Prestigious Round Norfolk Relay under threat due to lack of organisers
The future of the prestigious Round Norfolk Relay is under threat with this year's race hanging in the balance due to a lack of organisers.
The popular event celebrated its 25th anniversary last year with a record 57 teams and 969 runners taking part in the 195-mile multi-terrain event.
However, entry for September's race has been temporarily suspended as the committee look to fill three positions to ensure the relay can take place safely.
Race director Paul Sullivan said: 'Every year the race has taken place the committee have found it harder and harder to get new members to help organise it.
'It's part of modern life I suppose. People want to run in the race but they don't want to give up time to help organise it. I got involved as I didn't want to see this kind of fantastic event disappear off the racing calendar - it's unique.
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'We've written to clubs via the Norfolk Road Running Committee and made an appeal through the appropriate body. We've been really pro-active. Now, as the on-going problem of attracting volunteers continues, we're putting out an appeal via the press.
'We may have to take a very tough decision to cancel this year's event and my concern is that if it falls off the racing calendar it may be very difficult to set-up again. We will do absolutely everything we can to put the race on but we desperately need some assistance.'
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More than 11,000 runners have taken part in the race since it was first held by Ryston Runners in 1987.
The 24-hour event, 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.
A marshal co-ordinator, facilities co-ordinator and a safety officer need to be found to ensure the race can take place across September 15 and 16.
Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle, founder and race director until last year, said: 'The race requires a tremendous amount of planning and safety of the runners is paramount.
'We've already taken steps, such as making it a multi-terrain race, to make it safer because there's nothing more important than that.
'People keep coming back because it's 17 races within a race and the camaraderie is outstanding. The feeling at the finishing line is better than any I've ever witnessed at a lot of major marathons. Once you put a baton in someone's hand it becomes a team effort and that makes it special.
'It will be a real tragedy if it gets cancelled as it's a flagship event for Norfolk. It brings the country together and it brings tourism into the area.'
? Anyone interested in filling a position should phone Paul Sullivan on 07809508757, Rod Baron on 07846903325 or email firstname.lastname@example.org