The countdown is on to one of Norfolk’s biggest charity runs as runners of all ages and abilities prepare to pull on their trainers for the sell-out Asda Foundation Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR 10k) weekend.
And two of the highlights on the big day on Sunday 30th April are sure to be the new GEAR Corporate Challenge and the 1.2 mile Mini GEAR family fun run.
Both events are sponsored by Bespak, a leading manufacturer of complex medical and pharmaceutical devices.
A race within a race, the corporate challenge will see companies competing to be crowned the fastest firm in the event.
Teams must have at least five members with the times of the first three home used to calculate the winners.
Some of the biggest cheers of the day will doubtless be reserved for families taking part in the Bespak Mini GEAR, a family fun run for people of all abilities which starts in Tuesday Market Place.
All finishers will receive a medal, T-shirt and goody bag.
Peter Mason, HR director of Bespak, said: “We are very much looking forward to this year’s GEAR 10k event.
“The Mini GEAR is a wonderful feature of the event and it is always a great sight to see so many families enjoying the event and participating together.
“The corporate challenge is an excellent addition to the day and should add a bit of spice by promoting friendly rivalry between the teams taking part. Good luck to everyone running.”
Among the teams who have signed up is Associated British Ports who will be raising money for Norfolk Hospice Tapping House.
Also looking forward to the big day are a group of pupils from Ashwicken School who will be taking part in Mini GEAR.
All the children running are encouraged to raise money for a good cause of their own choice or for the event’s official charity, which this year is The Magpie Centre, a dedicated Riding for the Disabled stable just outside Downham Market.
Head teacher Sue Collison, whose pupils are all supporting the Magpie Centre, said: “Mini GEAR really is a win-win.
“The children get to take part in a fun event and, if they wish, raise money for charity into the bargain. Good luck to all the runners, I’m sure they will all have a really enjoyable time.”
The GEAR 10k is being organised for the first time by not-for-profit company Run For All, working in partnership with Alive Leisure and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council.
Run For All is part of the lasting legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE who raised almost £2m for charity through a series of endurance challenges, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Its stable of events already includes successful 10Ks in Leeds, Lincoln, Sheffield, York, Hull, Burnley, Bury, Leicester and Nottingham, the Leeds Half Marathon, Yorkshire Half Marathon-Sheffield and the Yorkshire Marathon in York.