Organisers on marks early for Chichester Half Marathon

Runners pictured soon after the start of the 2017 half marathon / Picture by Derek Martin
Runners pictured soon after the start of the 2017 half marathon / Picture by Derek Martin

Organisers are well ahead with the arrangements for the seventh Chichester Half Marathon on Sunday, October 7.

The challenging and beautiful ‘multi-terrain’ half marathon with a good mix of road, paths, cycle tracks and cross country is promoted by the Chichester based charity, Children on the Edge, in conjunction with Everyone Active.

The race, revived in 2012, has built up great appeal and organisers are again expecting a huge response from those returning and new runners alike.

Last year numbers exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time and this year they are hoping to reach the race entry limit of 1,500 runners.

The event is suitable for people of all abilities over the age of 17, from beginner to more experienced runners. A full training programme is provided on the event website.

It will start at 9am from outside Chichester College, where a race village will be set up. The course takes in the major city-centre sights and landmarks as well as spectacular Lavant and Goodwood countryside.

The 2018 event will again include two additional events which featured for the first time in 2016.

Runners can start and finish with the half marathon race but cut out three miles to make a multi-terrain ten miler. This removes the challenge of the final climb to the Trundle Hill summit and gives a shorter route back to the Lavant Valley.

Organisers are revising sections of the course to make the distance closer to ten miles but a multi terrain event is not accurately measured and for Chi it is a little more than ten miles.

The three-person team relay is also back. The enthusiasm and camaraderie this team event created in 2016 increased in 2017 and organisers hope more teams will take up the challenge in 2018.

The relay will have the same start and finish as the half marathon and be run over the same course but the route will be completed by a team of three different runners.

Trios can be three male runners from an athletic club, three female runners from an athletic club or three runners of either sex representing a works team, a bona fide club, or family and friends.

The course will be divided into three legs of between 3.6 miles and 3.8 miles.

All runners must be 15 on October 1 and if under 18 have the consent of a parent or guardian.

Ben Wilkes, executive director at Children on the Edge, said: “The Chichester Half has been going from strength to strength each year since we revived it in 2012. We’re really excited again for this year because there is so much interest in the event, lots of local business support and a real buzz in the community about race day.

“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”. 

Local sponsors of the first multi-terrain event – Montezuma’s and Store Property – are sponsoring the event for the seventh time.

Stuart Mills, contract manager at Everyone Active, who deliver the event, said “My team are delighted to once again be delivering the Chichester Half Marathon in partnership with Children on the Edge.

“Not only does this event present a unique challenge to all competitors, it allows us to raise money for a fantastic local charity which helps marginalised children across the world.”

The corporate team challenge has proved popular since it was first introduced in 2014 and will be promoted again in 2018.

Any organisation or business can enter as many people as they wish to compete for the Trophy. It is the first three finishers on race day who will make up the scoring team. 

Each workplace registering five or more runners receives a complimentary training workshop from the organisers and any business signing up more than ten runners will have the tenth place free. 

Once team members are registered the team manager needs to email chihalf@childrenontheedge.org with the team name and a list of competitors who have entered.

Helen Pattinson, co-founder of sponsors Montezumas, said of the Works Trophy: “There’s nothing like the prospect of your work colleagues watching you run a race to motivate you to get out training. We have about ten people in the business who are a lot fitter than they were!”

Entries are now open for the 2018 Chi Half. In view of the overwhelming support for the event in recent years, prospective runners are advised to get their entries in early to ensure a place.

Organisers stress the race limit cannot be exceeded. You can sign up at www.chichesterhalfmarathon.co.uk

Training advice and guidance on preparation for the event is also available on the website.

GRAHAM JESSOP