LACE UP, sign up, grab a friend or two and get training because this year's OX5 Run date has now been revealed.

The five-mile fundraiser, which has been improving the lives of young patients at Oxford Children's Hospital for almost two decades, is set to return to the grounds of Blenheim Palace on March 29, 2020.

Last year's was one of the best ever for The Oxford Mail OX5 Run, with 1,100 runners raising £150,000 for the children’s hospital, many dressed in wacky costumes with everything from Wonder Woman to an elephant seen on the starting line.

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Gail Williams, fundraising and events manager for Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: “We are so excited to announce the return of this very special fun run in support of the Oxford Children’s Hospital. This amazing event at Blenheim Palace has raised well over £1 million over the last 18 years, so it is an incredibly important event for us.”

Oxford Mail:

She added: “We can’t thank The Oxford Mail and sponsors Allen Associates enough for their continued amazing support of this very special hospital and, of course, none of this would have happened without the incredible runners and walkers.”

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All money raised goes towards improving equipment and care at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, the children’s ward at the Horton General Hospital and the Paediatric Critical Care Unit. This has included special monitoring equipment for every bedside, as well as a machine which can diagnose meningitis and sepsis in both children and adults in just two hours.

Oxford Mail:

Gail Williams, Kate Allen and Samantha Harman

Most recently the OX5 helped towards the cost of building a new 62-bedroomed Ronald McDonald House at the John Radcliffe Hospital site in Headington so parents can stay close while their children receive treatment.

Kate Allen, managing director of recruitment firm Allen Associate, which last year celebrated a decade of sponsoring the race, said: "We love being involved with something which is such a part of the Oxfordshire community. Whenever we visit the hospital, and meet the young patients and hospital staff, it demonstrates that our efforts have been so worthwhile. When you know what a difference it makes, it just spurs you on to do more."

PICTURES: The very best costumes from the OX5 Run through the years

This year The Oxford Mail's editor Samantha Harman will also be joining the charity runners.

She said: “I recently went on a tour of the children’s hospital and saw the incredible work of the NHS staff and the equipment the OX5 Run has helped them to buy.

“No one wants to get ill, but we are so lucky in Oxfordshire to have such excellent care from our hospitals when we do."

She added: “I will be lacing up my running shoes and taking part on March 29 and I hope you’ll be joining me!”

Entry costs £20 for those who sign up as part of the early bird special. Visit