'Fantastic atmosphere' as Jericho runners defy the heat

Oxford Mail: The start of Run Jericho Buy this photo The start of Run Jericho

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.”

Oxford Mail:

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.”

Oxford Mail:

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.”

Oxford Mail:

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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