Triathlete Dan Bailey will be among those chasing success at tomorrow’s Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon (10.30am).
The talented Victory AC and Chichester Westgate Triathlon club man is in the field for the gruelling 13-mile multi-terrain battle as he gets some miles in his legs to boost his training schedule for the 2013 season.
But with more than 1,200 entries, it promises to be a competitive fight for victory.
The course, which starts and finishes at the Pyramids but includes stretches at Bransbury Park, Milton Common, Old Portsmouth and the Southsea sea front, is a real test with so much variation in the running surface.
Rob Piggott, who runs the Believe & Achieve personal training consultancy and organises the event himself, said: ‘Dan Bailey is in the field so he will be tough to beat.
‘But there are plenty of quality runners who have registered from local clubs and around the country.
‘We’ve had an increase in entries from last year but it’s good to see it has established itself on the race calendar since it began in 2008.’
Former City of Portsmouth ace Harry Carter triumphed last year in an impressive winning time of one hour, 11 minutes and 50 seconds.
And Piggott believes it will take something similar to seal victory this time around.
He said: ‘It’s totally different to some of the other races around.
‘It’s deceptively difficult. A half marathon is quite straightforward when it is just road running but there are a lot of interruptions and changes in running style to cope with in this one, with running on shingle, muddy ground and everything else that goes with it.
‘It can mess with the mind a little bit but it’s a good challenge and takes runners to parts of the city that they don’t normally see.
‘But there should be some very good times again.’
All proceeds go to the RNLI, with prizes also available to those runners who wear the official race T-shirt on the course.
Piggott said: ‘We’re giving away a voucher for £250 from Velocity in Cosham and there are other prizes as well.
‘We’re on target to raise £12,000 from all of our events in the series.
‘But from this event alone, we are looking at £2,500.’
n See Wednesday’s paper for results, reaction and pictures from the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon.