This weekend the sleepy streets of Oxford came alive for the 30th annual ‘Town and Gown’ 10 kilometre race.

Established in 1981 by Michael Cleaver to raise money for children who suffer from muscular dystrophy, the race is now a celebrated highlight of Oxford’s calendar.

This year over 3000 people once more dusted down their running shoes to raise what is expected to be a six figure sum for charities aiding the condition.

Dr Matthew Wood has been researching muscular dystrophy here at the University for 12 years, and with project costs of £117,480, he says that the money raised through the annual race, which meets these costs, is greatly appreciated.

Dr Wood said, “the ‘Town & Gown’ is extremely valuable. We have very large research grants but also small ones from the MDC which are extremely important for getting new projects off the ground”. Indeed the Town and Gown is a great example of how important community events can be for such critical research.

As well as funding such important ventures, the run also presents a light hearted way for students and townspeople alike to have fun and enjoy the city in a very novel way. Elite athletes may have led the way, but the ranks were bolstered by a variety of weird and wonderful looking competitors.

Aisling Leow, a first year at Lincoln College ran the race for the first time. “I was originally dreading it, but now I’m really glad I did it”, she said. “There was some amazing costumes; Big Bird, Spartans, the Flintstones, and an ambulance”.

Third year PPEist Jess Nangle also ran the race, and said that “the mix of people gave the event a really vibrant atmosphere”.

The atmosphere was no doubt helped by runners dressed as “Scooby Doo, Big Bird and a Gladiator”, all of whom race winner and Oxford University student David Bruce spotted on his way around the course.

David was quick to advocate the event to other students, commenting, “You race past some iconic buildings and the crowds are great and offer lots of support to all the runners. It’s all for a good cause too, so all in all a wonderful event”.