RUNNERS are getting ready to set off in the latest Bognor Prom 10k road race.
The 20th staging of Bognor’s biggest sporting spectacle will take place along the seafront this Sunday.
Entries closed last week and there are 1,846 adults in line to take part in the 10.30am start at West Park - marginally down on last year’s record line-up.
Organisers at Bognor Hotham Rotary Club are pleased the race has kept its widespread appeal in its anniversary year.
Timing and entries secretary Gavin Oclee-Brown said: “Everything is set for another successful race. Last year’s winner hasn’t entered so it would be good to see a local runner take first place this time.
“But the race has attracted one entrant from the Channel Islands with many others spread across Surrey, London and Sussex.
“I don’t think any of those who began the race in 1995 thought it would still be going strong in 20 years. Even back in the early years of this century, we only had about 600 runners.
“We now have three times that number. I think runners are attracted to it because it’s a really good course. It’s flat and the final 5km along the seafront can be really beautiful.
“There is always a good number of spectators as well, if the weather is reasonable. People who live near the course usually come along to cheer on the runners as well as their families.”
Weather permitting, the conditions could produce a new course record just a year after Tadele Geremew lowered the mark to 30min 31sec.
Women runners have the 33.39 set by Linda Spencer in 2012 to aim for.
But, regardless of any records, the main purpose for many runners is to help their chosen charity. This year’s charity race partner is the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.
“The Rotary club have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the year for our charity partners. They receive every penny of profit we make,” said Oclee-Brown.
“There is also the sponsorship from the runners which probably takes the total raised from the race past £1m.”
There will be a warm-up session at 10am in West Park before the runners set off along King’s Parade, the promenade, The Esplanade and Gloucester Road around Butlin’s to Upper Bognor Road into Felpham.
From there, it follows Admiralty Road, Blakes Road and Limmer Lane to rejoin the prom.
There will also be two junior fun runs along the prom before the main race. These will be an 800m event for eight to 11-year-olds and 1,500m for 12-14-year-olds.
The longer run starts at the prom bandstand at 9.15am and the shorter one at 9.30am opposite West Street. Both finish on the prom opposite The Waverley.
Oclee-Brown said: “We would ask parents and their child to turn up in good time to enter. It helps us avoid a last-minute rush. It’s important these races start on time because of the main race following.”
See coverage from the 10k - including video highlights - on this website on Monday and don’t miss the Observer on Thursday for a report, lots of pictures and a full list of finishers