Bognor Prom 10k is already a record-breaker

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Record numbers will take part in the 17th Bognor Prom 10k on Sunday morning.

It promises to be as successful as ever after attracting 1,806 entries – up seven per cent on last year and the highest number in its history.

Organisers have had to disappoint people who tried to enter after the close of registration.

A total of 86 teams have entered – the largest being Bognor’s Tone Zone Runners with almost 100.

Another local team who will have plenty of support are Bognor Rugby Club’s under-16s, who are raising funds for a tour to Spain.

Chichester athlete James Baker is the only frontrunner likely to complete the course within 31 minutes and be in with a chance of claiming the £200 course-record prize as well as the £200 champion’s prize.

Vying for honours with him will be Robin Ward (Portsmouth Joggers) and Paul Bond (Worthing & District Harriers).

Among the ladies, Caroline Hoyte and Julie Briggs (Arena 80) and Emily Mark (Midhurst Milers) are likely to do well.

Course records are 31min 6sec for the men, set by Matthew Normington in 2005, and 35.19 for the women, by Jenny Anne Brown 1999.

There will be prizes for winners in age groups and all finishers will receive a medal.

In the first year of online entries the system has proved a great success – more than 75 per cent entries came through the website.

Most entrants are local people who are fundraising but there are runners who are on holiday in the town from London and Birmingham and there was one enquiry from a Kenyan runner.

Organisers at Bognor Hotham Rotary Club expect runners and spectators to enjoy a day that will see thousands of pounds raised.

The race starts at 10.30am from West Park. Contestants have been given a route to their car park, avoiding roads that will be closed.

The car park is expected to be particularly congested, and everyone is advised to arrive early.

Art of Dance & Fitness will provide a warm-up at 10am. The chairmen of Felpham and Aldwick Parish Councils and the Mayor of Bognor Town Council, Cllr Sandra Daniells, have been invited.

Around 80 marshals will manage roads and the promenade.

The race passes through Felpham village between 10.45 and 11.15. The prom is the best vantage point as runners will be seen in both directions between 10.30 until about 11.45. The course will be closed by midday when the prizes are given out in West Park.

The Bognor Observer is a major sponsor and will send a copy of next week’s paper – including reports, pictures and a full list of finishers – to all entrants.

May Gurney is providing road cones and traffic management. The Rotary Club has been joined this year by St Wilfrid’s Hospice as a charity partner. Express Printing has provided invaluable support again. The Rotary Club is grateful to all backers.

The Junior Fun Runs will also be well supported. Both take place along the prom and the £2 entry fee includes a medal for all finishers.

Many entries have been received, with more expected before the day.

Twelve to 14-year-olds start from the bandstand at 9.15am, running 1.5km to Marine Drive West opposite The Waverley pub.

Eight to 11-year-olds run 800m, with mums and dads if they wish, starting at 9.25am opposite the Royal Norfolk Hotel.