MORE than 1,000 people have already signed up to take part in the inaugural Oxford Half Marathon.

The September 25 event, to start and end at the Kassam Stadium in Grenoble Road, will raise money for East Oxford hospice charity Helen and Douglas House.

Up to 3,000 people are expected to pound the streets on the course from 9.30am, and organisers hope this number will rise to up to 8,000 next year, and to 10,000 in 2013.

Race director Andy Heyes said: “We have had a great response.Everyone is now on board and really up for it. Entries are literally flooding in and we feel confident that before our entry date closes by September 10, we will be up to this year's race limit.”

Mr Heyes said road closure orders from Oxfordshire County Council have been approved and the course has now been officially measured.

Mr Heyes said: “We have all the necessary permissions. There were a few question marks with the council until about a month ago, but it is great news that they are now fully on board.”

The longest road closure would be two hours, he said.

Up to 180 marshals will line the route and scouting groups will help hand out water.

Running clubs will be contacted to find out if members want to get involved.

The route will take in parts of the city centre as well as the grounds of the Cowley Mini Plant, the race’s main sponsor.

Following a one-lap fast and flat route, runners will leave the complex and begin the 13.1 mile race by proceeding left along Grenoble Road into Watlington Road.

The route then passes through the Mini Plant via ‘Gate 1’ and exits via ‘Gate 5’ to pass through the Eastern Bypass underpass, emerging on the opposite side to travel along the wide and flat cycle path until Beaumont Road.

A left-hand turn takes the race through Quarry Hollow into Quarry Road, Old Road and Morrell Avenue before heading down Union Street to cross Cowley Road and into the last section of Iffley Road, on to The Plain and across the Magdalen Bridge into the High Street and down St Aldates via Bear Lane.

Crossing Folley Bridge and into Abingdon Road, the runners will then take the cycle path next to the Southern and Eastern Bypass, through the subway on to Oxford Road.

The final stages go through Sandford Road and back to the Kassam Stadium via Brick Kiln Lane.

Mr Heyes added: “We will have to alter the course to take the additional number of runners (at future events), but our idea this first year is to get the infrastructure in place. Then we will have a post mortem with the council and all the official bodies involved so that we know how to make it bigger and better in 2012.”

It is hoped that this year’s event will raise about £10,000 for the hospice, which is based in Magdalen Road.

Entry to the half marathon costs £20 to £22 and the closing date for entries is September 10.

For details, visit, or to help with the organisation of the event, please contact Dave Box via email at