Harriers out in force at the autumnal Abingdon Marathon

Some of the Gade Valley Harriers team at the Abingdon Marathon.
Some of the Gade Valley Harriers team at the Abingdon Marathon.

The penultimate weekend in October holds one of the most popular autumnal marathons in the Harriers’ calendar – the Abingdon Marathon.

This year 11 Harriers travelled to the Oxfordshire town for the flat, fast road race on a cool, dry Sunday morning.

Starting at the athletics track and then heading into the countryside, before being treated to sights of neighbouring town’s business parks and industrial estates, competitors completed the race with a lap of the track.

The Harriers were led across the finish line by Julian Smith, who was taking part in his second marathon in three weeks. He picked up a personal best (PB) time with another exemplary 2:48:39.

Simon Wallis completed the two-lap course in 3:08:07, ahead of Matt Ashby (3:09:34), who was running 26.2 miles for the first time.

Andy Cook suffered with a hip problem for the last six miles but still managed to finish in 3:13:29, just ahead of Nicholas Crowther (3:13:46).

Ross Deacon (3:15:52) and Antony Beamish (3:18:37) both picked up PBs, and Phil Mercer (3:23:40) crossed the line ahead of Gareth Tucker (3:37:23), who completed his maiden marathon.

Kirstie Hardiman (4:15:55) was the sole lady from the club and she collected a PB by finishing ahead of Roland Kendall (around 4:30).

Further afield, Harrier Bev Loczy took part in the Amsterdam Marathon and picked up a PB time of 4:20:18.

Leona Flaherty took part in the River Thames-based Water of Life Half-Marathon, finishing in a course PB of 2:08:54.