A RECORD 8,357 people powered through the finishing line of this year's Oxford’s Half Marathon.

But for one runner it was just another one of 44 events crossed off his list.

'Weekend Warrior' Will Ash, from Bicester, is taking on the challenge over the course of this year, and the Oxford Half, which he completed in 1hr 43mins and 50 secs, marked event number 40.

He is tackling the feat in memory of inspirational fundraiser and close friend Alice Byron, from Launton, Bicester.

Mr Ash, 23, pledged his efforts to take on multiple marathons, mountain climbs and mud runs after Miss Byron, who was his twin brother Matthew's girlfriend, battled a rare type of blood cancer before passing away in July 2016 aged 21.

Mr Ash has been raising money for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, following in Miss Byron's footsteps, and was joined by his brothers Matthew and Martin for Sunday's Oxford Half.

He said: "Oxford was a really nice course and much better than last year with all the music and the crowds were better than I expected, with a huge turn out.

"It is a welcome break to be just down the road and have lots of people come out to see both my brothers and I run.

"At number 40 it is another stepping stone, but it is a strange feeling to think back to when we marked event number 10 all that time ago.

"The year has flown by."

Mr Ash's personal challenge has taken him to various corners of the world including Gran Canaria for his first marathon this year, the Big Five Safari Marathon in South Africa and the Helsinki City Marathon in Finland.

Other challenges have included the Four Peaks Challenge, Swim Serpentine in London and the New Forest Running Festival, including a 50KM ultramarathon.

Through his incredible efforts Mr Ash has brought in £4,030.25 for Anthony Nolan as well as raising awareness of how people can sign up to the bone marrow transplant list as donors.

The HP field service engineer is hoping to boost that total up to £10,000 by the time he finishes his next four events: Budapest Marathon, Venice Marathon, Frankfurt Marathon and the big finale at the Las Vegas Night Marathon.

He said: "It has all been quite heart-warming.

"One big thing is the amount of people who have been there for me along the way. It is not about me doing these events myself but the people helping out also.

"My mother, for example, doing my laundry to help take the load off, to the people coming down and cheering as well as taking on the events with me.

"We have more than £4,000, my target now is to get to that £10,000 for Anthony Nolan."

Mr Ash will take on Budapest Marathon this weekend, Venice on October 22, Frankfurt on October 29 and Las Vegas on November 12.

To donate to Mr Ash's fundraising page or to keep up to date with his blog see