Runners, joggers, and some walkers, said it felt ‘brilliant’ and ‘emotional’ to return to the streets of the city for this year’s Race for Life, cheered on by supporters.

People sprinted, staggered or sauntered over the finish line of the 10k course and rang the bell while family and friends shouted encouragement.

Spectators spoke of “a sense of normality” as Cancer Research UK’s much-loved fundraising event returned to Oxford, but with socially distanced measures, after being cancelled for nearly two years due to the pandemic.

The 10k route started by taking the usual 5k route around University Parks and the city centre's historic landmarks and then split off for an extra 5k.

The extra 5k distance takes in scenery of the countryside, college sports grounds, riverside before runners headed back into University Parks for the finish by the cricket pavilion.

Lucy Hetherington, Race for Life organiser in Oxford, said: “This year, it is particularly special to see Race for Life return to the city.

“The atmosphere was moving - full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter as people celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived cancer and remembered loved ones lost to the disease."

She added: “Funds raised - whether its £10 or £100 will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, helping save more lives. Everyone can play their part to beat cancer."

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, which has been in partnership with Tesco for 20 years, is a series of 3K, 5K, 10K, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events.

They raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research into 200 types of the disease - including bowel cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, brain cancer, children’s cancers and leukaemia.  

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Cancer Research UK’s work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.

Today, two in four people survive their cancer for at least 10 years.

The charity's ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, three in four people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.

Sponsorship money can be paid online, by phone, by cheque or in person at a Cancer Research UK shop.