On Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Bransons' family home (as in Richard Branson!) in Kidlington, for an exclusive Virgin Media event for the Oxford Half Marathon!
After being introduced to the Virgin Sports' Team and mingling with the other attendees, I was invited to take part in a fitness class in the stunning grounds of the estate.
Later on in the evening, after lots of healthy drinks and snacks (it was a sports event after all!) I was privileged to get an exclusive interview with Freddie Andrewes (Holly Branson's husband), the brain behind Virgin Sport. Here's what we chatted about:
Hi Freddie, can you tell us a little bit about Virgin Sport and what you get involved with?
F: Virgin Sport is a relatively new side of the business but this year we've already hosted an event in London and have got more to come in Oxford and San Francisco. The idea stemmed from my vision to get everyone involved in sports and to make our events accessible and appealing to a much wider audience. We're putting the fun back into sport!
This year Virgin are sponsoring the Oxford half marathon. What can people expect from the event?
F: At Virgin we're all about disruption and innovation. So we're trying to welcome a whole new cohort of people to the Oxford half-marathon by turning it into a party. We're setting up fan parks with local DJs, music and entertainment, plus delicious food and drink from local vendors. Alongside the marathon route, there will also be a walking route, where people can literally be 'spectathletes' cheering on their friends and families, whilst also partaking.
It sounds great fun! How many people are running the event?
F: The event is capped at 10,000, so get registering quickly!
Who are your charity partners?
F: We've got some brilliant causes this year, including Sobell House, Helen and Douglas House, Cancer Research UK and Ssnap.
Many of my followers are uni students, what advice would you give them about the benefits of sports and exercise?
F: For me sport is everything, a focus, a motivation and a way to challenge yourself. It's also brilliant for your physical and mental health. So, any of you who are currently on the fence, give the half-marathon a go, you can walk, jog, run...whatever takes your fancy!
Sign up here: https://uk.virginsport.com/event/oxford-2017/tickets