THIS year’s wet and windy OX5 Run was won by a woman for the first time after Sophie Carter took on the challenge for her son.

A total of 1,001 runners joined the 35-year-old in completing the five-mile route around Blenheim Palace yesterday, despite the bad weather.

Oxford Mail:

 The first woman winner of the OX5 Run, Sophie Carter

In its 13th year the charity event, in aid of the Oxford Children’s Hospital, saw Mrs Carter finish in 31 minutes and nine seconds – just a second ahead of Matthew Pembroke, 33, from Newbury.

Mrs Carter said: “I was quite pleased and surprised by coming first, I did not expect that at all.

Oxford Mail:

 The Incredibles from Tom’s Ward at Oxford Children’s Hospital

“The weather was terrible but everyone was in good spirits.

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The mother-of-two is training for the London marathon but on Sunday ran to thank the children’s hospital that treated her one-year-old son Ethan.

At just four months old, Ethan was treated after suffering bronchitis.

Mrs Carter, from Woodstock, said: “It is for a great charity and my son Ethan has been treated at the hospital so it meant a lot.

“They were a great help, always put you at ease and very supportive.”

Oxford Mail:

Andrew Hall running in memory of his son, Skye

Andrew Hall, 42, Abingdon, ran with charity Blue Skye Thinking, set up in memory of his five-year-old son, Skye, who died in August as a result of his cancer.

He said: “The care that is given not only to your children but also to parents from all staff is incredible, so being able to be a part of that, to support them and offer something back is great.

“I do not mind the weather, it’s times like that where the children are your inspiration.”

A team of staff from Tom’s Ward at the children’s hospital also took the course dressed up as The Incredibles.

Staff nurse Gabrielle Dent said: “We love children and want to raise money for them.”

Oxford Mail:

 Magnus Cameron and footballer Martin Keown start the race     

Former England footballer Martin Keown helped start the race with former hospital patient nine-year-old Magnus Cameron, from Little Milton.

Magnus said: “It was exciting to start the race and to be raising lots of money to get more medicine for the hospital.”

The former footballer from Oxford, Mr Keown added: “I am sure that anyone who has had children who have been to the Oxford hospital accident and emergency will have seen the incredible level of care.”

Oxford Mail:

Team Martha with Eve Hanlon and daughter Martha, centre, who was a regular visitor to Oxford Children’s Hospital with leukaemia 

The Woodstock event has raised more than £750,000 for poorly children in the county since it began in 2003.

Tackling the course in bumble-bee gear was Kate French, 37, Bicester, for her friend’s daughter, Beth Spargo, who was born with a cleft palate and dislocated hips.

She said: “It is nice to be able to give something back a bit. Beth is just a fantastic little girl.”

Children’s hospital spokeswoman Sarah Vaccari said: “It has been an absolutely brilliant day.

“The great British weather has not been kind to us but the great British public have been amazing.”

The race was organised by the Oxford Mail and sponsored by recruitment firm Allen Associates.