The iconic Chichester Half Marathon includes a mixture of road, cross country and cycle path terrain. Not for the feint-hearted, it takes in the historic sites of Chichester, before heading up the Trundle, and finishing back down Centurion Way.
DATE: Sunday 8th October 2017
DISTANCE: Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
PRICE: £29 (£27 for UK Athletics Affiliated runners)
RACE VILLAGE OPEN: 8.00AM
START TIME: 9.00AM
START LINE: Chichester College
CAR PARKING: Available at the College from 7.30AM
AGE LIMIT: Suitable for ages 17+ on the 1st October 2017. Under 18's must have the consent of a parent or guardian
MILE 1 - 5 (Chichester to Lavant): the course leaves in an easterly direction towards the Westgate Roundabout and onto West Street, In just under half a mile the Cathedral can be seen on your right and the City Cross on your left. Into East Street and then to the East Walls of the City where the course turns north and the first mile mark.
The course then winds round the eastern side of Priory Park over Oaklands Way and past the Tennis courts into Oaklands Park, with a gentle uphill half a mile to the Rugby Club to the first water station.
The course then passes through Summersdale with the flint walls of the former Royal Military Police Barracks on your left. Just after the 2 mile marker the course goes down Fordwater Lane out into the country.
For three quarters of a mile the course uses public footpaths crossing the River Lavant into East Lavant village, which is at approx mile 3. Most of this part of the course is fairly flat, climbing no more than 40 metres in total. The course emerges by the local stables from where it leaves the tarmac road to wind its way up Chalk Pit Lane.
The early part of the lane is mainly flint and flat but then the course starts to climb and becomes chalky, eroded in parts. The next mile is a fairly tough climb rising by about 100 metres. From 4.5 to 5 miles the climb is gentler, and offers stunning views of the South Downs.
MILE 5 - 13 (Lavant - The Trundle - Chichester)
At 5 miles you can take a drink and prepare yourself for the sharp ascent to the top of the Trundle, an Iron Age fortification site. The course rises by about 50 metres in just under half a mile and the loose flint terrain accentuates the severity. At the top take a look at the splendid views over Chichester Harbour, the Sussex Coast and the eastern side of the Isle of Wight. Below you will see Chichester Cathedral, which you passed some five miles earlier. On the Eastern side of the Trundle you'll have a fine view of the Horse Racing circuit before taking the sharp grassy ascent to the Trundle car park and mile 6 where water again will be available.
Runners then leave the Trundle for West Dean woods – a steady downhill section of more than a mile over country footpaths arriving shortly in West Dean village. There is a short incline on the road to the Midhurst Road before runners head south along the cycle path back towards Chichester.
At Binderton the course leaves the main road and takes the footpath to the Lavant Valley and just before 9 miles the runners take to sand packed track for about a mile arriving into the residential area of Mid Lavant . This part of the course is fairly level as is the next section through the houses where there is the next water station.
The course then joins Centurion way which is followed for nearly three miles back into the City of Chichester. Here runners will find a corridor of support posters put together by local children. There is another water station in this section and with the exception of a loop around the fields the course is fully tarmacked with a fall of some 50 metres over its entire length.
The views vary from open fields to more densely residential developments until you reach Bishop Luffa School at about 12.5 miles. It is then just a short distance to the finish in the rear of the College car park for a well – earned rest and some much needed refreshments.