The Chichester 10km is a traffic free road race for 6km and the last 4km finishes as a lap on the Goodwood circuit. It cost £20 to enter unaffiliated with a medal once finished.

We received our race packs a few days before the event with plenty of information in the envelope, this one had a time chip that attached to your shoe which the instructions were a little bit confusing – I tied it wrong but once I got to the event I saw the correct way to tie it.

A fellow Redway Runner had recently moved to Chichester and I knew he was running the race, I spent most of the morning looking out for him but couldn’t see him. Luckily just before the start we bumped into each other, it was lovely to finally see another RR down south.

The race

2000 runners signed up for the race, the race aimed to start at 10 however it got pushed back 30 mins. The use of 6/7 roads were all closed for the race, however one of the roads being used was the entrance to the circuit and so there was a 30 min line of traffic in the entrance which was why the race was pushed back. This was okay, they were doing as much as they could but unfortunately there was no shelter that morning and it was so cold! There were a lot of runners huddling in the corners of whatever space they could find.

There was a cut off time of 1 and a half hours, if you hadn’t finished by 11:30 they would pick you up however due to the late start I hope that people weren’t cut off.

They had markers for times at the start of the race, however due to the fact everyone had been waiting the start was packed full of people. I was trying to get towards the back but everyone had headed into the start and stopped with no way of getting past people.

The race itself was very smooth and fast running once we had finally got started. The roads that had been shut off were very well marshalled, something that was noted several times by runners throughout the course. Probably a marshal every few hundred meters all very lovely and ready to cheer you on.

It was very smoothly run, but the parking/car situation was a bit difficult. There were others driving their cars out whilst people were still running – something the event accepted and recognised they needed to work on next year.

At the 5k mark, even though I didn’t want to hear my time, there was a man reading off the times for every competitor who ran past. This is something that for most people was really handy, admittedly even though I didn’t want to know it did push me to finish the last few km’s faster.

Running into the circuit it was nice to finally have some spectators to cheer you on, although you were passing the finish which was a downside. You literally could see people crossing the finish line whilst you still had another 4km to go.

The finish was great, a long flat route straight into the finish which was surrounded by other competitors, marshals and spectators. It was nice to come into a finish that was still full of people.

The course

The course was referred to as very flat and started on the exit of the circuit. Coming out of the circuit is actually greeted by a slight rise in gradient, the first half of the race definitely had parts up hills even if they were gradual increases.

The rest of the route was flat and on the roads which had been closed off for the race.

the rest of the route was around Goodwood circuit which was flat and 4km’s, it seemed to go on forever. You came out and you could see the sea of runners slowly making their way to the top of the circuit but at one corner they disappeared, you couldn’t see where they went back on themselves to finish.

The hardest part of the circuit was the fact is was against the wind, my splits are a lot slower on this part as the wind was pushing you back so much! It was the hardest but the nicest because you knew it would be lapping back soon and you could keep totaling up the lap numbers knowing you only had a few left.

There was a water station at the 6km mark, there was at least 4 different people holding out water so you knew you wouldn’t miss out on it.

I actually surprised myself with the race, I felt like I was running a lot faster then I had on previous races. The last 1km was my fastest mile I have done in a long time, even with the 10km race I also managed to get a PB for my 5km as well. I’m not sure what happened but I just felt like I could run faster and aim for a PB. The last 1km I felt like I was sprinting and I managed to knock 2 minutes off of my 10km time and get 1:07.

Although there was was the late start I would do this race again, it was smoothly ran, a good fast flat course and it was a place to set PB’s. If I’m ever back down south I would sign up and try and aim for another PB, I would recommend.