race running not walking, I decide that this will be my one and only marathon, I reach mile 25 and am relieved that it is almost over, I have no idea how long I have taken but am still hopeful for a 4.30 finish time, about half a mile from the end there is a marshal just before the corner and she calls out 'keep to the left' as I go up around the corner there does not appear to be anyone in front of me and I am not even sure if I am going the right way, should I have turned the corner or should I have crossed the road?? I really don't know, I just want to finish but for all I know I could be running away from the finish!!, I can see people across the road but no-one cheers me on which only adds doubt to my mind, suddenly I can see runners ahead of me which is of great comfort! as I turn into the final section I have a huge smile on my face, this ordeal is amost over!! it is fabulous that the race finishes on a track, as I reach it the clock says something like 4.25/26 I am not sure but I know I am going to finish before 4.30 which was the time I had hoped for, suddenly I can hear 'come on Luverlylegs' being called out over and again by Katieb and other Fetches, this really lifts me and unless I am mistaken I finish with a slowish sprint and a huge smile on my face!!! 4.27 great!!

It was great to be able to shower, change and meet up with everyone at the pub, I met so many lovely Fetch friends!! when I got back to my hotel I climbed into bed and slept for 2 solid hours! the next morning I laid in bed trying to work out where I hurt/ached, the only place that hurt was my poor black toe, by 8am I was planning my next marathon, Abingdon 2007 here I come!!!!
Sir Moses Hill
Absolutely thrilled with this, the race couldn't have gone better. Was running with Paul, a friend from work, and our aim was to run 8 minute miles, although I realistically expected to slow considerably from 17-18 onwards. I also had the worry of severe ITB pains hanging over me from my previous marathon in Belfast in May.

These were all familiar roads. I live in Abingdon and work in Milton Park, and so I've run the entire course several times in my training (although obviously not in one go). I thought I'd be bored, but I actually enjoyed knowing exactly where I was and what was coming next. It made the course seem much shorter.

Started too quickly, as per usual, and was 3 minutes ahead of pace by the 8 mile mark. Hit halfway in 1:41. Pulled away from Paul around 16.5 miles and then ran a very strong 6 miles to set me up nicely for a sub-3:30. I overtook FR and 360 around 18 miles (isn't it sad when you recognise someone from their web forum photo?). I didn't introduce myself but they didn't want to share my Lucozade Sport.

Reached 20 miles in 2:35 and starting teasing myself with thoughts of a 3:20. Kept wondering when the real fatigue would hit, but it held off until 23 miles when I slowed considerably and started aiming for a 3:25. Lifted things nicely for the final mile and raced around the track to cross the line in 3:25:00 dead.

1:41 first half; 1:44 second half.

A PB by 21 minutes and at least 10 minutes quicker than I thought I'd go.

Bring on Dubai on 12th Jan for the sub-3:15!
The Croc
Badgered myself into doing this - not sure why! UPDATE.
Sore as hell. Right knee (?) in a bad way from about 10 miles and just got worse. But, a day later, focusing on having slashed 20 mins off my pb and the perfect conditions and the great group of Fetchies who were around to support and for afters in the pub. Great day.
SteveX
Best of 3:38 in Stevenage in Nov 2004. 4th marathon in 2 years. Best time by some clear 6 minutes. Put last years nightmare run of 4.07 to rest. Only real dissapointment is that 3:30 was on. But I could feel cramp spasms coming on in my left calf which meant that I could extend myself as much as I would have liked. When tried to quicken up on tracj the whole calf and hamstring went rigid so had to slow to a walk before picking ity up again. Not sure why this keeps happening but at least this time it came on later in the race. Splits might suggest I ran the early part of the race too quick (1:43:30 half way).
woss
yippee!
Rhino
Fantastic day, fantastic support, thanks everyone!
Martyn Fisher
Weather perfect, and I paced myself well. First half in 2:00:37, second half in 1:59:06. Everything went right on the day. Thrilled with (just) going sub 4 hours, that's made all the training worthwhile. On a high.

Good to chat to Slow Going and KatieB before and after, and good to see several Almost Athletes club mates as well.
TingTong
Will be aiming for sub 3hrs, but 3:05 would be a PB by 3 minutes, so would be well pleased with that.

A nice fast run, nice to start/finish at the running track.
Gogeroo
Now wasn't that fun?What a buzz!!

Even though I suffered from severe calf cramps from 17 miles in which saw me hobble in a good 30 mins after my projected time (note to self, take more water on board next time,and o yes there will definately be a next time!)

Great to meet fellow fetchies before and during the race, just a shame I had to leave straight after finishing as we had a table booked at a local restraunt (wifes B'day treat for me!)

A big thanks to rhino and katieb for their encouraging words in the last 1/2 mile.

as it was my first attempt at the distance, I have nothing to compare this race to. I know that my training was good,as i didnt feel tired at all, I know where I went wrong (I carried gels AND a cabo drink rather than gels and water,hence the cramps) My pacing was good up until 17 miles and I was on for a 3h45.

So lessons identified..... Hydration, drink a lot more prior, during and after, especially when suffering with a cold!!)
And respect the distance!

I'm still smiling now and just want to get started on the next one!!
In summary,a great race, brilliant organisation and well done to everyone involved!!

(I just cant stop smiling!!)
Darlo
Going well then tired at mile 18 struggled home
Capricorn
Well not quite a pb - 4 minutes off, but still my 2nd best marathon time so I'm very happy with too. I wouldn't have minded sneaking under 3:45 to "bank" another GFA time, but not to be this time.
The race as before was impeccably organised and marshalled. I like the fact that it's not too big to make parking and crowds a hassle, but not so small that you can find yourself alone on the route. I don't like big crowd events so this one really suits me.
Luckily the weather held off and was actually quite pleasant I thought. I really like the t-shirts with the names on the back - that was an clever idea !

That lap round the air field went on forever and the last 4-ish miles were hard, but then they always are. I'll still do it again next year though !
Leg End
A super run. Just like the training everything went almost exactly to plan. Av pace 8:58 (target 9:00), fastest mile 8:47, slowest 9:09.

GPS shows distance as 26.31 (144 metres long).

Weather much better than (wet & windy) forecast -actually close to perfect, just occasionally a little damp from about eight miles and light rain from 23 miles, and only light breeze.

So I've done my sub-four marathon - which I have told everyone (myself included) will be my last. Some incipient cramp from about 23 miles and pain from left big-toe joint gave me occasional cause for concern and reinforced the decision not to do it again. But what an occasion! Brilliant!
LC
Really wanted to get under 3, but maybe next time. I have done 8 marathons & this is my 3rd worst time. Oh well....

Was 4th lady overall & 2nd V35, although they have missed me off the vet prize list, I am listed as a vet though.

The course was good, apart from some morons in cars, (not all of them), one was trying to do a 3 point turn on a country lane at about mile 19, so I banged on his bonnet as he came onto the kerb & nearly knocked me over.

Marshalls as usual were excellent & weather was good.
Hollywoof!
<B>Hollywood's Abingdon Report...</B><BR>
<BR>
Background... did Almere long tri 8 weeks ago - and my right knee complained loudly from 20km to the end. Took 2 weeks off, then tried a long run... had to give up at 12 miles... week later tried another long run... had to give up after 10 miles... took 2 weeks off... did GNR - had knee problems from 10 miles onwards... so put my number in the envelope and wrote the letter to send it back... I even took it out with me twice... but I never quite got it in the postbox... race day arrives... and to make things even more interesting I've got a head cold and I've not slept at all well (I am never listening to Sodahead again!)<BR>

<BR>
Then on the way... a suicide pheasant decides to attack our car. Makes a big dent and there's only one casualty... is this an omen?<BR>
<BR>
So I line up on the start with absolutely no pressure on me at all - I've got an injury, I've got a cold, I've done any proper marathon training or tapering and the weather forecast looks wet and windy. I've looked at the map and I know that there are lots of places where I can easily pull out - so let's see what happens.<BR>
<BR>
Actually... I didn't quite line up at the start - when the race started I was still getting changed... but I was only 30 seconds from the start line.<BR>
<BR>
Then the race... there are a few mismatches between the course and my GPS so this may read a bit odd - all the part 1's are from my GPS, all the part 2's are from mile markers.<BR>
<BR>
1 - 8:17 - chatted to a few peeps - MickNPhil, Fetch, KathLP, Snaps, Tiger, ixus<BR>
2 part 1 - 7:47 - ixus and I pace each other - I keep myself amused looking at the size of the jelly baby pack he's carrying (good pirate attitude - he'd only bought this pack yesterday and had never run with a pack before)<BR>
2 part 2 - 0:29<BR>
3 - 8:03<BR>
4 - 7:50 - lose ixus - he heads off on a loo break and I never see him again<BR>
5 part 1 - 8:08<BR>
5 part 2 - 0:25<BR>
6 - 7:58<BR>
7 - 8:04 - get some good forum support through town - Shiraz joins me for a mile or two<BR>
8.1 - 8:05<BR>
8.2 - 0:22<BR>
9 - 8:07<BR>
10.1 - 7:43<BR>
10.2 - 0:28 - pass the 10 mile sign aware I'm 13 minutes behind the pace I set last week (but my Garmin thinks I'm spot on 8m/m)<BR>
11 - 8:14 - feel the cold in this part of the race! There's some rain and it is cold. But I think of Candy's recent race report, and decide I may as well be wet, cold and happy rather than wet, cold and miserable.<BR>
12 - 7:55<BR>
13 - 8:00<BR>
TO HALF WAY - 0:55 - 1:46:57<BR>
To 14 - 7:38 - aware this is my longest run since August - decide to go steady to 20 miles.<BR>
15 - 7:44<BR>
16 - 7:50 <BR>
17 - 7:24 - driven on by Shiraz and forum support through Abingdon town<BR>
18 - 7:38 - now my longest race run since May<BR>
19 - 7:49 - great support from Bobo-family, TMW, Vomit and Tappers - I've gone through 30km in the same time as I managed in Almere (when I'd already done 4km swim and 120km bike) so I reckon I can try to speed up?<BR>
20 part 1 - 7:50 - this is now my longest run since May... just passing the 20 miles I did for 200 minutes in August.<BR>

20 part 2 - 0:17 - Work out it's now two 5km races to go and I've done a lot of 5km races... Also remember TiggersMateRoo's advice about the right marathon strategy - racing from 20 to the end<BR>
21 - 7:48 - thinking of 200 minutes<BR>
22 - 7:56 - thoughts drift from 200 to Stellina - hope your trip back home is going well... Abingdon 07 is waiting for you.<BR>
23 part 1 - 7:40<BR>
23 part 2 - 0:18 - one more 5km race to go<BR>
24 - 8:22 - try to lift the pace but the legs hurts... but mainly my left knee, not the right one - so I don't care!<BR>
25 - 8:21 - more excellent support from Bobo-family, TMW, Vomit, Tappers.<BR>
26 - 7:49 - try to avoid Shiraz who is getting her revenge for me screaming at her last week!<BR>
To the line - 2:14 - a real sprint round the track and a wave for the crowds.<BR>
<BR>
Finish line - 3:31:42 - a 12 minute PB and *not* a DNF, and (so far) not feeling very injured at all.

Also with a 1:44:45 second half, this is my first marathon with negative splits. Very happy to have survived :o)<BR>
<BR>
GPS measured distance was 26.6 miles but the course is certified so I'd better not argue!<BR>
<BR>
Met up briefly with lots of forumites - KatieB, Windsurfin'Susie, RichK, Sezz, FatFace, Fraggle, Womble, Blisters, Sodahead, Fetch, Snaps, KathLP, Alcopop, Murf, Happychap, Cookie and many more - many very short conversations - some of the conversations after the race were a bit odd (sorry - I'm never entirely with it anyway!). Also got to shout at lots of people as they approached the end - including Hippo - looking relaxed and in control with half a mile to go - well actually she was nattering away!<BR>
<BR>
GPS also says I've used 3697 calories - so I'm off for some ice cream now :o)
Bazza
Ouch!
plodding hippo
sorry to those of you who bet in me
but 3 marathon pbs in 4 weeks is a tall order
Kieren
Haven't trained for this or even done a long run for ages! With 2 weeks to go it's a bit late now. My first marathon so very interested to see how I'll do

**Update - very hard.copy & paste teh URL to read my full report kieren.demon.co.uk
Sodahead
Well it all started early Saturday morning with a somewhat traffic free drive down from Teesside to Oxfordshire. Managed to locate Tinsley Park OK and deposited my drinks. Also sussed out the post race and pre race feeding stations and then after one false start located my hotel. Baked potato and beans for lunch and then feet up and sleep for the rest of the afternoon.

I had the pleasure of spending the evening out with a dozen fourmites having dinner. It was just great to meet many of the runners with whom I had been talking to in the threads and it was a most enjoyable stress free way to spend the evening before my most important race of 2006.

We went our separate ways just after 10pm. I was tucked up in bed and asleep by 11.
I woke up at 3am Sunday morning. Spent a penny and drank some more water and at one stage I did wonder if I was going to get back to sleep.

Next I was on the start line of the race. The starter said “On your marks” but he never said “go” but we went anyway. Before we got out of the stadium we realised that we were at the wrong end of the race and had been running in the wrong direction. We had to about turn and run through the entire field of runners. OK, no problem, I got over that setback and settled down to running the marathon. But there were no marshals and runners were running every which way. We were running through shops, up and down stairs, criss crossing on foot paths and it looked to me that we were running in a three dimensional maze and I just stopped dead in total bewilderment. I then clocked the Race Director. I challenged him to justify such chaos in a championship marathon – I actually wanted to punch him. He said “You’ve got a pair of legs – get running” and disappeared into the confusion. On hearing those words I woke up! It was 6.45am. I did indeed get back to sleep and what a sleep it was. I can never recall ever dreaming about any of my races. Totally surreal, and I just leapt out of bed.

All my kit was packed and ready to go. I had already picked a local side street a couple of hundred yards from Tinsley Park and was 1st there. Bagged my gear into a locker and proceeded to the mass forumite meeting place in the stadium. Met many more peeps including Blisters, Shades and Cath (I have a shocking memory for names and faces) but it was again good to be “chewing the cud” with fellow runners. The weather was absolutely spot on. Cool, not much wind and the forecasted rain had not materialised. At 8.15 I got changed and race prepared. Did a warm up on the track, some strides and some stretches. We were called to line up, I pinched myself – yes, this time it was real – “On your marks, set, [b]BANG[/b].

We were off.

Biggest concern (as pointed out by Blisters) was all the runners getting through the narrow exit gate but that proved to be no problem and we were out onto the roads. I set myself in about 20th position just to see how things would initially pan out.

Mile 1: 6.04: Average HR 162 – a pretty much perfect start.
Mile 2: 6.02, for 12.06: Average HR 164 – moved up the field about 10 positions. Five runners had set off at sub 6m/mile pace and were moving away.
Mile 3: 6.00, for 18.05: Average HR 166 – still moving up the field and latched onto runners from Maidenhead and Abingdon who seemed to be setting a fairly effortless ideal pace. I collected my first drink and marched on. I have to say that at this early stage my legs did not feel right – just too tight in the calfs and quads, no matter – plough on.
Mile 4: 6.17, for 24.22: Average HR 166 – suspect that this was a bit long, still running in our trio.
Mile 5: 5.46, for 30.08: Average HR 166 – sort of balances things up from the previous mile.
Mile 6: 6.00, for 36.12: Average HR 166 – bit faster than target time but I wasn’t going to drop back from the trio I was running with.
Mile 7: 5.53, for 42.04: Average HR 166 – as above.
Mile 8: 6.15, for 48.10: Average HR 165 – as above.
Mile 9: 6.10, for 54.31: Average HR 167 – as above but my legs were not loosening at all.
Mile 10: 5.52, for 1.00.22: Average HR 165 – I drop the dregs of my first bottle to have a couple of miles running without. Briefly I can appreciate the route through which we are running. Picturesque villages, the roads were tree lined and offered shelter, the route was flat. This was pretty good. I began to feel a tinge of enjoyment – it would be even better if my legs would at last relax and untension themselves.
Mile 11: 6.08, for 1.06.30: Average HR 164 – cruising comfortably still in our trio.
Mile 12: 5.57, for 1.12.27: Average HR 164 – the Abingdon runner was beginning to come under a bit or pressure. I picked up my second drinks bottle.
Mile 13: 6.06, for 1.18.33: Average HR 164 – the Abo runner was just hanging on.
Went through 13.1 in exactly 79 minutes. 1 minute ahead of my planed time but overall I was happy with the pace and had resigned myself to having to run with said tight legs.

OK so a repeat performance of the first 13.1 miles +/- the odd minute and I would be made up.

Mile 14: 6.17, for 1.24.50: Average HR 164 – I can’t remember if there was a slight incline, I do remember that this was hard. The Abo runner had now dropped off the pace and it was just me and the Maidenhead guy who seemed to be running effortlessly.
Mile 15: 6.05, for 1.30.55: Average HR 165 – Maidenhead guy asks what time am I after, “sub 2.45” I say. “Well” he says, “I’ll pace you to 18 miles then I am dropping out cos this is just a training run for me” I am gob smacked. This guy has run apparently effortlessly and I can’t believe he would just drop out.
Mile 16: 6.07, for 1.37.03: Average HR 165 – still running behind the Maidenhead guy and we pass a runner from the lead pack who has dropped out. My colleague tells me that he is now in 5th position. There is another Abo runner 100 yards ahead and he looks catchable. We had watched him stop and stretch once and he looked in a bit of bother.
Mile 17: 6.01, for 1.43.04: Average HR 167 – running buddy was starting to put a gap between me and him and I did not feel comfortable at all.
Mile 18: 6.21, for 1.49.26: Average HR 166 – well here we go, the legs had had enough. It was only a matter of time before the hoard of better paced runners behind me trot past with smug grins on their faces. My running bubby drops out as he said he would do - I am gob smacked.
Mile 19: 6.27, for 1.55.51: Average HR 166 – physically I think I am toast as the legs feel shredded. I have nearly completed my second drinks bottle and am looking forward to jettisoning it after mile 20. I am falling further behind the Abo runner in front.
Mile 20: 6.32, for 2.02.24: Average HR 166 – I can’t be disappointed with the time, what I need now is a 40 min 10K <<please, please let me be able to run the last 10K in 40 mins>>.
Mile 21: 6.14, for 2.08.38: Average HR 166 – digging deep but running better having dropped the drinks bottle.
Mile 22: 6.37, for 2.15.15: Average HR 164 – nightmare, some gentle inclines which I had great difficulty running up, really, really hard. I was passed, by what I thought would be the first of many, by a mobile bar and disco runner. Multiple bottles on his bottle belt and an Ipod suck in his ears.
Mile 23: 6.21, for 2.21.36: Average HR 163 – legs weren’t having it and all sorts of black clouds were ganging up on my race. I could hear someone else behind me.
Mile 24: 6.33, for 2.28.09: Average HR 164 – oh God this is hurting. The noise behind me turned out to be a cyclist. One of the marshals tells me my position and I think “not for long”.
Mile 25: 7.01, for 2.35.10: Average HR 164 – the most demoralising mile of the entire race. My calfs are starting to spasm into cramp. I have never experienced this before. My goodness, this could stop me dead, short strides, think positive, [b]c’mon[/b].
Mile 26: 6.20, for 2.41.30: Average HR 165 – much better, maybe the last mile was a bit long. My calfs have spasmed again and this is a big worry but the stadium is in site and there is great encouragement from the crowd.
Mile 26.2: 1.27 for a finish time of 2.42.57: Average HR 168 – tried to look “in control” as I ran into the stadium. I had a moment of panic as my calfs spasmed yet again on the back straight of the track. Fantastic applause by the spectators as I cross the line.

I take a seat in the stand and gather my thoughts. No sub 2.40. No PB The same depressing drop in speed at the end of the marathon has again materialised as in my previous two marathons. At this moment in time I am not exactly pleased with my efforts. I take myself downstairs and notice that the masseur is free. I get straight on his table and he does some great work on my legs, especially my calfs. I get showered and changed and head up to the forumites post race meeting place.

So, finishing forumites are applauded and cheered in. When Mick’n’Phil arrived the roof almost came off the stadium – just fantastic. Many forumites congratulated me on my time – thank you all so much. The presentation ceremony started and I had sneaked a peek at the results. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall were presented then we were onto the Vets. 1st Vet was – [b]ME[/b] :o) 5th place overall, – how did that happen???? nice trophy, nicer voucher :o) All manner of county presentations take place and then we are onto the British Masters Championship. The colour of my medal is gold. This is what I came for. This made all the pain well worth while. The fog and gloom that had descended at the end of my race was beginning to lift.

We all head off for a post race nosh fest at a local hostelry. I can honestly say that I have never seen so much protein consumed in such a short timescale. Once again this was a great way to complete what has turned out to be the best race of my life. I was asked at the end of the meal how I had got on in the race. I recited my successes and the entire gathering applauded. I blushed and started welling up.

Great discussions with TmR and Blisters and V’Rap and el Bee and Hippo and Shades and Cath and whoever gave me a big shout on the traffic cone as I ran through Abingdon (Fat Face I think) on the latter stages of the race and Gobby and KatieB and Snaps and RichK and many others.

You guys are just the best.

A very special end to a very special day in what was (is) an unforgettable weekend.

Soda
libra
One minute under predicted time, but went off too fast and had really rather hoped for better....
eL Bee!
Was pacing for an 8:45 even race for Velociraptor.. and it would appear that we - like quite a few others today - had a sticky patch at 21-24 miles<br>
We lost about 4 minutes (slightly over) in that time, but still managed a 47 minute PB for the Dinosaur!!!!!
<br><br>
So - job done!<br>
:o)
Running Fish
should be pleased with a pb by 7mins after the broken foot 8 weeks ago, and a cold in the days before the race, but a sub3 was there to be had.

my splits were 1:28, 1.35, which is a crap way to run a race. the problem was cramp developing in the muscles around my knees from about 19m onwards. annoyingly at the end i wasnt tired, i just couldnt move my legs any faster, and couldnt even walk shortly after the finish. had to get back to the car on a bike.

will have to do a fuller autopsy to understand the causes, might have been the crammed last minute training, race prep, or fuelling problem.
Vimes
Was going well until about 18 miles. Then the wheels fell off and I struggled round.
This was my third marathon and both of my previous were FLM. After having run in London with the incredible atmosphere, I have to say that the latter stages of Abingdon were very very hard in comparison.
bassy
That was hard work. Ran with Keiren a lot of the way without knowing it was him. Was through 20 miles in 2.50 and on for a 3.40 ish till the wheels came flying off at about mile 23. Stopped for some syncronised vomit/runners trot at 25 miles and twice on the track stopped for a dry retch. How I got home lord knows. Keiren tootled in about 5 mins later having overcome cramp!
Velociraptor
A PB by 47 minutes :o)

Doing this race was a bit of an afterthought in a season where my target race was the Windsor half-marathon, and I was undertrained, particularly in the long run department - but I thoroughly enjoyed it, ambled round the first 20 miles as if it was a training run, struggled over the Wall and managed a rather good finishing sprint.
Wonderful pacing by eL Bee again - I wonder how I'll cope with pacing myself round a spring marathon?
SteveT
Perfect conditions, but I'm definitely still learning how to run a good marathon, but at least I didn't walk this time.
Dull Napoleon™
Cramp cramp and more cramp
yid23
Good race, suffered cramp at 18.5 miles but was good to finish in the end. Good organization to, can't wait for next one.

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