HARDWORKING volunteers did not let a fallen tree or debris caused by storms ruin the high spirits at Abingdon Marathon, working tirelessly to make sure the path was clear for runners.

Almost 800 people took to the streets for the town’s marathon on Sunday, which is organised by Abingdon Athletics Club.

But with the the big day looming, runner Peter Akrill noticed a tree was blocking part of the 26.2 mile route – on the Sustrans cycle path between Thrupp Lake and Barton Lane.

The 46-year-old said: "I got in touch with the race volunteers and they had it gone really quickly."

On the day itself start and finish coordinator Stuart Watton ran that part of the route with a pair of tree loppers, making sure the path was clear of twigs and branches brought down by Storm Brian.

Deputy race director, Gary Richards, said it was a measure of the dedication volunteers have to the event, which has been going for more than 30 years.

He said: "It takes about 300 people to make the event work each year between the marshals and those who organise the water stations.

"We are one of the smallest marathons in the UK and we wouldn't be able to do it without the committee of volunteers and those who help out on the day.

"It is hard work and it would be easy to call it a day but everyone is committed to making it a success each year."

New race director, Clifford Penton, said he was 'incredibly pleased' with how the event had gone, adding: "We have people come from all over and it was really nice to hear comments from runners saying it was the best organised race they had been to."

One of those racing from closer to home was Andy Greening, who completed the race to raise money for local charity Leah's Wish in memory of 17-year-old Leah Graham, who passed away from cystic fibrosis in 2013.

The North Abingdon bus driver ran his first ever marathon and was due to be racing with friend Dan Church, who would have been finishing a 225-mile challenge taking in a series of other marathons over the past months.

Mr Church said: "I fractured my foot and pulled muscles in my knee so it wasn't going to happen unfortunately without risking permanent damage.

"It was gutting not to be able to take part but it was so emotional when Andy came round the corner for the finish line and we crossed together, me on my crutches."

The race started and finished on the track at Tilsley Park, but headed along Dunmore Road and Twelve Acre Drive the town centre.

Runners then passed through Drayton, Milton and Sutton Courtenay before returning back through the town and up to Tilsley Park.

This year's race was won by Tom Charles, of Trafford Athletic Club, who crossed the line on the Tilsley Park running track in 2 hours 29 minutes and 29 seconds.

Hilary Mott, from Cheltenham, was the first woman to finish in a time of 2 hours 49 minutes and 50 seconds.

The full results are available at abingdonmarathon.org.