ENTHUSIASTIC runners are being invited to come up with a slogan that will encourage more people to keep fit. Oxford City Council is offering free entry for the Oxford Half Marathon to the top three entries in a competition to write a new slogan for their jogging groups.

The winner, who will be picked from the top three, will have their idea used to promote jogging in the city ahead of the event next month.

The Oxford Half Marathon, now in its second year, takes place on Sunday, October 14.

Council development officer Courtney Warden, who works on the Active Women project, said: “The winners will write inspiring lines that will get people up and running.

“It is one of the best ways we can improve our wellbeing.

“It is free, and you can always go out for a jog and enjoy the great outdoors.”

The council, along with Run England, Get Oxfordshire Active (GO Active) and Active Women, has set itself a target to get 300 more people in Oxford running.

The new slogan will be used on material to promote activities.

Judges are looking for something “fun, friendly and inspirational”. The competition closes at 4pm on Tuesday, September 4. The winners will be contacted by Friday, September 7, and will be announced on the city council’s website.

Last year, more than 2,000 people ran the half marathon and raised more than £20,000 for East Oxford hospice and respite care centre Helen & Douglas House .

Dael Clarke, 25, from Garsington, ran last year’s route in one hour and 41 minutes.

He said: “Last year it helped me get more into running. It’s good when you have something to train for, you train a lot harder.

“I have done the Reading half marathon three times, so it is good to have one in Oxford.”

This year, the route will take in Christ Church Meadow, the Iffley Road running track, the Oxford Academy and the Mini plant.

Jason Tasker, 33, also ran last year and raised £2,000 for three-year-old Charlotte Nott , the Oxford girl who had to have part of all four limbs amputated after she contracted meningitis.

Mr Tasker, who is a friend of the Nott family, said: “I had never done it before, but I thought “what better cause to run a half marathon?”

“I had a great time. I’m not exactly the world’s greatest runner, I finished in two hours 48 minutes, but it was really satisfying to finish it.

“I would recommend it to anyone.”

lTo take part in the competition visit oxford.gov.uk/ oxfordhalfmarathoncompetition.

Entrants must be 17 or over on the day of the marathon and fit enough to take part.