Get in early for your Chichester Half Marathon spot

Last year's half marathon starting party / Picture by Derek Martin
Last year's half marathon starting party / Picture by Derek Martin

Organisers are well ahead with arrangements for the sixth Chichester Half Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, October 8.

The challenging and beautiful ‘multi-terrain’ half marathon has great appeal and organisers have added further improvements to the event.

The Chichester Half has been going from strength to strength each year since we revived it in 2012.

Ben Wilkes

It is organised by Chichester-based charity Children on the Edge in conjunction with Everyone Active. The race, revived in 2012, is a mixture of road, paths, cycle tracks and cross country. It will start at 9am from Chichester College, where the race village will be set up.

The route takes in the major city-centre sights and landmarks as well as spectacular rural scenery in the Lavant and Goodwood countryside.

Organisers are again overwhelmed by the response from those returning and new runners alike and are hoping to reach an increased entry limit of 1,500 runners. Already more than 500 have entered.

It is suitable for people of all abilities over the age of 17 from beginners to more experienced runners.

Two s additional features were introduced for 2016 and will again be seen in 2017.

There will be again a ten-miler which starts and ends with the half marathon but cuts out three miles in the middle. This will give the runners the benefit of running through the city and climbing two thirds of the Trundle, but without the challenge of the final climb to the summit and with a shorter route back to the Lavant Valley.

The three-person team relay which generated much excitement and enthusiasm in 2016 is back. It will have the same start and finish as the half marathon and be run over the same course but the route will be completed by a team of three.

This can be three male runners from an athletic club; three female runners from an athletic club or three runners of either sex representing a works team, bona fide club or family and friends.

The course will be divided into three legs. Leg one is from the start to the Royal Oak at East Lavant – about 3.6 miles; leg two is from the Royal Oak to The Dean at West Dean – around 3.8 miles and leg three is from The Dean to the finish – about 5.9 miles.

To be eligible all runners must be at least 15 on October 1, 2017 and if under 18 have the consent of a parent or guardian.

Ben Wilkes, head of Children on the Edge in the UK, said: “The Chichester Half has been going from strength to strength each year since we revived it in 2012.

“We’re really excited for this year because there are some improvements to the event, lots of local business support and a real buzz in the community about race day.

“Not only this, but the money raised makes a huge difference to the vulnerable children we work with. Everyone can get involved, whether it’s running, volunteering or cheering on from the streets, so please do join us on the big day.”

Organisers are indeed most fortunate that the notable local sponsors of the first multi-terrain event - Montezuma’s and Store Property are again sponsoring the event. Both these organisations have directors who are keen athletes.

The works trophy has proved very popular since it was first introduced in 2014 and will again run in 2017. The winning teams from previous years hope to return and early indications are that many more businesses are considering entering.  

Any organisation or business can enter as many people as they wish to compete for the trophy but it is the first three finishers on race day who will make up the scoring team. 

Helen Pattinson, co-founder of Montezumas, one of the main sponsors, said: “There’s nothing like the prospect of your work colleagues watching you run a race to motivate you to get out training. We have ten people in the business who are a lot fitter than they were!”

Prizes will also be awarded for the usual team awards.

Prospective runners are advised to get their entries in early to ensure a place. On the grounds of health and safety and in fairness to runners who enter on time, organisers say the race limit cannot be exceeded. You can sign up at www.chichesterhalfmarathon.co.uk

GRAHAM JESSOP

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