HUNDREDS of kind-hearted supporters put their sports gear on and laced up their running shoes for a 'virtual' charity race.

The Oxford Mail's OX5 event may have been cancelled due to the government-enforced lockdown, however, this did not stop sporty fundraisers doing their bit on Sunday to raise more than £30,000 for Oxford Children's Hospital.

Many runners took part in the major five-mile challenge as part of big teams.

Almost 20 staff members from Leafield Primary School in Witney embraced the opportunity and raised £1,220 for the unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Some racers, however, had a personal connection with the charity and wanted to do their bit for the cause.

Lynne and Tom Hammond ran the OX5 in support of their two children – Eliza and Charlie who are both diagnosed with bilateral cataracts – a severe eye condition.

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Miss Hammond explained: "This year Tom and I are both running the OX5 Run along with other members of our family and our friends to raise as much money as we can to support other children and families treated by the Oxford Eye Hospital."

They have now raised more than £3,000 for the charity.

The Lomax family are also no strangers to the Oxford Children’s Hospital, after their son 16-year-old son Joseph, spent many months there as a young child after being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

Both Joseph and his father Paul, completed the five miles together on a treadmill in their home.

One 75-year-old man also used his daily exercise allowance to give back to his local children's hospital.

Alan Scagg from Oxford said: "It was a shame to not be taking part in a group, but I am so happy to have completed it.

"I feel so proud to have given something back to my local children’s hospital – it is so inspiring to know that every penny raised will make a huge difference."