Changes to Chichester Priory 10k - but not to its popularity

Runners set off for last year's Chichester 10k
Runners set off for last year's Chichester 10k

THE Chichester Priory 10k road race is celebrating its 21st anniversary.

The race takes place on Sunday, February 5, with an earlier start time of 10.30am.

Organisers are confident it will prove as popular as ever as it is the first major local running event in the new year and gives entrants an early assessment of their post-Christmas fitness.

Many runners use it as part of their marathon training for London and Brighton in the spring.

The course has a few changes which organisers hope will appeal to runners.

The start will be in College Lane and runners will take off in a northerly direction until they reach 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 Barnfield Drive and after a gentle downhill slope will join the old course at 2km. From then on it is business as usual.

The event is popular with a wide range of abilities of entrants, who come from all over the UK. It is hoped many faithful supporters will return while new entrants help reach te race limit of 1,800.

If you are running for the 21st time, let the organisers know.

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

The 2012 contest has the sponsors – Peter Cooper, the local Volkswagen dealership and Brooks, the International Sportswear Company. Both will have teams in the event.

All local running clubs are expected to enter strong teams. The race also features in the Sussex Grand Prix and the Sussex AA 10km road race challenge series, so some of the best runners in Sussex are likely to attend.

Spectators will be welcome to see the runners head off along College Lane. After running through Graylingwell they will make their way out past Goodwood Airfield and into East Lavant before moving on to the Midhurst road.

The leading runners will be back at the finish at the CFT in about 30 minutes but for the next 45 minutes you will see runners crossing the line.

Large crowds are expected to turn out and prime positions to view the race are in Broyle Road from The Avenue to the Festival Theatre.

Full coverage of the race, including a full list of finishers, will appear in the Observer.

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

Forms are available from Westgate Leisure in Chichester, the tourist information centre or online at www.chichester10race.org.uk

GRAHAM JESSOP