With the London Olympics only five years away, Oxfordshire is limbering up with its very own Tarmacadam version. Street Olympix is a series of fun days in three locations around the county, culminating in a grand final on May 12, in Oxford, which includes a mile road race through the city centre.

Street Olympix organisers Bernard Henry, an associate director of research at Oxford University's Department of Materials, and Hendriette Thorn, a personal fitness consultant, aim to get people enthusiastic about sport.

Alongside running, sprinting and jumping events there will be a range of fun competitions, such as tug of war, stationary rowing, limbo, three-a-side football, touch rugby, water balloon-throwing and mini-triathlon.

Blackbird Leys will be hosting a community Street Olympix Day on March 14, with races on the streets around the Leisure Centre.

The winners of the main regional heats - sprinting competitions, mile road race, rowing challenge and standing long jump - will go through to the final to determine who will be the county champions.

Didcot's Orchard Centre will also be hosting a regional event on April 29, with races through the nearby streets.

Alongside the sporting events will be stalls representing health and fitness clubs, sports clubs, healthy food stalls and nutritional information. Local streetrunners Oxtricks will be giving a display and workshops.

Highlight of the main day in South Park, part of the Lord Mayor's weekend, will be the mile run which will commemorate the historic sub-four minute mile run by Sir Roger Bannister on the cinder track at Iffley Fields more than 50 years ago. Sir Roger is a patron of the Oxfordshire 2007 event.

The idea of Street Olympix kicked off many years ago when organiser Bernard Henry attended a World Sports Awards ceremony in the USA.

One of the awards was given to Arnold Schwarzenegger in recognition of promoting a sports festival that featured street events in deprived neighbourhoods.

Bernard, whose own sport is athletics - he is a member of British League top division club Thames Valley Harriers - was inspired by the idea and realised that it could be adapted for the UK. When a friend hosted a successful street sprints competition in Manchester, he decided to try a similar event in Oxfordshire.

He said: "We want to get Oxfordshire active and introduce new ways of doing this.

"We also want to give kids from disadvantaged communities the chance to take part in sport and developing healthy lifestyles, as well as people with disabilities and the elderly.

"And of course, Street Olympix are a chance to spot any new and undiscovered athletic talent in the county."

  • Street Olympix is supported by Oxford City Council, BMW Group Plant Oxford and James Cowper