Hundreds of runners came together this weekend for the annual OX5 RUN in support of the Oxford Children’s Hospital.

The five mile run, organised by Oxford Hospitals Charity, took place at a rather wet and windy Blenheim Palace, but rain didn’t dampen spirits for the 744 who took part on the day.

Runners were given a Zumba style warm up by George Martini, before being sent off on the Blenheim course by this year’s official starter, seven year old Kaiden Edwards, who is recovering from a brain tumour.

His mum, Kathryn, gathered a huge team of 65 friends and family to run with her, and they have together raised close to £5,000 in sponsorship. 

OX5 regular, Phil Rose, ran for the tenth consecutive year and was joined by his daughter Maizie who has spent a lot of time in the Children’s Hospital. Phil said “I’m here, quite simply, because Maizie is here. Without the hospital I wouldn’t have my daughter.”

Claire Maynard ran with a team of colleagues as well as her son, ten year old William. William has a rare condition which affects his heart, brain and hearing.  

Claire said: ‘I feel very emotional today – it means such a lot that my work colleagues have joined me today. I am incredibly proud of William, he often gives his pocket money to the hospital charity, and it was him who spotted the poster about the event and encouraged us all to take part.’

This year’s run was won by Sam Macaulay, in a super speedy time of 26 minutes and 45 seconds. The first woman across the line was Anna Kelly in 29 minutes and 32 seconds. Both Sam and Anna work at the Oxford Vaccine Group, which put in a large team on the day.

Many other hospital staff took part, including teams from across the Children’s Hospital as well as from Microbiology, Haematology and Paediatric Critical Care.

Team Gethin all ran in green, in memory of Gethin Keymer, a beautiful lad who passed away late last year. Gethin and his family have been regulars at the run for many years.

Jacob's Journey also ran in memory of their little boy - and have been doing so for ten years running.

Gail Williams, from Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: ‘The weather may have been gloomy but our runners lit us all up – they were just amazing and there was such a special energy today.

‘We know that for some every step round the Blenheim course had real meaning. So many families with us today have personal stories of the bravery of their children  - and this event is their way of honouring these amazing kids and thanking the hospital teams that care for them.

‘And there were some very special families running and walking in memory of beautiful children who have passed away. Your participation in this event means so much.

‘It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces who run every year, and also all those new to the event - we hope will join us again next year when the sun will definitely shine.

‘This event is such a team effort and we would like to share our thanks with our wonderful sponsors, Allen Associates as well as Jack fm, George Martini, Linear Fisheries, all our volunteers and of course Blenheim Palace.’

Kate Allen, Managing Director at Oxfordshire recruitment agency, Allen Associates, said: 'The atmosphere was amazing!  There were so many runners and teams and everyone was motivated and excited to get going. I was so pleased with my run which I managed to do without stopping,  even up those hills, and the Allen Associates team absolutely smashed it!  We were proud to have been part of this wonderful day and really enjoyed catching up with so many like-minded people who support this wonderful cause every year.'

It is hoped the event will raise over £80,000 to help fund specialist equipment and extra facilities for young patients at the Oxford Children’s Hospital and children’s services across Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Photos from the day are on our Facebook page and please see the link below to find official times too.


A huge thank you to all those who took part as well as everyone who helped the event happen. Keep an eye out on our OX5RUN page for the news on next year's run. Or if you are keen for your next running challenge how about joining our Oxford Half team? 

See you next Spring!