Chichester Challenge – 8 July 2012
This event is run by the local Rotary Club and includes 15k, 25k, 42k runs and 15k, 25k bike routes.
The map on the day was fairly easy to follow. There were signs, but some were fairly well hidden in the undergrowth or bushes, and were most likely put out for walkers, by walkers. The lack of map in advance, and the possibility of idiots to remove signs (as happened in previous years) make this event risky in terms of addition distance. The checkpoints were frugal, with water and a small tub of sweeties, but it was a fairly cheap event (£14 for marathon) and the entry fee mostly went to charitable causes. The route was fairly undulating, on tracks (followed the South Downs way for 5 miles), short road sections and mostly footpaths, not overgrown, (so shorts were ok, no need for tights!). The views were not particularly spectacular. The postcode for the HQ location was misleading. The registration was run by enthusiastic but very slow elderly people who really should have been in bed at that time. The start was delayed 10 minutes whilst someone unlocked a gate somewhere on the course. The first field we crossed was filled with young, very athletic cows who ran alongside, then through, (almost over) the first 30 runners. On the plus side was chip timing.
On the day it rained for most of the day, but it was the rain over the previous week which resulted in flooding in some sections. This was ankle to knee depth for most of the last 3 miles, but by then, with the end in sight, it was easier to run through it than clamber around. Since this was on well maintained paths, there was no risk of potholes or submerged obstacles. And it washed the mud off, from the previous 23 miles.
Summary: Only do this event if you need to tick off “West-Sussex” for your 50-county badge from the 100 marathon club. (Brighton and Beachy Head marathons are both in East Sussex.)
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