RECORD numbers defied the heat to take part in the fourth annual Run Jericho yesterday.
About 400 adults ran a 10km race from St Barnabas Primary School and back while 250 children ran a one-mile route around closed streets.
The 10k runners took in the picturesque scenery of Worcester College, Port Meadow and the Oxford Canal but faced temperatures up to 23°C.
Adult winner was St Clements’ James Felce, 26, in a time of 37 minutes. It was his first time in the race.
The John Radcliffe Hospital scientific researcher said: “I mainly do marathon and ultra marathon running but because this was shorter I was being pushed harder all the way by the guys behind me, which I found quite tough.
“It was quite a challenging course, especially on a hot day.
“It had a bit of everything. Some parts were just running through knee-high grass and it’s really pretty running past the canal.”
Eventual winner James Felce running throughh Port Meadow's long grass
The runner-up was Ewan Gault, 32, of Juxon Street, Jericho, with about 37.40.
It was not a chipped race, so times were not precise.
Mr Gault said: “It’s the first time I’ve run in this event. I live 200m away so not taking part would have been a great pity.
“It was very hot and a lot of hard work, but it’s a beautiful, scenic course.”
Mizumi Inagaki, first woman to finish, celebrates her triumph with high fives
The first woman over the line was Headington mum-of-two Mizumi Inagaki, 35, who moved with husband Yusuke from Japan in December.
She said: “It was difficult to run off-road because in Japan I just ran on the road.
“My husband asked me to come back as the first lady so I did it.”
Oxford’s Emily Chanon, five, won the gold medal in the age four to five category of the junior fun run.
She said: “I was really proud. I ran it all and felt very tired at the end.”
The first three in the men's race, with winner James Felce flanked by second-placed Ewan Gault, left, and Alec Leslie, who came third
The event, which was organised by St Barnabas Primary School’s parent teacher association, is expected to raise about £5,000 for the school.
Race director Quinn Bailey said: “It was the most children we’ve ever had take part “They get to run round in the middle of their streets so they love it.
“It’s quite a magical feeling that there’s no cars and this is just your own space.
“It was a fantastic atmosphere,” she said.
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