Over 8,000 runners took to the streets of Oxford for last Sunday’s (8 October) Half Marathon with a record number of entries (8,357) for the race, hosted for the first time by Virgin Sport.
There was a festival atmosphere in the ancient university city as live bands and DJs entertained runners and spectators on a bright autumn morning.
Virgin Sport CEO Mary Wittenberg joined the thousands of entrants who set off at 9.30am from Broad Street, following a visually stunning route around the city centre. They passed several university landmarks including Trinity College, the Clarendon Building and Lady Margaret Hall, and the village of Old Marston before heading back to the centre to finish near the iconic Radcliffe Camera.
Joe Morwood was first across the line to win the 2017 Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon in 1:07:52. Alex Milne of Enfield and Haringey AC was second in 1:08:08 with Paul Whittaker coming third in 1:08:19.
Kimberly Horner won the women’s race in 1:18:34 followed by Molly Browne of BRAT in 1:19:43. Claire Grima of Hercules Wimbledon AC was third in 1:20:45.
Mary Wittenberg finished in a very respectable 1:49:04.
Gary Cooper of Coventry Godiva Harriers won the wheelchair race in 1:08:14.
As well as an increase in the number of entries, there was also three times as many pacers compared to last year, from running clubs across Oxfordshire. They catered for all abilities and helped many runners to achieve their target whether that was a PB or a first-time finish. A successful day all-round.