New route for Chichester Priory 10k - before it is forced on organisers

Runners tackle the 2016 course / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Runners tackle the 2016 course / Picture by Kate Shemilt

BOSSES of the Chichester Priory 10k say they are changing the route before they are forced to.

Organisers say it is becomingly increasingly-difficult to stage parts of the race on busy roads and they hope their move away from the city centre will help the event survive long-term.

I think it’s a good course. It’s not hilly and should still be fast. It’s less complicated, with no housing developments and fewer roads – significantly easier to manage

Bob Syme

There are worries the new course may be less appealing to elite runners looking for sub 30-minute runs early in the year.

But the race committee at the Rotary Club of Chichester Priory has promised to listen to all opinions – before and after the new course gets its first airing next February.

Bob Syme, chairman of the 10k race committee, said it now took 160 volunteers, plus professionals, to stage the 10k and ensure safety on the day. That also meant higher costs.

He said increasing traffic levels, and the ever-greater number of points on the route seeing new developments, meant the race would not always be possible on its current course.

The new one will begin just outside Goodwood motor circuit, taking runners south and then east past Westhampnett and up to Strettington, then west and back to the motor circuit – a whole lap of which will end the 10k run.

Syme said although police and local authorities had always been helpful, there were now more rules to follow for big events. Syme said: “We plan to adopt the new course next year and see how it goes.

“I think it’s a good course. It’s not hilly and should still be fast. It’s less complicated, with no housing developments and fewer roads – significantly easier to manage.”

Officials will talk to Chichester Runners about the route next month, and and say it could in time allow for a slight increase on the current maximum of 2,000 race entries.

STEVE BONE

* What do you think? Are you a Chi 10k regular with a view on the new route? Email steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk or tweet @stevebone1 with your thoughts.

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