Organisers of new Chichester race won’t do things by halves

TWENTY-FIVE years after the first Chichester Observer Centenary Half Marathon, a new half marathon with a completely different course and under new management comes to Chichester in October.

The 2012 event is multi-terrain, not a road race, and is being managed by Chichester District Council in conjunction with local charity Children on the Edge.

The event is one of many council-backed initiatives aimed at building on the momentum of the Olympics and encourage more participation in health, sporting and recreational activities.

Children on the Edge is a Chichester-based charity that helps some of the most vulnerable children in the world. The event has some notable local sponsors - Montezuma’s and Store Property.

The race, on Sunday, October 14, will start at 9am. It is based at Chichester College and will take in the city centre and the Lavant and Goodwood countryside.

It is a good mixture of road, paths, cycle tracks and cross country. The route starts in Westgate and heads east along West and East Street to Eastgate Square, where it follows the city walls round to North Street, before the runners make their way across Oaklands Park towards the Rugby Club then out through Summersdale and Fordwater into East Lavant.

Stunning downland scenery provides the backdrop for the runners to tackle Chalkpit Lane before climbing up to the Trundle from Five Ways.

The next two miles is a steady downhill descent into West Dean from where it picks up the Lavant Valley, returning to Chichester along Centurion Way, finishing in the rear college car park - a distance of just over 13 miles.

There is a race limit of 500 runners but already over half the places have been taken up. Many of the runners are from well-known local running clubs from Brighton through to Southampton but just as many are unattached.

The race is open to runners of all abilities and further information is available at www.chichester.gov.uk including information on training and preparation.

GRAHAM JESSOP