Register now for second running of new Chichester half marathon

James Baker passes the cathedral during the 2012 half marathon  Picture by John Fawkes

James Baker passes the cathedral during the 2012 half marathon Picture by John Fawkes

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Registration for this year’s Chichester Half Marathon has opened - and after the success of last year’s event, organisers are expecting a great response from both local runners and those farther afield.

The Chi Half is a challenging and beautiful multi-terrain half marathon, revived and revamped last October after a 25-year absence. The race will start at 9am on Sunday, October 13.

Organised by Chichester-based charity Children on the Edge in conjunction with Chichester District Council, the event involved 500 runners, raised vital funds for the work of the charity and is back by popular demand in October 2013.

Ben Wilkes, head of UK at Children on the Edge, said: “In an era where people are increasingly disconnected, it’s been a privilege to be part of bringing the community together at this fantastic event.

“The race is a first-rate opportunity for all kinds of runners and a great way for the people of Chichester to raise money for vulnerable children across the globe. We have high hopes for this year!”

The course starts in Westgate and travels easterly along West and East Street to Eastgate Square, where it follows the city walls round towards Priory Park, 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 the Centurion way, finishing in the rear college car park.

Last year, runners of all abilities said the views and multi-terrain variety in the route made the race truly exhilarating. Runner Mark Ponsford said: “This will become an iconic south-coast race, a must for any serious runner.”

The race is suitable for all ages over 17 years and all abilities.

Organisers are confident the Chi half is set to become a firm fixture on the Sussex athletics calendar and expect to double the numbers of runners this year.

There is a limit of 1,000 runners but this is expected to be reached before the October 2 closing date. Some minor adjustments are being made to the course to accommodate the increased number of runners.

With this increased interest it is expected that the course records for the men (James Baker, 1.15.32) and the women (Laura Allen, 1.36.22) will be broken.

Cllr Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for leisure, wellbeing and community services at CDC, said: “Last year’s half marathon was a great success with more than 500 competitors taking part.

“The event is suitable for all ages and abilities, from the beginner to the more experienced runner, and this year we hope even more people will take up the challenge.

“If you want to get involved, but don’t feel able to take part, we are also looking for volunteers. Their role is vital in making the event happen.”

You are advised to sign up early - discounts apply until June 30. Early-bird prices are £21 for EA-affiliated club members and £24 for unattached and other runners. You can sign up at www.chichesterhalfmarathon.co.uk

Training advice will be available on the half marathon website and further information is available at www.chichester.gov.uk