Record turn-out for ninth Grand East Anglia Run makes it the best year yet

Start of the GEAR in Kings Lynn ANL-140405-171926009
Start of the GEAR in Kings Lynn ANL-140405-171926009
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Record numbers gathered at the starting line on Sunday for the ninth Grand East Anglia Run, with costumed fund-raisers pitted against the competitive as the sun shone on Tuesday Market Place.

Race director Roger Partridge was pleased to see such a huge turnout for the event, which surpassed all expectations for 2014 with entry for the Mini-GEAR closing last Monday and this year’s 10k taking 1,980 entries, an increase on last year’s total of 1,925.

He said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. This is the ninth year and it is the best yet.

“The weather was perfect and all the runners and onlookers looked like they were enjoying themselves.

“We’ve had a great turnout and there were people lining the streets around the walks as well as in town.”

He added: “We’ve broken all records which is great in my third year as race director.

“We’ve got it down to a fine art now so we can really enjoy it.”

The races started with a welcome from borough mayor Liz Watson and Paul Evans of Active Norfolk.

Among those taking part, there were over 100 runners aged over 60, with a further four over 80 years old and the oldest at 83.

The runners started as young as four years old taking part in the Mini-GEAR.

The mass of runners included seven doctors, a judge, a lord, a commander and a captain.

The winner of the 10k event was Aaron Scott from Stamford, Lincolnshire, who completed the course around the town centre in just over 30 minutes.

Among the fund-raising runners were representatives of Red Wellies, Scotty’s Little Soldiers and a group of residents from Lynn care home, Amberley Hall who were taking part in the Mini-GEAR to raise money for Parkinson’s UK.

A group of nine took part in the fun run, with another taking part in the 10k.

Jeannette Stapleton, lifestyle co-ordinator at the home, said: “We all wanted to do something as a team to raise money for charity, and we’ve all had a lovely time.”

Sunday’s event saw a man in his 50s taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in a critical condition after he collapsed at the finish line.