A MISTY morning met marathon runners as hundreds of them took on an annual 26-mile race through Abingdon today.

The fog lifted as 771 runners pounded the streets and were welcomed over the line by the sun beaming down on Tilsley Park.

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First across the line was Maciej Bialogonski of Bristol and West Athletic Club, with a time of two hours 26 minutes, and first female to finish was Sophie Carter of Belgrave Harriers in two hours 54 minutes.

Leading the way for the local competitors was Peter Akrill of Peachcroft in Abingdon, who was the first local runner back in two hours and 48 minutes in his fifth marathon in 18 months.

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The Abingdon Athletics Club member who took on the Abingdon Marathon for the second time, he said: “It was great, I beat my personal best by about four minutes.

“This marathon is amazing, the supporters are great with people all the way, it’s almost worth an extra few minutes on the course.

“It is really well-organised and being local I am familiar with the course.”

The event is now in its 36th year and this time around race director Clifford Penton was in charge of making sure everything went to plan.

He said: “It is my second year as race director so we have ironed out a few kinks from last year and it has all gone smoothly.

“We were also keen to improve the course clean-up so have been clearing up along the way this time.”

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The radio system across the course was also improved this year with help from County Hall, as well as organisers using trackers to keep in touch of the lead and tail vehicles with runners.

Mr Penton added that some 300 volunteers are drafted in to help make the day a success, from marshalling and water station manning to handing out T-shirts.

Also among those taking part on the day was Dave Bruce from Bristol, who hoped to break the world record for running with a double buggy.

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He was joined by his children Daniel, three and Emilia, one, who slept most the course with their dad crossing the line in under three hours.

Subject to official record checks, Mr Bruce said today he was confident he had beaten the three hour nine minutes record.