A RECORD number of people smashed through the finishing line of Oxford’s Half Marathon as an impressive 8,357 runners made their way around the city streets.

The klaxon sounded with the Lycra-clad racers geared up ready to go against the iconic Oxford backdrop of Broad Street.

AS IT HAPPENED - all the action minute-by-minute from our blog 

Crowds of people turned out yesterday to join about 100 volunteers who were given the task of supporting those taking on the 13.1-mile route through the city.

Among those running was Jamie Devlin, from London, who took on the course dressed as a dinosaur.

He said: “I haven’t done the Oxford Half before but I used to study at Oxford University so it was great to come back and pass my old college along the way.

“It was a hard course but with everyone cheering it makes it beautiful to get round.

“The dinosaur idea was a bit of fun in honour of my friend James and Holly who have just had a baby.”

Taking home the top spot for the men was Aldershot runner Joe Morwood, 26, who completed the course in 1.07.52 and the first place wheelchair competitor Gary Cooper was close behind in 1:09:24.

The first woman back past the post was local runner Kim Horner, from Cowley in a time of 1.18.34.

She said: “It was wonderful, a really beautiful course.

“I am fairly new to the area so it was cool to see all the sites of Oxford and chat to other people along the way, plus all the entertainment was great.

“It was a personal best so I can’t ask for better.”

Elsewhere on the course a number of groups were signed up to raise as much team funds as possible for various charities - including the largest group of the day running for Sobell House hospice.

There was also a large group of runners taking to the streets in memory of Witney's Liberty Baker, who was killed aged 14 by a dangerous driver in 2014.

Her parents Paul and Maureen completed the course with friends and family joining them, also releasing balloons before the race to mark Liberty's 18th birthday on October 22.

Among them was family friend Darien Merry who, when crossing the finish line, said: “I have known Liberty’s parents since we were about five, so to be asked to run in her memory means more than anything.”

This year’s event was staged by Virgin Sport and marked the biggest half marathon the city has ever seen.

The event began in 2011 but avoided the city centre - starting and finishing at the Kassam Stadium - before the new course came in 2015.

Virgin Sport CEO Mary Wittenburg said: “Between the sights and spectators, it has been a joy ride.

“I’m also proud of the organising team, the spectators and the council’s efforts.”