THOUSANDS of runners have been pounding the roads of Southampton today for the annual ABP Marathon.

The sunny yet slightly overcast conditions have been described by many runners as "the perfect day for a long route".

Bursledon's Richard Waldron won the full marathon for the second year in a row, finishing the 26.2 mile run in 2 hours, 39 minutes and 43 seconds.

Daily Echo:

The 32-year-old admin worker told the Echo: "It's a great feeling to win any race. But winning a marathon definitely takes it that one step further!

"I'm on my home turf, I'm a Southampton FC supporter – everything about today felt incredible, and to win again has been incredible.

"I knew it would be tough, and my training wasn't good. I'd even been to a singing event in the Guildhall last night, and probably had one too many beverages!"

He added: "It's awesome to see all the support from the local people, and the other runners. There's a real community feeling every year."

Daily Echo:

The first woman to cross the line after running the full marathon was Kirsty Aked, 'in her fourties', who is a member of the Denmead Striders Running Club.

She said she'd 'lost count' of how many marathons she has completed, but admitted she "never dreamed of finishing first."

Kirsty added: "I'm absolutely ecstatic about finishing first! When I'd reached halfway, I was fifth in the woman's category, and almost accepted that was that.

"But I kept at it, and I can't believe it. I'm so so happy, and it's such an amazing feeling seeing your family and friends at the end. They've waited around for me, so what a good way to end the day."

The first place medal for the half-marathon was taken by Richard Lovejoy from Farnham, completing it in 1 hour, 15 minutes and 35 seconds.

Daily Echo:

He said: "What perfect conditions! It really is a great course, and the cheering really helps."

But the excitement is not over yet.

The fun run event is set to start at 4pm, and will see all ages taking part, featuring mascots from participating charities and businesses.