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Record 13,000 Runners Turn Out for Oxford Half Marathon

today16/10/2023 38

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Oxford streets were filled with the pounding of sneakers as a record 13,000 runners took part in the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday, 15th October. This surge in participation solidifies the event’s position as one of the UK’s most popular half marathons.

Kicking off from Broad Street near Trinity College and concluding at Park Road, participants relished the opportunity to soak in Oxford’s magnificent architectural vistas. Additionally, runners were treated to live entertainment at various junctures along the 13.1-mile stretch.

This year, BBC Radio Oxford breakfast presenter, Sophie Law, had the honor of inaugurating the race. Large, enthusiastic crowds thronged the route, offering unwavering support. The successful execution of the event owes a lot to the many volunteers who pitched in to help.

Featuring a distinguished roster of both runners and wheelchair racers, the marathon served as a pivotal platform for elite athletes. It provided them with a chance to bolster their training and gain invaluable race exposure.

Top Female Finishers:

  1. Steph McCall: 1:15:34
  2. Melissa Hawtin: 1:16:38
  3. Katherine Wood: 1:16:58

Top Male Finishers:

  1. Matthew Kearney: 1:06:31
  2. Matt Jackson: 1:06:41
  3. Andrew Davies: 1:07:34

Top Wheelchair Finishers:

  1. Tiaan Bosch: 1:03:02
  2. Gary Cooper: 1:06:24
  3. Joanna Robertson: 1:16:03

The comprehensive race results can be accessed here.

But it wasn’t just about speed and athleticism. The marathon also stands testament to the spirit of charity. Participating runners have already amassed over £700,000 for numerous charities. Some of the beneficiaries include national entities like Cancer Research UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, Macmillan Cancer Support, and Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. Additionally, local charities such as SSNAP, Special Effect, and Yellow Submarine, among others, received invaluable support.

Children weren’t left behind in the marathon fever. Over 500 students from 18 local schools finished their own version of the half marathon as part of the widely acclaimed Schools Challenge. The event promoter, LimeLight Sports, collaborates annually with schools to promote active lifestyles. The aim is for kids to run their version of the half marathon in segments, culminating in the final 1.1 miles on the main event’s day. Schools keen on joining in 2024 can reach out to schools@limelightsports.com.

Reflecting on the event’s success, James Hogben, MD of LimeLight Sports, remarked, “This year we have been lucky enough to yet again see the huge positives that people can take from running and mass participation events. We saw elite runners and wheelchair racers combined with thousands of amateur runners and even schoolchildren all coming together for another brilliant event.”

He continued, emphasizing the impact of the race, “Whilst the achievement of crossing the line is incredible for all taking part, sometimes even just turning up marks a huge success. In the build-up to this year’s event, we have learnt so much about the participants and their powerful stories which will support and inspire a lot of people, perhaps even to take part in future events.”

Those eager to be a part of the next Oxford Half Marathon in 2024, forecasted to sell out rapidly, can secure their slots here.

Written by: Hamish Law

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