Bognor Prom 10k: Organisers delighted by anniversary success ... now for next year!
Organisers of the Bognor Prom 10k spoke of their pride in staging an event the town could be proud of - with new features proving a big hit.
The Bognor-based Tone Zone Runners have gradually taken over as lead organisers from the Rotary Club of Bognor Hotham, who are still involved and very supportive.
And the hard work of the team behind the town's big race paid off this year with a new high in the number of competitors, plus a new lease of life for the juniors' fun run (see video of this above) and the launch of a wheelchair race.
As reported Chichester ace James Baker won the race for the fourth time, this year in a time of 33min 25sec, ahead of fellow Chi athlere Will Boutwood and Worthing Harriers' Jamie Corbett. Helen Buller won the women's race
Race director Jude Bazeley was delighted by the total of 1,864 runners - a new record for the event in its 25th anniversary year and up by around 150 on last year's field.
"We have a race licence for 2,000, we sold out but you always get a percentage who do not attend on the day," Bazeley told the Bognor Observer.
"It's grown really well over the years. We've increased our social media presence and that has really helped. We've done lots on Twitter and Facebook and given regular updates on where we are.
"And we've had amazing input from our sponsors and partners and through local businesses and the Rotary Club.
"Fine weather always seems to be with us and that certainly helps.
"This year we changed to fun run (1.5k for (juniors) so the start and finish is at the same spot as the main race. There's a great family presence for that. We were five short of 200 entrants for our fun run and hopefully we can make that a bit bigger in future years."
Tone Zone member Amanda Worne, who has needed a wheelchair since a well-publicised cycle accident several years ago and her amazing spirit in fighting back from horrific injuries, has been instrumental in getting a wheelchair race added to the Prom 10k.
Bazeley said: "The wheelchair race is a new thing too. Amanda Worne has been a Tone Zone Runner for a long time and has pushed that side of things of the event since she has been in a wheelchair herself.
"We've got people with other disabilities too - we have blind and partially-sighted runners as well.
"Inclusivity is really important to Tone Zone and to me. We would hope the wheelchair element would really grow from two entrants this year. We'll think about our publicity for that."
Bazeley paid tribute to the huge team of volunteers who made the race possible, ranging from on-course stewards to people handing out drinks and medals after the finish.
"It takes about 150 all in, you've got 100 marshalls on the course and others elsewhere. It takes a lot of time and effort by many people.
"We also had 123 Tone Zone members running, which I think is a record for us as a club."
Bazeley said planning for next year's 26th Bognor Prom 10k would start as early as this summer. "Once the wash-up is done we'll have a couple of months off then start again."