RUNNERS in the Oxford Mail OX5 Run have smashed records by raising £112,000 for the Oxford Children’s Hospital.

More people than ever took part in the five-mile fundraising event on March 30, with 1,200 runners crossing the finishing line after completing the five-mile course in the park at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock.

Organisers hope the total will continue to grow as the last few runners send in their sponsorship money.

The previous record for the OX5 Run was £98,000 raised last year.

Oxford Mail promotions manager Jo Coady said: “It’s amazing. We think it’s a mix of more people entering the race and people being more generous with their money than before.”

All of the money raised will go to the Children’s Hospital to provide extra facilities for Oxfordshire’s sick youngsters.

Nine-year-old patient Finlay White has been having chemotherapy for bone cancer and fired the starting gun for the race with friend, Zac Durkin, who was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.

Oxford Mail: Children's Hospital patient Finlay White, from Witney, with his mother Suzanne

Finlay, of Deer Park, Witney, said: “I’m so glad lots of people ran to help the sick children.”

Hospital development officer Penny Hambridge said: “This really will make a huge difference to all our young patients and their families who use the Children’s Hospital every year.

“This amazing sum will help us provide enhanced equipment and facilities for children and their families beyond what the NHS alone can fund.

“The stories of courage we share to encourage people to take part in the fun run never cease to inspire us. We are very grateful to everyone who was happy to share theirs.”

The men’s winner, for the second year running, was Les Newell, 38, head of the sports centre at Radley College.

He said: “That’s a fantastic amount to raise, that’s an amazing total.

“Hopefully we can built on that year-on-year.”

The award for first woman across the finish line went to Megan Roberts, 23, from Abingdon, who finished in 33 minutes.

  • To submit any outstanding money raised from the OX5 Run, send it to Charitable Funds Department, Manor House, Headley Way, Oxford, OX3 9DZ.
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