Run off Christmas excesses by entering Chichester 10k

Victory for Chris Powner in the 2013 10k, with Jon Pepper in second place  Photo by Louise Adams C130158-4
Victory for Chris Powner in the 2013 10k, with Jon Pepper in second place Photo by Louise Adams C130158-4

The 2014 Chichester Priory 10k is proving more popular than ever - and could be your incentive to get fit after the festive season.

The 23rd running of the race takes place on Sunday, February 9, starting at 10.30am in College Lane and finishing in the Northgate car park next to the Chichester Festival Theatre.

It’s the first major local running event in the new year and gives all entrants an early opportunity to assess their post-Christmas fitness, especially if they have a longer run in mind later in the year. And for anyone who needs a fitness jolt after the excesses of the festive season, the timing of the race could be perfect.

Many runners use it as part of their Marathon training for the London or Brighton marathons.

The course for 2014 will be virtually the same as last year but with a minor change at the finish because of the new site work at the CFT.

From College Lane, runners will head north until they meet the junction with Wellington Road, where they will turn right into Graylingwell Park. After running through the 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.

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

It is expected that the limit of 1,800 runners will be reached for the sixth year running.

At present, entries are already 30 per cent higher than at the same time last year. If you intend to run, make sure you get your entry in no later than early January.

The race is organised by the Rotary Club of Chichester Priory and through this annual event, the club have raised considerable sums of money for many deserving causes.

For the seventh 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 competing in the event.

Many athletes from previous years are likely to be back hoping to win, beat the course record or achieve their personal bests.

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. All local clubs are expected to enter strong teams.

After an absence of a few years, this year’s 10k is the Sussex county championship for this distance. The race also features in the Sussex Grand Prix and the Sussex AA 10km Harvey Curtiss Road Race Challenge series, so expect some of the best runners in Sussex to attend the event as well as others from the rest of the UK.

Spectators are welcome to 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.

Full coverage before and after the race will be provided by the Observer and the website - chichester.co.uk

Entry forms are available from the Observer office in Eastgate Square, Westgate Leisure, the tourist information centre and online at www.chichester10krace.org.uk

Graham Jessop