MORE than 500 people have already signed up for this year’s OX5 Run as organisers urge fundraisers to break the £100,000 barrier.

The charity race, which is organised by the Oxford Mail and sponsored by recruitment firm Allen Associates, raises money for Oxford Children’s Hospital.

The run around the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock is the hospital’s biggest annual fundraiser and last year raised £98,000 for medical, research and play equipment.

Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Vaccari said: “It’s fantastic so many people have already signed up.

“Last year was an unprecedented success raising £98,000, so we would be thrilled if runners could help us hit the £100,000 mark.

“Money raised last year is already being used to make a difference to hundreds of young lives.

“With seven weeks to go, we are on track to hit our target of 1,000 runners.

“You can run, jog or even walk the five-mile route, enter solo or as part of a team of five or more.”

Ms Vaccari said last year’s run has already funded two state-of-the-art incubators and new play equipment.

Naomi Smith, 13, who lives near Luton, had treatment at the hospital for Marfan Syndrome, a genetic condition affecting the body’s connective tissues.

The condition led to her being abnormally tall for her age. She is 5ft 10ins.

Specialists say she could have grown to 6ft 5ins but thanks to the operation on her legs she is now likely grow to just 6ft 2ins.

Mum Rachel Smith said the treatment has made a big difference to her life.

Last year’s winner, Les Newell, 38, called for more people to sign up.

The run, which is at 10.30am on Sunday, March 30, costs £10 to enter and runners are asked to raise a minimum of £100.

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