Another big entry expected for eighth GEAR race

Runners can start gearing up for May's popular Grand East Anglia Run after this year's event was launched in King's Lynn yesterday.

The eighth GEAR 10k and the third 1.2-mile Mini GEAR, organised by West Norfolk Borough Council and sponsored by Bespak, will take place on Sunday, May 5.

Thousands of spectators are expected to pack the town centre to watch the race which last year attracted more than 1,700 runners – much to the delight of the council's cabinet member Elizabeth Nockolds.

'It's hard to believe just how popular this event has become. It's a real fixture on the athletics calendar as well as being a firm favourite with local people who might be running for fun or to raise money for charity,' said Cllr Nockolds.

'We've had over 100 entries for this year's event already and we've only just launched our publicity activity.'

The road-race will start in the Tuesday Market Place before taking athletes on a loop through the town centre, The Walks, along the waterfront and past some of the town's key heritage and retail areas.

Race director, and the council's sports development manager, Roger Partridge is looking forward to his second year in charge of GEAR.

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He said: 'This year, my focus will be on encouraging more people to get involved and take up running. This race has so much to offer for runners of all abilities – it's fast, flat, and wheelchair friendly and there is a choice of distances to run, so it's ideal for beginners as well as experienced athletes.'

The course record was shattered last year when Ethiopian Tadele Geremew took just 30 minutes and 18 seconds to complete the distance. This time round the event will also host the Eastern Veterans Athletics Club (EVAC) championships.

The cost of entry for GEAR is £17 (affiliated runners) and £19 (unaffiliated). To enter, competitors must be aged 15 or over on race day.

The Mini GEAR is open to anyone over six years of age (under-8s must be accompanied by an adult). It costs adults £6, under-16s £5 and under-8s £4 to race. Runners who are members of EVAC will be able to enter the event for an additional entry fee of just £1.

To sign up for either of the races, visit