Running icon Sir Roger Bannister confirmed as the official starter for the Oxford Half Marathon
After the full approval a new, improved route for this year’s Oxford Half Marathon the organisers celebrated with a gathering at Iffley Road Track yesterday (10th May 2012), unveiling the new route and officially launching the race with over 1,200 runners registered already.
Amongst the guests was a true running icon who not only lives in Oxford but has got a very special link with the Iffley Road Track - Sir Roger Bannister himself, who ran a mile in under four minutes for the first time ever on that very same track on 6 May 1954. Runners of the Oxford Half Marathon will be passing the track, which is now known as Roger Bannister running track, on the route as well as the blue plaque which records the event on their way towards the city centre.
Sir Roger Bannister has also been announced as the official starter of the race on 14th October 2012 and will be sending the runners on their way around the 13.1 mile course.
Andy Heyes, Race Director commented: “We are honoured that Sir Roger Bannister has not only pledged support for the Oxford Half Marathon but that he has also agreed to be the official starter for the race. Having a running icon like Sir Roger start the race is inspirational for everyone involved and I’m confident that it will lead to more people deciding to register and to take on a personal challenge.”
Wayne Morse, Communications Manager at MINI Plant Oxford commented: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Oxford Half Marathon for the second year. This event is one that has real community involvement, which is something we’re proud to be part of.
“We have many keen runners at Plant Oxford and will no doubt see quite a few of them taking part in the race again this year”.
Lord Mayor of Oxford Councillor Elise Benjamin was also present alongside other key local figures including Jon Roycroft, Director of Sport at Oxford University and Mark Lygo, Executive Member for Sport from Oxford City Council. The media partners and sponsors had made their way to the Iffley Road Track for the occasion of the official launch and to start the countdown to race day too.
The new UKA licensed route can accommodate up to 6,000 runners and the course is largely traffic free with road closures in place. Registration is open, go to www.oxfordhalfmarathon.com to secure your place now. Entry is £29 for affiliated runners and £31 for non-affiliated runners and all finishers receive a medal, a goodie bag and a Brooks technical t-shirt.
MINI Plant Oxford is the Headline Sponsor for the Oxford Half Marathon for the 2nd year. Other partners include Brooks Sports (Sports Brand Partner), Up and Running (Sports Retail Partner), Garmin (Training Partner), Highland Spring and Tesco (Water and Delivery Partner) with BBC Radio Oxford being the Broadcasting Partner and The Oxford Mail the media partner for the Oxford Half Marathon 2012.
Oxford based charity Helen & Douglas House, a hospice providing care for children and young adults, is the Official Charity Partner for 2012.
Go to www.oxfordhalfmarathon.com for further details about the race and to enter now.