GEAR runners ready for race in King’s Lynn on Sunday

Grand East Anglia Run in Norfolk for Bank Holiday weekend

Around 1,500 runners will be hitting the streets of King's Lynn this weekend for the annual Grand East Anglia Run.

The race through the town centre has become a firm fixture in the diary for runners and fund raisers alike. It draws crowds of spectators to support the hardy souls pounding the 10k course.

While the sporty types are hoping to achieve a personal best at the very least, a huge number of participants are there to raise money for a range of charities.

The run starts and finishes in the town's Tuesday Market Place and also includes a short version for young competitors. The mini-Gear is just over a mile and starts five minutes after the main event which begins at 10.30am on Sunday morning. More than 350 youngsters have signed-up for this year's event.

Last year's 10k winner Aaron Scott completed the course in an impressive 31:25, while the women's winner was Gemma Steele in a record time 32:51.

The men's course record of 31:06 was set in 2010 by Paul Miles.

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The event is organised by West Norfolk Council and sponsored by Lynn company Bespak which has been holding fitness sessions for staff at its premises to encourage them to take part.

West Norfolk Council cabinet member Elizabeth Nockolds, said: 'I really hope people will turn out to support the runners in this year's event. Many are running for the first time and a high proportion are raising money for charities that are close to their hearts. I know from my experience taking part, that it's the encouragement from the crowd that really keeps you going.'

Joe Barry, managing director of Bespak, said: 'Bespak are very proud to support this event. It's a great way for people to improve their fitness and to raise money for charity. I am particularly pleased to see the Mini GEAR fun run form such a great part of this year's event as it gives people of all ages and abilities and opportunity to take part.

Roads around the town, including London Road, King Street and Queen Street, will be closed from 9.45am until 12.30pm while the race is in progress. The Tuesday Market Place will be closed to vehicles from 8am until 2pm. Details of all road closures can be found on the race website (click link on this page).

All car parks in the town, except Tuesday Market Place and Common Staithe Quay (behind the Corn Exchange), are open and can be used while the roads are open.

Visitors planning to arrive after 9.45am or leave before 12.30pm should use the multi-storey, Albert Street Car Park, Austin Street, Austin Fields, Old Cattle Market (Sainsbury's), Blackfriars Street or Juniper car parks as these will all be accesible throughout the event.

It's not too late to enter the event, online entries can be submitted until midnight on Thursday, 3 May. The Bespak GEAR is a UKA and BARR Gold-Graded event. The cost of entry is �17 for affiliated runners and �19 for unaffiliated runners.

To enter, runners must be aged 15 or over on race day. The Bespak Mini GEAR is open to anyone over 6 years of age (under 8s must be accompanied by an adult). The cost of entry for Bespak Mini GEAR is �6 for adults, �5 for under-16s and �4 for under-8s.

There are cash prizes for Bespak GEAR category winners and everyone taking part will receive a quality medal and goody bag.

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