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Town and Gown off to a flier
A RECORD number of people have signed up to take part in the Oxford Town and Gown in the first week of registration opening.
Already more than 250 people have registered to run the 10km race, which is backed by the Oxford Mail, far exceeding the number who would usually have decided to run the event at this early stage.
The run, which raises money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, is in its 32nd year, and will take place on Sunday, May 12, starting and finishing in Parks Road.
The charity’s events manager, Emma Jones-Parry, said: “It’s really exciting to have record numbers this early. Entries tend to drip feed in, but this year people seem ready to go.
“I think people tend to sign up and get enthused about the race because of its history and the route. It’s a good race to try and get a personal best because it’s quite flat.”
Last year, more than 3,000 runners tackled the course, raising £100,000 for the cause.
Ethiopian runner Edao Weliy was the first to run the course in under 30 minutes.
This year organisers hope to raise a record-breaking £110,000.
For the first time it is planned to make the race more of a family fun day, with events planned in University Parks while runners pound the streets.
One family who will be taking part in a big way are Angela Dickson, her husband Paul Dickson, his sister Kelly Sambrook and Angela’s friend Kirsten Turner.
They are running because the Dicksons’ nine-year-old son, John has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is currently part of a clinical trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital into a possible treatment for the disease.
Mrs Dickson, 36, who lives in Bledington, near Chipping Norton, said: “We have all done the Town and Gown before at different points, apart from Kelly who will be doing it for the first time. But it’s the first time we’ve all run it together.
For the first time last year a Town and Gown run was held in Cambridge, and a second run will take place there in October. Organisers are talking of staging a run in Exeter in 2014.
Entry to the Oxford Town and Gown costs £20, or £18 for members of UK Athletics, and people should visit townandgown10k.com to enter. We offer an exclusive 10 per cent early bird discount for Oxford Mail readers who register to run before Thursday, January 31.
Enter the code OXTAG2013 to qualify for the discount.