County set to host another huge sporting event this weekend: The Round Norfolk Relay

The county is preparing to host another massive sporting event this weekend when more than 1,000 runners tackle the gruelling Round Norfolk Relay.

Less than a week after superstar cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish took part in the Tour of Britain which opened with a stage that passed through the region, Norfolk will be graced by sporting excellence once more.

Fifty-eight teams of 17 will carry their baton across the 195-mile multi-terrain event, sponsored by Birketts, and race director Paul Sullivan hopes the public will come out and show their support.

He said: 'It's been a great British sporting summer with the Olympics and hopefully it will bring people out to have a look.

'There was a great turn-out for the Tour of Britain last weekend so maybe we'll have the same and more will want to get involved in it next year. The runners will really appreciate any support they can get because it helps them.

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'If their stage sees them running along Snettisham beach and their legs are sore and hurting then people cheering them on to the changeover at Hunstanton will really push them through.'

More than 11,000 runners have taken part in the race since it was first held by Downham Market-based Ryston Runners in 1987.

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The 24-hour race, which has 17 unequal stages, begins and ends at Lynnsport and sweeps across the Norfolk coastline, mostly in darkness, as runners carry their team's baton through their leg.

The future of this year's race hung in the balance earlier this year due to a lack of organisers but will now take place thanks to a new wave of volunteers, much to the delight of Sullivan.

'It think it does make it a bit more special this year that we've got the race on because we thought we might not be able to run it,' he said.

'We've got more committee members, more volunteers and without a lot of organisation, help, permission from land owners and support from Birketts it wouldn't have been possible.

'The running community has come together because it's a great event, it's unique, and we're all really looking forward to it.'

The prestigious race begins at the King's Lynn centre on 5.30am on Saturday and is likely to end around 9am the following day.

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