New champions have high praise for Chichester Priory 10k

The new Chichester Priory 10k champions praised the event and the people who organise it and support it after a record-breaking renewal of the race.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 11:00 am
Nick Goolab on his way to victory / Picture: Derek Martin

Many thought Sunday’s race – in which a new record time was set – was the best 10k Chichester had staged in the near 30 years it has been a venue for the distance.

In winning in 29min 01sec, Belgrave Harriers speedster Nick Goolab broke the Goodwood course record by 31 seconds but also beat the fastest time – by just one second – set on the old city-based course by Peter Riley in 2006.

The women’s race also attracted some new elite runners and one, Norwich’s Dani Nimmock, won in 33.58.

The top three women - with winner Dani Nimmock, centre / Picture: Derek Martin

Afterwards both praised a race that is going from strength to strength, and backed organisers’ hopes that an even stronger field could be assembled for the 2021 contest.

Goolab’s front-running impressed the crowds and after picking up his prize he told the Observer: “Early on I just sat in – I wanted to see how the race played out.

“I didn’t want to be at the front too early but Charlie Hulson made a little break so I went with him and we were running together for a bit.

“At 5k I didn’t really put a surge in but I kept the momentum going and then arrived at the motor circuit, which is lovely, smooth, flat Tarmac to run around.

“I was a bit lonely out there and I struggled to keep the pace going but I managed to hold on and almost managed to break 29 minutes.

“My best time (for any 10k) is 28.22 but it’s difficult to compare courses. All you can do is race other competitors and that’s what I wanted to do. I asn’t really chasing a time.”

It was Goolab’s first Chi 10k. He added: “I was drawn by the timing of it. I don’t really like running in the cold so didn’t want to do anything in January.

“I wanted a decent race with a decent field and they’ve assembled a really good field with strong competitors.

“It was damp. The wind was a factor but I’d been warned about that. I found it quite undulating, it’s not purely flat. But there’s nothing horrific in there - it’s not Parliament Hill in London!”

Reflections on a successful Priory 10kNext up for Goolab is a 5k in Monaco later this month but he confirmed he hoped to return to Chichester next year.

Nimmock, first woman home in 33.58, was just as praiseworthy of the ‘Chichester experience’.

“It was a good race,” she told us. “It was a bit windy and a bit undulating but it wasn’t too cold. It was a little bit wet underfoot but I managed to dodge the puddles.

“There was a great crowd out there and some good men’s runners to run with and a great contingent of women as well.

“It was nice doing one big lap rather than multiple laps. I prefer this type of course and it was really nice at the end to come on to the iconic motor circuit.

“It’s my first time down in Chichester. It was really nice and I’m glad I came.

“Two of my teammates from City of Norwich AC were in the race and we won the team prize. But my coaches have got family down here so there’s a local link.”

Nimmock said the Norwich vests may well be seen more regularly in Chichester from now on.

“For me it’s a great time of year to be doing a 10k because I’m training for an early spring marathon.

“I’ve got the Barcelona half marathon in a couple of weeks so this is a really good taster to get me into road racing.

“I didn’t get a PB but I wasn’t far off it. Given the undulations and the wind I think that was a good time for where I am in my training.

“Steph Twell has the course record here so it’s not a slow course but I’m pleased with what I did. Winning was the aim.”