Ten reasons to inspire you to enter the Run Norwich 10k in 2020 this week

Runners taking part in last year's Run Norwich 10k Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners taking part in last year's Run Norwich 10k Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Do you fancy it but not sure it's for you? Nick Richards has 10 reasons why you should definitely sign up for the Run Norwich 10k in 2020

1 It's where joggers become athletes

Norfolk is full of runners - from serious speed demons to regular parkrunners right down to once-a-week Sunday strollers. This is an event that draws everyone together. Forget those solitary jaunts around the block, this event through crowd-lined streets will turn even the most precautious pavement plodder into a wannabe Mo Farah. If you've not done it before, you'll never feel more like an Olympic athlete.

2 It's a badge of honour

Sign up this week and not only are you taking part in an event in six months time, but every time someone in your office, family or group of friends mentions running or this 10k you'll get that lovely feeling that you are part of the cool club too. You'll have the event in the middle of the summer to look forward to but in the lead up as the run gets closer, the anticipation and excitement you feel will build. It's like Christmas, without the arguments.

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3 It's only 10k

"I can't run a 10k," you say. Well you can I say. We're talking six miles - you can probably walk that in an hour-and-a-half. Plenty of people taking part won't be elite athletes - there will be all sorts of body shapes, ages and sizes. Some will run, some will walk, some will 'Jeff' - a combination of both. Don't under any circumstance think this event is one you must run flat out. And if you're self conscious about how you'll look in front of all those people, don't be. Everyone looks daft in their running photos.

4 The city comes alive

Norwich never looks better in this July event - the sun will be out (hopefully) and if there's 7,000 people taking part, you can be sure there will be double that supporting them along the route.

Norfolk has many great running events on quiet country roads where there are mere ripples of support from lovely village folk. This is the opposite. Noisy crowds cheering you on, children high-fiving you and handing you Jelly Babies... you'll never feel such love in this city.

5 The charity factor

Enter today and run for a charity and you won't pay the entry fee. You'll need to raise a minimum amount of money (It was £100 last year). This is a great rewarding feeling and a chance to put all this athletic endurance into perspective and give it some meaning. Last year I ran for brain injury charity Headway in memory of a friend who died from a brain tumour. It certainly gives you something to think about as you run the route and gives you an answer if you're questioning just why you're putting yourself though this madness.

6 Check out the new route

The start has moved - no more Gentleman's Walk cobbles to endure at the start and a nice run down Westlegate to pick up speed. The course has never been faster!

7 Think about your health kick

Doing Dry January or have you gone vegan for the month? Don't jack it all in at the end of next week. Think about the legacy of this month and why you wanted to get healthy - signing up for this event will top swerving the beers for four weeks. There's no medals for not eating meat, but there is for doing the Run Norwich 10k. And a goody bag...

8 Sense of achievement

Picture yourself rampaging up Rampant Horse Street and turning past The Forum and across the finish line. Those months of hard work will be so worth it as you take in the crowds, feel the emotion and inner sense of a job well done. It doesn't have to be something you see on the face of others, it can be something you feel inside. Yes, you.

9 If my mum can do it...

It was the best reaction to a Christmas present from my mum I can remember when I gave her a homemade voucher for this year's event and told her I would sign her up. She'll be 71 next month, has dodgy knees and only started running 18 months ago. She's now a regular parkrunner but has never completed a distance more than 5k. If she needs inspiration, my dad, 74 this year, will be hoping to do it in under 50 minutes again.

10 Inspire someone else

I haven't been paid to write this - I will be signing up tomorrow in the general entries. If one person reading this is swayed to take part then, job done! I run regularly, partly for my own fitness but also to inspire my children. I can assure you that by taking part in this wonderful event you will inspire someone else and what could be better than that?

Charity entries open on Tuesday, January 21, general entries on Wednesday, January 22. For more information, see www.runnorwich.co.uk