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Tips for planning and racing the Children on the Edge Chichester Half Marathon


The iconic and much loved Chichester Half Marathon is a little different. Starting with a run through the centre of the city, it provides amazing views, a challenging climb from Lavant up to the Trundle, and a well deserved gradual downhill towards the finish.

To help with your preparation, we have put together a few pointers to help you have fun on the day. Enjoy!

Know the route

Check out the map and course profile beforehand to familiarise yourself with the route and the hill in the middle. If able to, run the course or sections of the course before the event (e.g. the Trundle). You should ideally aim to train on similar terrain, so get some hills into your schedule once a week if possible to prepare your legs – it’s not just the extra effort, but the different muscles and feet angles involved. This will make it much for fun on the day.

Know the route - The Run Company Chichester

Shoes and kit

Are you training and racing in a properly fitted pair of running shoes? The right pair of shoes will give you a decent level of cushion and support, plus give your feet enough room but without floating around, especially on the hilly section. Don’t leave it too close to race day to get new shoes – you want to be sure they are right for you for however long it will take to run 13.1 miles.

Additionally, the longer you run, the more you will sweat – a normal cotton shirt and socks will just hold the sweat in, which will get hot and uncomfortable. Instead get yourself kitted out with some technical running gear. These will wick the sweat away from the skin, allowing it to evaporate and cool your body effectively, letting you get on enjoying the run.

Aiming to beat last year’s time?

For anyone competitive, the key to a great time at this event is the balance of staying strong on the climb up Chalkpit Lane, from Lavant up to the Trundle, whilst still leaving enough in the tank for a decent pace to the finish on the last couple of miles on Centurion’s Way. The “lollipop” around the top of the Trundle gives a little time for a breather before enjoying the long downhill into the valley. That downhill flies by, but the uphill part takes the most amount of time, so here lies the biggest gains to be had. Planning your pace on this section to keep the pressing on without going into the red will give you the edge.

Chichester Half Marathon Profile


For many people a half marathon is longer than they are used to. In training, you might do long slow runs that take a good while. If you don’t take a little nutrition with you, like gels for example, and your legs get empty due to lack of energy, it will take longer to recover, over the following days, slowing down your training overall. Whilst it’s good for more experienced runners to do some long runs fasted to understand that feeling of empty legs, it’s best to keep the muscle glycogen content (energy stores) topped up in the majority of long runs.

Chichester Half Marathon Profile

It’s also important to try out, in advance, any nutrition you will be using on race day – give yourself plenty on time to know what works for you and what flavours will go down well.

Figure out your timings before race day - when and how much you need to take and use, as well as how you will carry any food or drink. Note that it’s important to stay hydrated from the day before the race, so that you aren’t gasping for water during the run and only need a few sips every now and then.

Join a club

There are so many great advantages to running with a club. You’ll share advice with other runners, they will push you harder to complete the training, and seeing friendly faces on the day is a big boost.


Use your head – stick to your previously planned pace. Especially if it’s your first half marathon, it’s easy to get carried away with the crowds and run too fast in the first few miles. Even the winners will tell you that they take it fairly easy at the start, giving their heart rate a little time to rise gradually. Finishing the race strong will be much more fun than struggling for the last few miles due to a flying start.

While you are running, take a moment to look around, because the route is scenic. As you reach the top of the Trundle, look to your right back down to Chichester to see the breath-taking view along the coast and out to sea. After you get your breath back, circling round the top to the Trundle, the other side of the hill has a glorious view over Goodwood (horse) race track. The run will go surprisingly quickly, so enjoy the day and have a great result!