A RECORD number of runners bustled through streets on Sunday in name of the same charity.

Dotted among throngs of Oxford Half Marathon fundraisers were bright t-shirts bearing Sobell House's blue and yellow logo: a homage to both the hospice and loved ones lost in its care.

The Headington centre was supported this year by 45 runners - the most it has ever had in the event - and anticipates that money raised also will exceed previous years.

Among the team was civil servant Michelle Jones, 45, who said she was "chuffed to bits" to complete the 13.1 mile circuit through the city.

The Kidlington resident, whose great-grandmother Miriam Lester died of cancer at Sobell, said: "My legs hurt but the pain I was feeling is nothing compared to what the patients and families there are experiencing. It was nice when I was running that even complete strangers were saying "go team Sobell".

"The staff and volunteers really make those last days and weeks special. It's a privilege to run for them - as long as I can move, I will carry on."

She raised £230 through the race, contributing to a £2,500 total since she began fundraising for Sobell in 2008, and is set to secure more at a 10-mile run later this month.

Sobell fundraiser Kevin Game, who coordinated the hospice's runners, said: "There were some great times run and some wonderful stories from our runners. The highlight for me was having so many of the crowd cheering for Sobell House which just goes to show how many people have a connection with the hospice."

Toni Wyatt, whose dad died at Sobell last January after suffering cancer, also ran for Sobell despite being advised by doctors that it would irritate her chest infection.

She wrote on her JustGiving page: "My dad was taken far too soon but this charity helped us no end, so I would like to raise lots for this cause to make him proud of his little girl."

Two siblings and their parents decided to take on the half marathon for Sobell in memory of a family member who lost his battle with cancer last year.

Sisters Courtney and Lucy Thomas and mum and dad Paul and Denise wanted to raise funds after the girls' grandfather John Turner stayed at the hospice before he passed away last November.

Children's palliative care specialists Helen and Douglas House were also supported in force by about 40 Oxford Half participants, including Douglas House patient Tim Ford who staff helped to whizz around in his wheelchair.

Runner Emily Harrop, a consultant at the Headington hospice, said: "Tim was absolutely beaming right the way through - I wondered if he would regret bumping about for two and a half hours but he was loving it.

"A lot of my patients and their families have to work so hard just to get from one day to the next. Running for a couple of hours feels humble in comparison.

"We had lots of supporters who we value enormously."

To help the Oxford Mail raise £40,000 for Sobell House, visit justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/shhc/oxmailsobellappeal or text 'OMSH 76' and the amount to 70070.