U’s boss gets boots on for OX5 run in aid of children's hospital

The Oxford Times: Oxford United manager Chris Wilder Oxford United manager Chris Wilder

Oxford United manager Chris Wilder is preparing to run the OX5 to raise funds for Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Mr Wilder will tackle the five-mile run around Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, with United staff and up to 100 Oxford United fans in their yellow home strips.

And Mr Wilder looks to be in good shape for the event.

Yesterday we featured a test in which he was hooked up to a heart monitor during United’s last two games.

It showed his ticker held up well during the clashes, quickly settling after moments of stress.

Mr Wilder, 43, pictured right, said: “I am very proud to be running this year for such a fantastic cause. Joining me will be some of the club’s backroom staff, while players from the first team will be there on the day to cheer us on.

“It will be great to mix with the fans who are running.”

To get in shape, U’s coach Dan Bond has a gruelling training regime that in- volves running up Shotover Hill.

The five-mile OX5 run around the grounds of the palace takes place on Sunday, March 25.

Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas is officially starting the race with celebrity chef Raymond Blanc.

Mr Thomas said: “We work very closely with the children’s hospital.

“Our support goes beyond players visiting young patients on the wards at Christmas time.

“We support the hospital all year round and I am very proud to be involved in this event.”

Last year, runners raised about £60,000 for equipment at the hospital that the NHS cannot provide, and this year fundraisers are aiming for £100,000.

Hospital spokesman Sarah Vaccari said: “Oxford United has long been a fantastic supporter of the children’s hospital.”

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More than 500 runners have signed up and organisers want to attract 1,000.

The race is organised by the Oxford Mail and sponsored by Oxford recruitment firm Allen Associates, Jack FM and traders at Marriotts Walk shopping centre, in Witney.

* For further information and to register, visit ox5run.co.uk

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