The main race took place amidst decent weather conditions along a route through Oxford described by the organisers’ website as “flat and scenic,” and was open to students and townies of all abilities.
First across the finish line in the main 10k race was David Mulvee, who finished in 31 minutes and 30 seconds, over a minute ahead of the competition, but fell short of breaking last year’s record winning time, when Ethiopian Edao Weliy broke the thirty-minute barrier.
Nonetheless, only about two hundred participants passed the finish line in less than ten minutes behind Mulvee, and some of the runners were still crossing the line over an hour after the winner had finished the course.
The event was organised by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, who run a similar Town and Gown race in Cambridge and will introduce a third such event at an as yet unnamed location next year.
Runners were urged to come to the race wearing the charity’s orange colours, but many fun-runners preferred fancy dress, with superheroes, cows, and chickens among those lining up at the start.
The amount raised at this year’s Oxford Town and Gown is expected to easily surpass the £100,000 raised at last year’s event. The series of races overall have so far raised over a million pounds for the Campaign, which funds research towards treating and curing the disease, helps educate health professionals about it, provides advice and support to the 70,000 Britons who suffer from it, and raises public awareness about muscular dystrophy.
Among the hundreds of students who took part in the event was Christian Ruckteschler, first year PPEist and JCR President-elect at Merton, who told the Oxford Student: “The Town & Gown 10k was a great event and I was proud of Merton being represented by over 40 runners,” adding that he was motivated to participate “because raising money for muscular dystrophy is a good cause and running a 10k is a fun way to do so. Competing with more than 3000 runners around you really pushes you to go mental and give the extra bit.”
However, beating one of those competitors in particular meant the most to Ruckteschler, who finished among the first 150 runners, in a little over forty minutes: “I managed to pull ahead of my rowing coach on the last kilometre and get him back for all the gym work.” He added: “That definitely made the day for me.”