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Half Marathon full signs go up ahead of event
Buy this photo » Half Marathon runners on the tow path near Donnington Bridge last year
THE Oxford Half Marathon has sold out for the first time in its three-year history.
The 13.1-mile race, supported by the Oxford Mail, has seen its popularity soar from 3,800 entries last year to 5,500 this year, an increase of 45 per cent.
Entries closed yesterday for the race on Sunday, October 13 with the event filled to capacity.
Bands that will play along the route are yet to be announced, but runners will have a chance to vote online for their favourite at the end of the race.
The winner of the Battle of the Bands competition will win £500.
Organiser Dave Box told the Oxford Mail: “I feel absolutely fantastic.
“There is a lot of competition within half marathons and I think the reason it is sold out is that Oxford has embraced the run.
“And having the battle of the bands it’s very unusual to have runners vote for bands.
“The main thing for us as an organisation is we don’t look at it as just a half marathon event; we want a carnival atmosphere for runners, spectators and the bands.”
David Bruce, a member of Oxford City Athletics Club, won last year’s half marathon with an impressive time of 1:08:34.
He told the Oxford Mail: “I will give it a go defending my title this year but I know a couple of other guys who are running well.
“On the route you get to see a few different aspects of Oxford.
“It is a good, varied route.”
The Risinghurst 28-year-old, who is also a director of sports company Run 3D, based at Iffley Road running track, added: “The Oxford Half Marathon is obviously gaining momentum.
“Before the Oxford Half Marathon there weren’t any other big races.
“It is good to have something for the running community and the local community that seems to be getting bigger year on year.”
The run takes participants through the Cowley Mini plant, past the Iffley Road running track and over Magdalen Bridge into the city centre.
It continues through Christ Church Meadow and along part of the Thames Path before the runners finish at The Kassam Stadium.
Headington’s Up and Running has organised a series of training runs for participants in the Oxford Half Marathon, sponsored by MINI Plant Oxford.
The first run is 5km and is on Thursday at 7pm from the shop in London Road.
For event information visit http://www.oxford mail.co.uk/halfmarathon
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