MONKEY bars, mud and mayhem are on the agenda for a council boss training for a 5km charity run.

Vale of White Horse District Council leader Matthew Barber will compete in the Monster Race in the spring.

The fun run will feature hundreds of runners pounding the grass in Charlbury’s Cornbury Park on April 16.

Mr Barber, who lives in West Hanney, near Wantage, will have to crawl under barbed wire, hurdle his way over obstacles and wade through a muddy pit to reach the finish line.

He said: “I’ve never done anything like it before. It seems like a lot of fun.”

The 34-year-old is running to raise money for SpecialEffect, the West Oxfordshire charity which adapts computer games for people with severe disabilities.

He said: “They help people live a vaguely normal life and some of the games are educational. It could be children born with disabilities, or soldiers with injuries. It’s a great cause.”

Mr Barber said he was a stranger to sports and had “barely started” training.

His wife and two children, aged fours and 18 months, will be cheering him on from the sidelines. He said: “My eldest will be very jealous. I’m sure she’ll be trying to join in.”

SpecialEffect is the charity partner for Cornbury’s Monster Race. For more information about the event, including entry fees, see

To sponsor Mr Barber, visit