More than 2000 runners took part in the 40th Muscular Dystrophy UK Oxford Town and Gown 2021 10k race, which took place on Sunday 27 June.
The event was started in 1982 by local runners as a fun run to raise funds for muscular dystrophy, and to this day, all profits from the race go to Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK).
Krishan Solanki, Head of Events at Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK), was glad to welcome runners back to University Parks, in the centre of Oxford, after a tough year for fundraising.
Social distancing was maintained with runners arriving at different intervals and being started in small groups to aid social distancing as they ran through Oxford’s streets.
The winners for the chipped event were Joe Morrow of Milton Keynes Distance Project, who completed the race in 32.03 minutes, and Abigail Woolaston of Andover Athletics Club, who finished in 37.25 minutes.
He added: “MDUK wanted to thank all the suppliers and volunteers who got the event together - this included Event Staff, HS Sports, Oxford Mail, BBC Radio Oxford, Event Medical and Fire Solutions and the fantastic volunteers who came from the university’s running clubs local community and sports groups.”
Krishan continued, saying: “We loved bringing runners the excellent experience they have come to expect from our Oxford Town and Gown 10k. It was great to have the #TeamOrange spirit back.”
Runners Sam Keegan and Rebekah Pawley, parents to Robyn, pushed him around the course in his pushchair to fundraise for Joe Littler, Robyn’s friend who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
About the race, Sam said: “The race looks different this year, but it was great to be out doing it and just to be part of a big event.”
Councillor Mark Lygo, Lord Mayor of Oxford, said: “It is great to have had one of the first mass-participation events to take place in Oxford this weekend.
“As we emerge further from lockdown, this is a clear sign that Oxford is opening up for visitors and residents, and I want to encourage people to come into the city and participate in the cultural life that is now returning.
“Fundraising has been difficult for charities since lockdown started, but I’m sure this event will have raised much-needed funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK.
“My thanks and congratulations go to them for organising this 40th-year event, and of course to all of the thousands of runners who made this year’s Town and Gown such a success.”
MDUK also thanked their sponsors Buzz Gym Oxford, Newton, North Oxford Garage and Diligencia.
The junior 3k race, which usually takes place the same day as the 10k run, was postponed for COVID safety reasons. The MDUK events team are working hard to secure an alternative date and venue for this popular part of the Oxford Town and Gown race, and hope to share details with their registered junior runners by the end of March.