The incredible support of the local community this year has ensured that the Chichester Half Marathon 2013 is more than just a sporting triumph.
Chichester’s Half Marathon returned this October for another sensational year with many of the runner’s athletic triumphs detailed in today’s Chichester Observer.
The community came together to create what has been described by Chichester’s Sue Mawson as an “amazing race”. This was Sue’s first half marathon and she went on to describe how “everything went so smoothly from start to finish. Quite literally!”, whilst more seasoned runner Jim Simmons from Bognor Tone Zone Runners said it was ‘A great race, well organised, well marshalled (thanks for the cheers guys) with a top medal and goodie bag. My Montezuma’s Chocolate bar was gorged within moments!”
These are just a few of the encouraging comments that have been pouring in from local runners, and one of the main questions they’ve had is how much was raised for Children on the Edge? In addition to part of the entrance fee going to our projects, there have been generous donations by runners as they signed up and thousands of pounds raised through competitors getting sponsored for the race. The result is a grand total of £30,922.
Speaking about this grand total Ben Wilkes from Children on the Edge (who raised over £1,000 by running the entire route barefoot) said “We couldn’t be more delighted with the amount raised. We work with some of the most forgotten children, in some of the most desperate situations, but then we have the most generous runners and sponsors in this event. These people are not only courageous enough to tough out a challenging multi terrain route, they are big hearted enough to make a huge difference for children living on the edge of their societies, across the globe.”
As well as the runners, the main sponsors (Montezuma’s and Store Property) and Children on the Edge, the event was made possible by the a huge amount of man hours from Chichester District Council and an incredible group of local volunteers gathering together behind the scenes. Planning for the event started 11 months ago and work for 2014 will be starting shortly. The day began at 5.00 am with the installation of town centre signage (the use of head torches was an essential!), after 28 hours of sign installation being completed around the wider part of the course the day before. By 7.00 am cyclists were inspecting the route ensuring that it was safe to run.
Volunteers wise, the event touched on 100 local people. The marshalls were highly praised by runners for keeping them going with smiling encouragement whilst standing in the rain and drizzle. The last water bottle was picked up from the route by around 2.00 pm as post event clear up was a big priority.
Helen Pattinson of Montezuma’s Chocolates was the third lady to finish in the race and said of the day: "Last year had gone so well both in terms of enjoyment for the runners and for the money raised for Children on the Edge, it was hard to imagine how this year could be better. Despite the drizzle, the atmosphere at the start was one of sheer excitement from runners and organisers alike and as a sponsor, we were just so proud to see our name dotted around the Runners Village, associating us with such an amazing event. As a runner, the sprinkling of rain was very welcome and although the Trundle will never get any easier, the challenge of climbing it to reach the views from the top is well worth it. But after that, even I tucked into the bar of chocolate in my finishers' goody bag!".
And well deserved that chocolate was after Montezuma’s donated a delicious 100 kilogrammes of chocolate for the goody bags!
Chichester College are keen supporters of the Chi half and have hosted the race village both years running. Principle Shelagh Legrave says: ‘Chichester College is delighted to support the Chichester Half Marathon for two key reasons, firstly it is supporting a community event whilst encouraging a healthy lifestyle through sport, for which it has a significant provision. Secondly, the College tries hard to raise funds for Charity and is delighted to support Children on the Edge, a local charity with an international reach. I have run it for the past two years and it is very well organised and a fabulous route, albeit a horrible hill!’
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the runners, sponsors and volunteers mentioned above and also to any motorists or households who may have been inconvenienced by road closures. We would also like to thank the wider community who turned out to cheer on the runners. If you’ve ever run in a long distance race, you’ll know what a difference that makes!
For more information, results and photographs go to our Chi half website.