Rain can’t dampen the high spirits of King’s Lynn GEAR race

Mini GEAR ANL-150405-064506009
Mini GEAR ANL-150405-064506009

More than 2,600 runners braved the rain on Sunday for the biggest and wettest Grand East Anglia Run ever.

Despite “appalling” conditions, a record-breaking number of entrants splashed their way through the puddle-riddled streets of Lynn to help make the tenth anniversary event one of best yet.

10th running of GEAR ANL-150405-064518009

10th running of GEAR ANL-150405-064518009

Thousands of spectators also lined the streets, cheering the drenched runners on under the protection of a sea of umbrellas.

Organisers had been forced to close entries to the main 10km race and the 1.2 mile fun run as both events had completely sold out.

Race director Roger Partridge, from Alive Leisure, said the weather posed its challenges, but thanked all the helpers and volunteers for making the day such a success.

He said after the event: “Everyone has been brilliant today. The weather was appalling but the marshals, the runners and spectators just took it all in their stride and helped us to create yet another fantastic event.

10th running of GEAR ANL-150405-064530009

10th running of GEAR ANL-150405-064530009

“We had a great atmosphere, more runners than we’ve ever had and some great performances. And to be honest we must have set a course record for the number of umbrellas held by spectators.”

Keyvan Djamarani, managing director of event sponsor Bespak, said: “We are so, so proud to be associated with this event. It just gets better and better every year.

“We always have a field of runners from the company and whilst we won the corporate award last year, this year we came third, so we’ll be training much harder for next year.

“It’s an event we very much want to continue being associated with.”

10th running of GEAR ANL-150405-065935009

10th running of GEAR ANL-150405-065935009

Ex-Olympian, Paul Evans, who has been involved with the event since the start, said GEAR was very much a community event.

He said: “So many people get involved and there is no doubt that it has encouraged regular running in this area. In Norfolk alone, 2,000 people take part in a 5k Park Run on a Saturday morning, which is quite astounding, and it’s because of events like this. Long may it continue.”

Despite the weather, runners revelled in the atmosphere and many still reported personal bests.

Ryston Runner Adam Howard, of North Wootton, said: “The cold weather and heavy rain didn’t dampen spirits and it was a pleasure to run in the tenth GEAR.

“Massive thanks to the organisers, who looked freezing, but still managed to raise a smile. You could tell spectator numbers were down on previous years but that didn’t stop a carnival spirit.

“It was great seeing all the bands and dancers en route, although the scantily clad dancers down King’s Street did almost make me trip over! Brilliant day, brilliant atmosphere and definitely entering next year.”