On your marks... all set for Banbury Run

The 2012 Banbury Run
The 2012 Banbury Run

Schoolchildren will join running enthusiasts on Sunday as they get ready to take part in this year’s Banbury Run.

Held at Spiceball Park from about 10.40am, schools from across Banburyshire will enter in either the one-mile or two-mile fun run in memory of former Banbury Guardian editor Paul Bithell.

This year’s event has been organised by Banbury Harriers Athletics Club, who have campaigned to get more young people involved in the race, which raises funds for Katharine House Hospice.

Mike Hughes, organiser, said: “We now have seven teams from Bishop Loveday School which is fantastic.

“Schools can also register on the day itself, so we hope to get more pupils involved.

“We have always tried to get as many young people as we can into running at an early age – and we hope this event will do just that.”

Mr Hughes said that even if schools do not enter entire teams, people can also join in individually and parents can always go along with a few schoolchildren.

Keen runners from the Banburyshire community can also opt for the 15-mile race, starting from Spiceball Park at 10.30am, which will take in rural scenes in and around the Bourtons, Cropredy, Claydon and Appletree before the participants make their way back to Banbury.

About 300 runners have already signed up but Mr Hughes is keen to get even more people on board.

“It would be nice to hit the 400 mark, which we have done in the past,” he said.

Regardless of how many people eventually sign up, Mr Hughes is convinced it will be a great day out for the community.

He said:“It’s for such a great cause and everyone in the town has been involved with Katharine House in one way or another.

“I like to think that the town has to run as a unit; we all have to work as a team.”

BBC South Today presenter Jerome Sale and BBC Radio Five Live presenter Mark Pougatch will be appearing on the day as guest starters, and there will be entertainment for people to enjoy during the build up to the races.

Banbury United player Wayne Blossom and Banbury Harriers runner Emily Thompson will be taking part in a speed-bounce challenge, where people can guess how many bounces they can do on an apparatus in 90 seconds.

The winner will receive a £25 voucher from Star UK Travel.

Radio Horton will be playing music throughout the day, there will be a bouncy castle for the little ones, race commentary for those in the park and sports massage.

For more information about the event and to download an entry form and route map, visit www.banburyharriers.org/banburyrun.asp

You can also enter on the day.