Three famous figures from a galaxy far, far away joined organisers to help launch the 2014 Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR) in Lynn this week.
More than 2,000 people took part in either the main 10 kilometre race or the 1.2 mile fun run, known as Mini GEAR, last year and officials say they are encouraged by the level of interest already shown in this year’s event.
Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council’s cabinet member for health, said: “The event just seems to go from strength to strength. We are hoping for even more entries this year and have already had 160 entries prior to our launch.”
Keyvan Djamarani, managing director of race sponsors Bespak, said the company was proud to be associated with the event once again, adding: “Last year’s event was extremely successful and I hope we can build on that to encourage greater participation across all ages in what has become a great annual event in King’s Lynn.”
This year’s race, the ninth, will take place on Sunday, May 4, also known as Star Wars Day to mark the anniversary of the release of the first film in the series in 1977.
Yoda, a Storm Trooper and even Darth Vader joined organisers and sponsors for the official launch of the event on Tuesday. And, in keeping with the cinematic link, Mrs Nockolds said: “We are also looking forward to seeing lots of Star Wars fancy dress in the fun run and the light-hearted side of the main event.”
As in previous years, the race, which will also incorporate the British Masters 10 kilometre road championships, starts and finishes in the Tuesday Market Place.
It is a one-lap, traffic-free course around Lynn taking in the town centre, the River Ouse pathway, The Walks and a number of the town’s iconic and historical landmarks.
Race director Roger Partridge said: “With a fast, flat course and a choice of distances, the event really is suitable for people of any age or ability. “
People wishing to take part in GEAR must be aged 15 or over on race day. Entry fees are £17 for runners who are members of an athletics club, or £19 for unaffiliated runners.
The Mini GEAR is open to anyone aged six or over, though under eights must be accompanied by an adult. Under 18s must also have parental consent to take part. Entry fees are £6 for adults, £5 for under 16s and £4 for under eights.
For further information, or to sign up, go online to www.grandeastangliarun.co.uk.