Stuck trying to choose which race to do next? Take a look at a few of the favourite events within easy distance of Chichester to help you choose. Enjoy!
With so many great running races available on the South Coast, in Sussex and Hampshire, which ones do you aim for? Here are a few of the favourites with locals near The Run Company, covering most distances, both trail and road.
This evening race series takes place once a month from April to August. It’s fairly flat course around the Lakeside North Harbour lake near Cosham/Portsmouth, with a mix of hardpack and tarmac, so it’s possible to get a fast time. Pricing is extremely reasonable, either for individual races or for the entire series. Lots of team points to be had and prizes for top runners. At the finish line there is a huge timing display which spurs you on all the way to the finish! Great fun if you are looking for PBs.
A personal favourite of mine because it is massively inclusive, with all ages represented, the Corporate Challenge is an ~4.5K course around Chichester town centre. Taking place every other week around February, the three race days comprise of a few races spread over the course of the evening. Starting with the future superstars in year five primary school, all the way up to the A race (sub18 minute target for the ~4.5K course) and B race (above 18 minute target). It can be chilly in the evenings early in the year, but it’s a very fast race and everyone warms up by the first corner, so don’t overdress! Corporate teams are encouraged to enter.
WSFRL races are open to all, but with discounted entry for club runners. There are 18 in a season, between 5K and 10K and cost just £3 for club members, making them a spectacular bargain for the runner looking for a regular challenge. The most you can pay is £7 for non-club runners on the day! There are also often 1 mile junior races for £1 to give kids something to aim at. Emphasis on fun.
A very low key event, this flat, but becoming more popular each year, is a fun mix of trail and road has you running around the coastline of Fishbourne near Chichester, with a final sprint finish as you burst out near the finish line at the pub. Race date can vary hugely so keep your eyes peeled to ensure entry.
This UKA measured five mile road race, includes a lap of the Goodwood motor racing circuit, finishing in Lavant, where you will be welcomed with a beer and a burger/vegan-burger. It’s very popular for some reason. Full chip timing and closures on most roads makes this an accurate and safe event.
This annual out-and-back along the “Billy” nature trail from Hayling Island is a well organised off-road event. Conditions are normally firm, unless it has been raining, at which point it becomes “variable”. Great event for encouraging friends going the other way when you see them.
Not your average 10K, this challenge has you smashing up to the top of the Trundle, running a lap around the Iron Age Fort and then flying back down again. There is almost 600ft of ascent and descent, mostly contained to the middle half of the course, so if you can run the whole way up without walking you are already a champion.
Don’t be fooled by the website – this race is massively popular and all runners receive a medal. It starts and finishes in the town centre, but most of it takes place inside Arundel Castle grounds. This is NOT flat! It’s almost 450ft of ascent, spread evenly across the course.
As long as it’s not daftly windy, this is a fast and flat course, mostly taking place along the sea-front prom at Bognor and road closures where need be. With only 6ft(!) of ascent, prepare for a possible PB!
Another coastal PB possibility, this brings out more than a couple of thousand runners looking to enjoy the sea air and smash out a good time. It is on closed roads and much of it is an out-and-back, so you’ll know how close the finish line is.
Do you like the sound of pushing yourself to the limits on the hills and tricky trails in the Devil’s Punchbowl? It’s such a beautiful place to run, so remember to take a moment to take it all in! There are 5K and 15K options too.
Are you looking for the atmosphere of a huge race locally? The Great South is a ten mile race around Portsmouth and Southsea, with over 20,000 people lining up take part in this amazing event. As you can imagine, it’s very well organised, with people coming back time and again to redo the race. It’s flat and fast, so PBs ahoy too.
For many, the climb up Chalkpit Lane from Lavant is plenty, without having to do the final stretch to the summit of the Trundle, so the 10 miler is a great option for a challenge race. If a half seems just out of reach at the moment, try this to experience a decent hill race.
It’s hilly, gravel paths, tarmac stretches, pathways, South Downs Way, 300 medals and if you’ve been to Harting before, you know the views are some of the best in the whole area.
Climbing gradually out of Chichester to Lavant, you’ll then be challenged by the long ascent to the top of the Trundle. A little breather at the top and then back down to Centurion’s way, it’s a mix of trail and tarmac. Considering the terrain, times are pretty fast and is a great way to gauge your all-round running fitness. Views from the top are amazing too.
With more than 12,000 runners, the Brighton Marathon is one of the bigger marathons in the UK. It’s easy to get to from most of the local South Coast, so is very popular with local runners. The course profile isn’t flat, but it’s only really a short climb and descent at mile 8 that is noticeable. For many, it can be a PB.
For those that think flat road marathons are a bit tame (what?!?), the Three Forts Challenge is ideal. 3450ft of ascent and descent across Devil's Dyke, Chanctonbury Ring and Cissbury Ring. Great stuff!
The clue is in the name. This is not a fast big city marathon. It’s a challenge of human vs the elements and multiple terrain types, albeit quite flat. Starting from the Pyramid Centre a few days before Christmas, you should expect exciting weather to push you along during the first half all the way to the theatre on Hayling Island. But save a little energy for the return journey where you’ll normally head into the wind. There are a couple of sections of shingle beach, so factor slowing down dramatically on those into your target time. If the weather is OK and the Billy trail is dry, then you’ll only be a small gap away from a PB on a road course. If the weather goes the other way, then figuring out how to finish strong the most important thing.
The same route and day as the marathon, but adding a little extra on Hayling, this makes a great first ultra event. It ‘s flat, so if you can’t train in hills, it’s a good option. Again, beware the weather.
For something a little different, try the On The Whistle Insomniacs Challenge at Staunton. Starting at 18:00, it’s a 12 hour challenge event, limited to 150 people. Using 4.6 mile loops, you just have to complete as many loops as you can in the time available. They also have a few other events, like the 6 hour Wickham Whistler.
Another alternative site to check out is the Sussex Trail Events which covers races from 6 miles to 138 miles!
We are very fortunate to be spoilt for choice when it comes to running events in the area around Chichester. If you have a personal favourite, please let us know on our social channels and if there’s anything you need for your next race, be it a new pair of shoes or a cap to stave off the elements, please come on into the store to get expert advice.