Launch event for King’s Lynn’s GEAR run 2012

Bespak backs Grand East Anglia Run for another three years - Norfolk's former Olympian Paul Evans on hand for training tips

It's time to dust-off the trainers and hit the streets ready for the Grand East Anglia Run 2012.

The 10k race around the centre of King's Lynn was officially launched today (Wednesday).

Sponsors Bespak, which employs around 500 people in the town, has signed a deal to back the event for another three years.

Staff at the North Lynn company will also be encouraged to take part in the event.

'We want to encourage as many people as we can to join, and we will be starting a running club after work,' said managing director Joe Barry.

He was presented with a crystal vase by West Norfolk council member Elizabeth Nockolds as a thank-you for the six years Bespak has already sponsored the event.

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'2012 is set to be a great year for sport and I am particularly proud to be launching the seventh annual Bespak GEAR and the second Mini GEAR in this Olympic year. The event has gone from strength to strength since it began in 2006 and has inspired many local people to take up running,' she said.

Mr Barry said he hoped up to 50 members of staff would take part in this year's event on May 6.

He said he had already started training and was hoping to beat last year's time of 50 minutes.

Former Olympian Paul Evans was also at yesterday's launch and he will be publishing his training programme via the GEAR website at

Entry details are also on the site.

Now an athletics development officer for Active Norfolk, Mr Evans ran the 10,000m track final at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The borough council's sports development manager Roger Partridge is taking over as race director this year. 'As it's an Olympic year I'm hoping for a bumper turnout. This race has so much to offer for runners of all abilities - it's fast, flat and wheelchair friendly. I will be working hard to attract competitors from near and far so that they can witness first hand the atmosphere of this town centre race as well as enjoy the history and heritage of the area,' he said.

The cost of entry is �17 for affiliated runners and �19 for unaffiliated runners.

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

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

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