MORE than 100 teams and scores of solo sprinters are expected to help raise more than £100,000 at tomorrow’s OX5 Run.

Some 1,250 runners have signed up to pound the grounds of Blenheim Palace for the annual five-mile fundraiser.

This includes 107 teams, many of whom will be taking on the challenge in fancy dress, and runners aged from 14 to 81.

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The 2019 Oxford Mail OX5 Run, sponsored by Allen Associates, now looks close to matching last year’s record-breaking event in raising funds for Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Hospitals Charity chief executive Douglas Graham, who will take up the challenge for the second time, said: “We are thrilled to have over 1,250 signed up for this Sunday’s OX5 RUN – our annual fun run for the children’s hospital – all is set for an amazing year.

“It is rightly called a fun run because it’s such a fantastic and inspirational day.

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“The atmosphere and camaraderie is second to none – from the start when it’s a combination of nerves and excitement to the end when it’s all relieved smiles and hugs.”

The event, now in its 17th year, has raised more than £1 million in that time for Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity.

Oxford Mail:

Douglas Graham ready to run. Picture: Ric Mellis

Last year’s event was a record-breaking OX5 with 1,227 people signed up and more than £150,000 raised for the hospital.

That money has helped fund a number of projects including the installation of much-needed monitoring equipment and vital support for children’s medical care in Oxfordshire.

Mr Graham added: “I am very lucky to meet so many people on the day and hear their inspirational stories.

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“Families who have been through the toughest of times, and teams of hospital staff – all of them know how important the money raised will be, and what an impact it will have.

“And that’s what it’s all about – raising money to make Oxford Children’s Hospital better, now and for years into the future.

Oxford Mail:

“This is my second time round the course and I am so looking forward to setting off on Sunday morning and even more to finishing the five miles and then seeing the amazing impact this special event will have on local children in hospital.”

The top team of fundraisers at last year’s event were Team Anna, who collected more than £7,500 in sponsorship for the cause.

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It was made up of friends and family of youngster Anna Drysdale who was cared for at the Oxford children’s Hospital.

Anna was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a type of bone cancer – in February 2017 at six years old and spent most of the year in hospital undergoing a course of chemotherapy.

Oxford Mail:

Thanks to the care and dedication of the staff at the children’s hospital, she was given the all clear in January 2018, and went on to start the OX5 race in 2018 with fellow patient Noah Castro.

To donate to the cause click here

p Don’t miss Monday’s Oxford Mail for a picture special, while Tuesday’s edition will contain a list of all the finishers and their times