GALLERY: Sport Relief weekend fun across Norwich

Thousands of sporty fundraisers took to the streets of Norwich this morning as Sport Relief 2012 came to a climax.

More than 2,400 runners of all ages pulled on their running shoes and fancy dress to complete the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile in Norwich and raise money for good causes in the UK and abroad.

The first wave of runners went off at 9am, following a circuit that started at City Hall and looped through the city to end at Chapelfield Gardens, with storm troopers, clowns and indians among the early pacesetters.

For a picture gallery from this morning's Sport Relief Mile, follow the link at the top right of this story.

Members of the Third Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment Territorial Army ran the course in full combat gear, carrying a 100kg stretcher.

Entertainment for milers and spectators on the day was provided by dancers from Norwich Samba, members of Zumbathon and Norwich Rock Choir.

Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films, was among the well known faces doing their bit.

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He admitted that he was not a keen runner – and had only been out for a single jog in preparation – but had managed to collect �500 in sponsorship.

'There's no point being sponsored to do something if it's easy. It should be a challenge,' he said.

'The atmosphere among the runners is brilliant – I've certainly never seen Santa Claus doing his stretches next to an oompa loompa.

'But it's a great excuse for me to get back from Norwich too and see my mum.'

Elsewhere over the weekend, fundraisers were going the extra mile in their own style for Sport Relief.

Andy Stewardson, store manager at Sainsbury's in Thorpe St Andrew, did the unthinkable when he betrayed his beloved Leicester City in the name of Sport Relief, pulling on the yellow and green of Norwich City for the Shirt of Hurt challenge.

Colleagues and customers also worked up a sweat to raise money, by completing a mile on rowing machines in the store, swapping their uniform for sports gear, and even having their legs waxed.

Norwich's Riverside Piazza was host to a strongman competition hosted by Fitness First, which helped raise around �700.

Competitors went head-to-head in the car pull, tyre flip, log press, and barrel carry and drag, part of a weekend that also saw a number of sponsored exercise challenges at the gym.

Junior Johnson, health and fitness manager at Fitness First, said: 'It was a fantastic day and showed what a good community we have, that we can really put ours heads together for a great cause.'

As always, schools across Norwich were central to the Sport Relief campaign.

Easton College's Liz Howard swapped her Norwich shirt for that of rivals Ipswich Town over the weekend – an experience she described as 'very painful' – with a member of Ipswich-based Otley College donning Canaries colours.

At City College Norwich, sports science students organised an obstacle course for 30 children, aged between 18 months and four years from the college nursery, while the Open Academy students enjoyed a non-uniform sports day including a dodgeball tournament.

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