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Everything You Need to Know about the Oxford Half Marathon 2023

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Oxford half

When is the Oxford Half Marathon 2023?

This year’s Oxford Half Marathon will take place on Sunday 15 October.

Is it too late to enter?

Unfortunately, it is. General entry places have sold out, with 13,000 people signed up for the event. There is still plenty of fun to be had supporting the runners though if you haven’t managed to get one of the coveted spots on the start line.

What time does the race start?

The race will get underway at 9.30am, with runners encouraged to begin arriving from 7.30am, when the event village officially opens.

Where is the start line?

The Oxford Half Marathon starts on Broad Street and finishes on Parks Road. There is a festival village on Oxford University Parks.

How do I get to the start line?

With this year set to be the biggest ever Oxford Half Marathon we advise arriving early to beat queues at transport hubs and runner services in the village.

As always, if you can’t get there by foot, the advice from organisers is to travel by public transport. Any runners relying on travelling by car, however, should use either the Redbridge or Thornhill park and ride sites because the city centre will have various road closures in place on the day (more on these later).

Parking and bus tickets are available in advance (up to four days before the date of travel) via the RingGo app. Tickets provide return travel to central Oxford and 12 hours of parking. Anyone who has purchased in advance will just need to show the driver their RingGo app confirmation. Up to two adult tickets per car can be purchased in this way; if you have more than two adults travelling, additional return travel can be bought in person on the day.

There are no train services from London that arrive in Oxford in time for you to make the start line on time.

Will there be a bag drop at the event?

Yes – there will be space for runners to store their bag during their run. Each runner will receive a race pack in the post (if they purchased race pack delivery) which will contain a bag label and bag collection tag.

Anyone wanting to use the bag drop will then just need to visit the bay which corresponds with their number. Bags should be normal backpack size (45cm x 45cm x 25cm) or smaller; any larger bags will not be accepted. Random bag checks will take place throughout the day.

How do I get my race pack?

If you purchased race pack postage when you signed up, you should receive this in the post between Monday 9th October and 12th October.

Anyone who didn’t pay for race pack delivery will need to collect their race pack in-person the day before (Saturday 14 October). They’ll be available for collection in the event village, Oxford University Parks, between 10am and 5pm.

If you have not received your pack via post by Thursday 12th October, please email: hello@oxfordhalf.com.

Will there be anywhere for runners to change on the morning of the race?

The organisers advise coming dressed ready to race so you can head straight to your start pen.

What is the Oxford Half Marathon route like?

Picturesque. And flat. The route takes in much of central Oxford’s stunning architecture and has next to no elevation gain. Basically, it’s a fantastic setting and a great chance for a PB.

Are there toilets on the course?

There will be toilet stops at various stages throughout the course, including:

  • Just after mile four.
  • Midway between miles six and seven.
  • Just before mile eight.
  • Shortly before mile ten.
  • Just before mile 12.

Will there be first aid stations as well?

Yes, there will be first aid stations at the same distances as the above toilets.

And water stops?

With the balmy weather continuing into October, it could be an unusually warm day – so taking on fluids will be key. Runners can, of course, carry their own supply of water, but there will also be water stops at the following distances:

  • Just after mile four.
  • Just before mile eight.
  • Shortly before mile ten.
  • Just after mile 12.
  • There will also be energy drink on offer to runners at mile at Aid Station 2 (Mile 6.4)

Can runners wear headphones?

Organisers suggest running without them so participants can listen out for any instructions from the route marshals and not miss out on the amazing atmosphere.

Will there be on-course entertainment?

Plenty. There will be numerous bands, choirs, DJs, and performers dotted along the route, offering runners some much-needed encouragement, and adding to the fantastic atmosphere on race day.

Is there a cut-off time?

Yes, but don’t worry if you don’t think you’ll make it. The cut-off time is three-and-a-half hours. After that runners won’t be stopped, but stewards will ask them to move to the pavement so streets can reopen. Your medal will still be waiting for you at the finish line.

And road closures?

There will be a lot of road closures in place during the event – with the majority closing from 8am on Sunday (Holywell Street, however, will shut at 6am). Others will shut from Saturday.

They will then begin reopening gradually from 11am (Magdalen Street East and St Giles) until the final roads (Broad Street, Museum Road, and Parks Road) reopen at 6pm.

Full details of road closures – including details of closures the day before the race – can be found online at: limelightsports.club/event/oxford-half-2023.

Where are the best places for spectators?

Being a city centre half marathon, there is no bad place from which to cheer the runners as they go by. There are plenty of places where the route will provide an amazing backdrop for photos of friends and family out on the course, and other spots where you will be able to see people go by twice as they loop back down the same road. Check out the map for a better idea of where to stand – it may depend on where you think the person you’re supporting could most do with seeing a friendly face in the crowd.

Missed out on a place this year?

Don’t worry. Entries for the 2024 race will go on sale soon, so keep an eye on the organiser’s website at: oxfordhalf.com

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