On Sunday 9th October we held the 5th annual Chichester Half Marathon, which raises vital funds for our work with vulnerable children abroad.
This year was our biggest and best event yet, with over 1051 registered runners and for the first time we introduced two brand new races - the 10 miler event and the Team Relay. It was a glorious sunny day, and as our runners gathered at Chichester College from 8am, you could feel the buzz in the air. We were joined by local TV presenter, Sally Taylor and local hero Amanda Worne who both opened the race and pressed the starting gun to set our runners on their way.
This year, we've been kindly sponsored by so many local businesses. We couldn't run the event without their support, so we'd like to say an enormous thank you to: Montezuma's, Store Property, Krowmark, Evans Weir, Covers, Wiley, Irwin Mitchell, Natures Way Foods, SouthDowns Water, The Body Shop Foundation, Higher Nature and The Run Company. If your business would like to be involved in the Chichester Half 2017, please contact Eloise.
In this year of firsts; we also launched our 'Run for Refugees' Team of runners who were not only supporting Children on the Edge by taking part in the event, but fundraised especially for us to raise money for our work with refugee children. We provide protection, education and support in trauma recovery for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh and internally displaced children in in Kachin State, Burma.
We had 16 amazing runners, who have so far raised an incredible £4325! They were tasked with raising £100 each to help cover the daily cost of running a tent school for 100 children in a refugee camp in Lebanon, but they've doubled their target and raised enough to support 100 children going to school for 7 weeks. A great achievement.
Our Run for Refugees team included two Relay Teams - Jamie, Gemma and Dan, raising £300, along with Emma Payne who ran with two family members and raised £840 for Children on the Edge. Also running his first ever half marathon was Rory Durkan; who was still smiling at the end and raised a great £162; nearly double his target! Matt Gibbs, our only Nordic Walker not only travelled down from Preston for the event to raise money for us, but was also the first Nordic Walker over the line! We'd expect nothing less of the British Champion.
Speaking of champions, John Miles, a long standing Children on the Edge fundraiser achieved a PB and came first in the over-60 category! Runner, Emma Manton made the most of her time in Chichester whilst performing at the Festival Theatre by taking part in the Chichester Half and has raised an amazing £525. Finally, Laura Magnavacchi only signed up for the race a few days before and did a great job at some last minute fundraising!
In other fundraising news, were were really touched to meet a team of 15 runners who were taking part in the Chichester Half in memory of their friend and fellow club runner, Dawn Piechoczek, who won the 2013 Chichester Half in the over 50's category in her last running race. What a fitting, and lovely tribute. The team of friends were raising money for Macmillan and the Sussex Cancer Trust and had raised nearly £1000. It's great to see the Chichester Half providing an opportunity for people to raise funds for other great local and national charities.
Our amazing volunteers also can't go without a mention; they were up early on a Sunday to help marshal the race, hand out goody bags, present medals and help our runners refuel and rehydrate once they were over the finish line. The event really couldn't happen without this incredible team behind us.
We're so grateful to all our volunteers, sponsors and runners who made this years' event such a success.