A summer bonanza of activities designed to keep townsfolk healthy got out of the starting gate in style as dozens of people took part in a fun run.

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Age-defying friendly rivalry came to the fore as youngsters aged as young as four to people in their sixties took part in the Fakenham fun at Fakenham Racecourse on Saturday.

The mile-long event kick-started this year’s Get Active in Fakenham Week - nine days of fun activities based around health and wellbeing.

Other events over the weekend included a popular open day at Wensum Osprey’s Canoe Club, a drama workshop and a production of Romeo or Juliet, a promenade theatre production of the classic Shakespearean love story.

Elsewhere, there was light-hearted family fun as the town’s annual Great Duck Race, organised by Kick Start, took place on the river today, and Fakenham’s sports centre threw its doors open for free.

Organiser Richard Crook, from Active Fakenham, a voluntary-run organisation which coordinates Get Active in Fakenham Week, said: “Everybody who took part in the fun run had a great time. We had about 40 runners take part - the youngest was four years old while the oldest was in their sixties. We had a woman complete it on crutches and a woman who has multiple sclerosis run it, there was a real mixture.”

He added: “The week has started really well. It’s been really positive and the feedback has been great. We’re happy with the way things are going.”

The winner of the fun run was Bristol University footballer Harry Rudkin who ran in a pink spandex Morphsuit in aid of Rebecca’s Wishes - Get Active in Fakenham Week’s official charity which is run in memory of Rebecca Fairhead, a former Fakenham schoolgirl who died of a brain tumour in February 2005. The charity provides holidays and special outings for children with cancer.

Meanwhile, Tom Hewer took the prize for best fancy dress costume with his horse outfit and young Emily Howard made an impressive sprint for the line, finishing in eight minutes and 16 seconds.

Over the forthcoming days, people will be able to take part in a football skills sessions, singing classes, Balkan dance lessons and more.

The event will culminate with a 50-mile bike ride, Fakenham 50, on Sunday. More than 200 people are expected to take part in the cycle event, with riders coming from as far as Southampton.

Mr Crook said: “There is such a broad spectrum of events for everybody. Come along and have a go.”

People can still register for Sunday’s Fakenham 50 bike ride and will be able to enter on the day. To sign up or to see a full programme of events, go to www.activefakenham.org.uk.

Are you trying to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the area where you live? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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