Town and Gown

Round & About

Running

Muscular Dystrophy UK is inviting the 6,000 plus runners who annually sign up to Oxford Town and Gown to safely run, jog or walk at home in this year’s virtual event for the famous race now in its 39th year. 

Inspired by people running marathons in their gardens and driveways, registrations are open for this year’s race – taking place from now until 6th May.

People like Adam Smith who had signed up to do an amazing four laps of this year’s Town and Gown 10k are leading the way by registering their own version of a ‘Lockdown Run.’

Race Director at Muscular Dystrophy UK Jessie Keighley said: “The beauty of a ‘virtual’ race is that we’re no longer tied to one location. So, if you know of friends and family up and down the country who would like to join in then get them to register here

“We need your help now even more than ever. Coronavirus has left us battling to fill a £2.8m gap in our funding from lost events just at the moment when the people we help are in real need of our support.”

Anyone who has already registered to run the Oxford Town and Gown will receive a link inviting them to register free for the virtual event and this will explain the process of taking part.

Once people have completed the event, they can log back into their race nation account and upload the date and time they took part as a ‘proof’. As soon as our offices re-open they’ll be sent a well-deserved medal.

How to take part

For more information and to register to take part online

Sunday races

Round & About

Running

Today is clearly a good day to run with events taking place in both Oxford and Guildford, the half marathon and 10k, respectively.

The fast and flat 13.1mile course through the streets of the university city of Oxford takes in the colleges, museums and parks that mark out the route.

Runners will cross over the River Cherwell, out into the village of Old Marston and then back past the spectacular colleges. Live music, bands and DJs will be helping to keep their spirits up and if you’re not taking part go along and line the route and cheer them on.

Across in Surrey, Guildford’s first closed-road town centre run, the Guildford 10k, takes place.

Starting from the cobbled high street, run 5km or 10km towards Clandon and back before receiving a huge finisher’s medal.

Some 2,000 runners are expected to take part in the Guildford 10k, which raises money for local charity Harrison’s Fund raising money for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The event starts with a warm-up led by Field of Fitness training studio. The Mayor and Town Crier will then officially start the historic town’s first closed-road running race.

Porsche Centre Guildford will lead runners along the gently undulating “out-and-back” routes – which will be lined with local bands, a live DJ and spectators.

An experienced team of race pacers will encourage runners across the finish line where they can then enjoy a post-race massage.

Whether you’re in Oxford or Guildford get out on the streets and support the runners and help some great causes.

Family Runners

Round & About

Running

Pictured, from left: Lizzie, Mark and Emel

Relatives join forces to help boost Harrison’s Fund at Surrey Half Marathon

Four members of the same family are all donning their trainers to run this year’s Surrey Half Marathon in aid of Harrison’s Fund. 

Husband and wife, Mark and Lizzie Holifeld and Emel Holifield, all from Oxford, are running on Sunday, 10th March, with Mark’s cousin Maxine Foster from Horsham whose son, Austin, was diagnosed with Duchenne in 2015. 

Harrison’s Fund was set up in 2012 and funds research into Duchenne – a rare genetic condition which causes the muscles in the body to waste away. 

Harrison’s Fund’s goal is to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne. The charity is currently funding 16 research projects in the US and the UK. 

Lizzie, 30, said: “We are all looking forward to the challenge and being there together to raise money for this fantastic cause. The team spirit is really what gets you through as well, of course, hearing all the cheerers and seeing our gorgeous Austin and his sister, Ava too. 

“We started our training at the end of December when we were on holiday in California, and although it’s a slightly different weather, we’ve are committed to keeping it up in the UK. 

“We know that Harrison’s Fund are working so hard to raise as much money as possible for researchers to put an end to this horrible disease and we want to help! It truly is a fantastic charity and we feel honored to be part of the team taking on the Surrey Half.” 

This isn’t the first time the husband and wife team have fundraised for the charity. They have raised £2,864 so far running the Oxford Town and Gown 10k, the Brighton Marathon and the Blenheim palace 7k in the past. 

Emel, 46, who is married to Maxine’s cousin, added: “Austin’s diagnosis was a shock to all of us. I have a daughter only one year older than him and I could not imagine how they feel. But Maxine and her husband, Steve, have shown incredible courage and strength to fight with it to give their son and the other children hope. 

“I am looking forward to running in a large group with my family and it’s always fun to see other fellow runners, I just hope I can go the distance and the weather stays mild and dry!” 

The Surrey Half Marathon takes in 13.1miles of Guildford and Woking countryside. 

Laura Morgan, events fundraiser at Harrison’s Fund said: “It’s great to have families run together as we are a real family-orientated charity and Max and her family have been such huge supporters of ours over the years it’s a testament to her commitment that they are back once more putting themselves through the paces for us.” 

  To support the family visit give.everydayhero.com and if you live in the Guildford or Woking area why not go out and cheer them and the other runners on!