Oxford Mail: New ox5 run banner 2014
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THOUSANDS of runners, joggers and walkers have navigated the five-mile OX5 course at Blenheim Palace over the years to raise money for the children's hospital.

The run was initially launched in 2003 as part of a wider campaign to raise £5m over three years towards the building of the hospital.

In its 15th year the annual event could break the £1m barrier with £850,000 already raised over the years towards equipment, specialist nurses and toys and games for children on the wards.

Children’s hospital fundraiser, Sarah Vaccari, said the run had been an overwhelming success.

She said: "For 15 years we have worked with the Oxford Mail to create a fun run supporting the Oxford Children’s Hospital.

"This has been a very special partnership and we think the Oxford Mail OX5 Run has got better every year.

"We hope that this year’s event on Sunday, March 26 will bring us to an incredible £1 million raised through this fun run alone – which is just fantastic."

The late 11th Duke of Marlborough opened up his glorious grounds for the first run and was a staunch supporter right up to his death in October 2014.

His son the current Duke picked up where his father left off and has pledged to keep offering the palace as a venue for the run for many more years.

Local businesses have put forwards teams each year - with recruitment firm Allen Associates sponsoring it for the past nine years - and families and friends of patients have signed up regularly to raise money.

Mrs Vaccari added: "We simply couldn’t do it without the amazing support of the Oxford Mail and Times – and of course all their readers.

"We are also indebted to the Duke and Duchess at Blenheim Palace and Allen Associates who have been our event sponsors for many years."

A mixture of famous faces and patients have officially started the run, with David Cameron, actor and singer Jason Donovan and former footballer Martin Keown all getting runners under way.

Oxford Mail: New ox5 run banner 2014
Enter online via the above button or by calling 01865 743444