Organisers are well ahead with planning for the fifth running of the Chichester Half Marathon since it was revived in 2012 - and would-be entrants are being urged not to miss out.
The race takes place on Sunday, October 9, and is a challenging multi-terrain race which this year has some additional events included.
It is a good mixture of road, paths, cycle tracks and cross country and will start at 9am from the Chichester College race village.
The route takes in major city-centre sights and landmarks as well as spectacular rural scenery in the surrounding Lavant and Goodwood countryside.
Organisers are the Chichester-based charity Children on the Edge in conjunction with the sports development team at Everyone Active, the firm which has taken over district council sport and leisure services.
They have again been 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 some 650 have entered.
It is suitable for people of all abilities over the age of 17.
There are two additional opportunities for 2016. There will be for the first time the possibility of starting and finishing with the half-marathon race but cutting out three miles to make a multi-terrain ten miler.
This will give the runners the benefits of running through the city and climbing two thirds of the Trundle, with all the splendid views of the Solent, but without the challenge of the final climb to the summit – and there will be a shorter route back to the Lavant Valley.
Also new is a three-person team relay. This will have the same start and finish as the half marathon and be run over the same course but will be completed by a team of three different runners.
This can be three male runners from an athletics club, three female runners from an athletics club or three runners of either sex representing a works team, a bona-fide club, or family or friends.
The course will be divided into three legs and each runner takes a different leg.
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 new competitions and prizes, 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.
“For the 2016 event we have launched a ‘Run for Refugees’ challenge in Chichester to fundraise for thousands of displaced children across the world”.
Local sponsors Montezuma’s and Store Property are again supporting the event. Both have directors who are keen athletes.
The works trophy has proved popular since it was first introduced in 2014 and again will berun in 2016. Early indications are many more businesses are considering entering this year.
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.
Back after its successful introduction in 2015 is the King and Queen of the Hill competition. Male and females will compete to see who is the quickest climber of the Trundle between two points – Seven Ways Car Park and the end of the flint track at the point where the course starts to go round the summit.
To be eligible runners must enter the half marathon, start the race in Westgate, complete the hill-climb section and also be a recorded as a finisher in the Chichester College car park.
Prospective runners are advised to get entries in early. The race limit cannot be exceeded.
You can sign up at www.chichesterhalfmarathon.co.uk - where training advice and guidance is also available, or see more at www.chichester.gov.uk
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