PAUL Fernandez and James Bolton are expected to lead the local charge for glory at the Abingdon Marathon on Sunday (9).

Fernandez (Abingdon Amblers) and Bolton (Woodstock Harriers) have battled it out consistently on the Oxfordshire road race scene this year.

And having finished third and fifth respectively in 2011, the duo should be up there again in the 30th running of the popular race.

Fernandez was the first Oxfordshire man home at the Virgin London Marathon in April, where he clocked 2hrs 33mins 43secs, while Bolton’s best of 2.38.10 came at Abingdon last year.

Mark Greenwood (Army), who finished fourth last year in 2.37.36, has also entered again.

Last year’s men’s and ladies’ champions Steve Male (Oxford City) and Sophie Carter (Woodstock) are not defending their titles.

In Carter’s absence, the leading Oxon lady could prove to be Jessica Leitch (Sarn Helen), who lives in Oxford.

Starting at Tilsley Park, the route heads towards Radley before passing through the town centre, heading out on a two-lap route through the villages of Drayton, Milton, and Sutton Courtenay.

It then comes back through the town and up to Tilsley Park where it finishes, after 26.2 miles, in front of the grandstand.