HUNDEREDS of people lined the gardens of Blenheim Palace on a wet and windy Sunday to cheer on the runners of today's OX5 Run.

More than 1,000 dedicated fundraisers donned their running gear to tackle the five-mile charity run and raise money for the Oxford Children's Hospital.

Former patient nine-year-old Magnus Cameron sounded the klaxon to start the race, with the help of former England football Martin Keown.

The former Arsenal centre back said: "It has been quite a big effort from people giving up their Sundays and a lot of people are here supporting it and are in some way involved in some way.

"I am from Oxford and I'm sure anyone who have had children that have been to the children's hospital accident and emergency will have seen the incredible level of care.

"People come from all over to use this hospital and in order to keep it there and keep people comfortable it is very important we help to raise money."

The weather was unfortunately not kind to runners this morning who faced wind, rain and even slight hail throughout the course.

And for the first time in the OX5 Run's 13-year history it was won by a woman - 35-year-old Sophie Carter, from Woodstock, who crossed the line in 31 minutes and nine seconds.

She said: "It's for a great charity and I've got a son Ethan who has been treated at the hospital so it meant a lot.

"I'm training for the London Marathon but it has still been hard round Blenheim with the hills and the wind.

"It's amazing to be the first woman, I'm very proud."

This year the Oxford Mail’s OX5 Run, sponsored by Allen Associates, attracted more than 1,200 sign-ups and is hoped to beat last years record-breaking £114,000.

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

Children's hospital spokeswoman Sarah Vaccari said: "The great British weather has not been kind to us, but the great British public have been amazing despite really grim weather they have turned out in their hundreds today and are running on behalf of the Oxford Children's Hospital.

"We are thrilled that so many people are hear to day both spectating in this horrible weather and those doing to full five miles for the children's hospital."