It is the first main 10k of the season in Sussex and because it puts up a decent prize fund it attracts many club runners and a quality field. It is a good marker of your early season fitness and a chance to put into practice what has been gained and learned from the training given by Bob and Michele.
Race day dawned bright and somewhat chilly – the pesky wind was blowing, it seemed a headwind in whichever direction you were running, but it was one of the best days weatherwise in a while and a lovely running temperature.
An 8am departure was required to enable entry into the carpark and a spot to be bagged before the crowds arrived and before the loo queues became too long.
Warm ups were in full swing near the parkrun course and up into Graylingwell park.
Posh announcer called us into the start area in the carpark from 09:50 for a 10 am start.
The start is always a bit problematical and most of us have learned to line up a bit ahead of the time in which we will actually finish.
Last year I lined up in the sub 40 minute area and was asked by a man beside me for what time I was hoping. When I said 40 mins I was a tad surprised to find he was hoping for “about 50”.
The runners are walked up to the start in College Lane where there were already many runners lined up.
There was no countdown, suddenly the air horn sounded and we were off – uphill with faster guys weaving and running on the grass then a sharp right turn into Graylingwell park. The route then snakes out of Chichester heading towards Goodwood before taking a left for the long stretch towards Lavant and the drinks station/5k point where someone was calling out times (helpful if you were doing well, depressing if you weren’t). At Lavant is a slight uphill then a left for the final 2k along a cycle lane and mainly downhill to the finish, past the parkrun course then a left and right to finish in front of the theatre.
Then it was into the funnel to be de-chipped and on to collect mug and meet up with fellow Arenees – some celebrating PBs – well done Joe (4 mins quicker than last year) Kat and Emily, some celebrating good runs – Paul, Issy, Emma R and Mark S, and some just grateful to have crossed the finishing line.
An early glance at some “hot off the press” results revealed that Emily was 8th F and the ladies were 2nd team so after some breakfast I headed to the theatre foyer to meet Emily at the prize giving where I was greeted by the buzz of happy, successful runners.
Amazingly the prize giving started on time at noon and was very well attended.
We applauded the others, enjoyed our moments of glory and photo opportunities collecting our prizes then departed, everything done and dusted for another year.