VIDEO and PHOTO GALLERY: Crowd cheers Breckland Olympic torch as it ends 120 mile relay at Dereham 5k run

Competitors and spectators at this morning's Dereham 5k race welcomed Breckland's version of the Olympic torch back to the town where it started its 120 mile relay.

The Friendship Flame was launched after the official London 2012 relay route by-passed the district, and has been seen by 4,000 people since it set off on June 17.

Stefan Clifford, Breckland sports development officer, said 316 community torch bearers had carried the flame, including 136 Wayland area guides and brownies, 40 members of the Attleborough boxing club and 30 members of the North Pickenham WI.

The torch was flanked by two official 2012 torches and their bearers, Dereham runner John Richardson who carried the flame through torrential rain in Cumbria, and Watton Guide leader Gill Smith, who took part in Lowestoft.

Mrs Smith said: 'I was so excited about being involved in it that I wanted the girls and other people in the area to share in the excitement so I thought what Breckland were doing was excellent.

'Running in here today was almost like doing a re-run. The torch is meant to be for everybody. It's not for the stars. It's for ordinary people who do their bit.'

About 250 runners had earlier completed the Dereham 5k event. Ashley Harrell of Conac won the men's race in a time of 15:22mins, with Nick Earl second in 15:30mins and James Preston recording 15:59mins in third place.

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The top female athlete was Amy Dungar of Wymondham AC in 19:04mins, followed by Alexandra Smith and Sophie Alden, who were both credited with 19:40mins.

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