Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Historic 10k series returns to Oxford and Cambridge for 2024

MUSCULAR Dystrophy UK, the leading charity for people in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle wasting and weakening conditions, has officially launched the historic Bidwells Town and Gown 10k series for 2024.

Back for a 42nd year in Oxford and 13th year in Cambridge, the events have collectively raised more than £2 million for the charity since 1982, helping to fund groundbreaking research and life-changing support for people living with muscular dystrophy.

The first event of the series is the Bidwells Oxford 10k, which will take place on Sunday 12 May in Oxford. The sister event will take place on Sunday 6 October in Cambridge. Both offer runners a closed-road route taking in historic city sights, with chip timing and an event village.

Last year, Muscular Dystrophy UK announced a new title partnership with Bidwells, the largest property consultancy in the region. The company pledged its support for Muscular Dystrophy UK and, as well as being title partner of the 10k races in Oxford and Cambridge, will also enter its own runners in the events.

Jessie Keighley, Events Project Manager at Muscular Dystrophy UK said: 

“We’re really proud that the Oxford 10k is heading into its 42nd year and that so many people get involved in the event. It’s also a privilege to have the support of Bidwells as they’ve been active in the region for more than 180 years and have strong associations with both Oxford and Cambridge. We’d like to say a huge thank you to them for pledging to support both the races and people living with muscle wasting and weakening conditions. Most importantly though, we’d like to thank everyone who takes part or comes along to support – you all make a difference, and we can’t wait to see everyone there on the day.”

The Oxford Town and Gown 10k started in 1982 inspired by a local boy, Daniel Cleaver, who had muscular dystrophy. His father and local runners set up the event as a fun run to raise funds for muscular dystrophy and still to this day all profits go to Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Gez Wells, captain of the New College Team, has taken part in the Oxford 10k for nearly 20 years and is looking forward to the 2024 event. Gez said:

“I still enjoy trying to get around the course in under an hour. The New College Team will be running again this May, raising much-needed funds for a great charity. We can’t wait!”

Alistair Blackmore, Head of Sustainability at Bidwells, said: 

“Our partnership goes beyond a traditional sponsorship; it’s an opportunity for us to actively support the incredible work of Muscular Dystrophy UK and to contribute to a legacy that has a huge impact. These events are not just races; they’re a celebration of resilience and community spirit. We’re proud to be part of something that brings people together in this way.”

Commenting on Bidwells’ decision to help make both the Oxford and Cambridge 10k events carbon neutral by calculating and offsetting the carbon footprint, Alistair said: 

“We wish to reflect our broader commitment to sustainability and the importance we place on mitigating environmental impacts of everything we do. By taking this action, we’re not only supporting Muscular Dystrophy UK but also demonstrating that it’s possible to conduct large-scale events in an environmentally conscious manner. It’s a pragmatic approach to a complex issue, and we hope it sets a precedent for the future.”

Bidwells Oxford 10k isn’t the only link between Muscular Dystrophy UK and the city of Oxford. Five years ago, the charity partnered with the University of Oxford to form the MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre, which is now established as one of the leading centres for muscular dystrophy research in the UK. Muscular Dystrophy UK is also part of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and following the show the garden will relocate to the public garden space at the new Institute of Development & Regenerative Medicine at the University of Oxford. It will remain a permanent place of refuge for patients during treatment and new trials, as well as open to clinicians, scientists, researchers, and the public.

Find out more about Bidwells Town and Gown 10k and sign up at www.townandgown10k.com. General entry costs £32.50 per person or £21 for runners who commit to fundraising £75.

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