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Run through Lynn may be annual event

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 October 2010

A 10-kilometre run in King's Lynn is likely become an annual event after the success of the inaugural race last month. Councillors will next week discuss the triumphs and teething problems of the first Great East Anglia Run, which began and finished in The Walks on May 28.

A 10-kilometre run in King's Lynn is likely become an annual event after the success of the inaugural race last month.

Councillors will next week discuss the triumphs and teething problems of the first Great East Anglia Run, which began and finished in The Walks on May 28.

The event was tinged with sadness when accomplished runner Duncan Gooderson, 25, collapsed and died after crossing the finish line.

The two-lap course snaked through Lynn's streets and was designed to focus on the improvements taking place in the shopping centre, quayside, Greyfriars Tower and The Walks.

Organisers are now keen to shift the focus of event to the town centre to help showcase its shops and tourist attractions to hundreds of visitors.

A report to West Norfolk Council's community and culture panel by Chris Bamfield, portfolio holder for culture, suggests next year's race could begin and end in Tuesday Market Place.

He said the course was "generally well received" although a couple of bottlenecks in the town centre proved problematic and faster runners were often held up as they tried to overtake.

"In general, the event was extremely successful and is now the largest road race to be held in Norfolk," he said.

"The feedback from entrants was overwhelmingly positive and the race director received a significant number of supportive emails including, importantly, some from experienced runners and race organisers.

"Media coverage for the event was significant, although sadly some of this was associated with the tragic death of one of the runners."

He added: "This is a large event and if the event is so to continue there would need to be the provision of adequate resources to enable the continuation of a quality event."

It is expected that fees for each runner will have to increase next year and extra funding will have to be gleaned from the council's marketing budget.

Sponsor Bespak, a King's Lynn-based company which contributed £7000 for the first race, is interested in helping again but would stump up £3500 next year.

The panel, which meets next Tuesday, is asked to commit the council to the event for a further two years and recruit its own part-time race director. It is also advised to alter the course to one 7km and one 3km lap, beginning and ending in Tuesday Market Place to bring more people in to the town centre.


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