Get on your marks for 22nd Chichester Priory 10k

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PLANNING is under way for the 22nd annual Chichester Priorky 10k.

It will start from Chichester Festival Theatre car park at 10.30am on Sunday, February 3.

Organisers are confident it will prove as popular as ever. It is the first major local running event of the year and gives all entrants an early assessment of their post-Christmas fitness, especially if they have a longer run planned later.

Many runners use it as part of their London or Brighton marathon training.

The course for 2013 will be the same as last year, when a few changes were introduced.

Last year there was heavy snow in the surrounding areas but it did not affect Chichester and the organisers are once again hoping for a fine weekend.

The start will be in College Lane and runners will head north until they meet the junction with Wellington Road, where they will turn right into Graylingwell Park.

Runners will arrive at the top of Kingsmead Avenue and after a gentle downhill slope will join the old course at 2km.

From there, it’s business as usual around the Goodwood airfield, into East Lavant and back down the Broyle Road to the finishing line in the CFT car park.

This well-established race is very popular with runners of a wide range of abilities and it is expected entrants from all over the UK will take part.

It is hoped many of the faithful supporters will return as well as new entrants so the race limit of 1,800 runners will be reached.

For the past few years the race has been overscribed, so make sure you get your entry in on time.

It is organised by the Rotary Club of Chichester Priory, who use it to raise money for many deserving causes.

For the fifth year in succession the race has the same major sponsors, Peter Cooper, the local Volkswagen dealership, and Brooks, the international sportswear company. Both will have teams in the event.

Many athletes who have competed in previous years are likely to be back but for some it will be their first run in Chichester and for others it will be their first run over this distance - but everyone is welcome.

Local running clubs are expected to enter strong teams. The race also features in the Sussex Grand Prix and the Sussex AA 10k road race challenge series so organisers expect some of the best runners in Sussex to attend.

Spectators can see the runners head off along College Road. Large crowds are expected to be at the finish and prime positions to view the race are in the Broyle Road from the Avenue to the Festival Theatre.

The leading runners will be back in about 30 minutes but for the next 45 minutes expect to see large groups of runners crossing the finishing line. Coverage before and after the race will once again be provided by the Chichester Observer and at www.chichester.co.uk.

If you have been inspired by recent sporting events, especially the 2012 Olympics, or want to be fit for a new challenge in 2013, now is the time to join in the action.

Forms will be available from Westgate Leisure in Chichester, the city’s tourist information centre, the Observer office in Eastgate Square and online from www.chichester10race.org.uk

GRAHAM JESSOP