A record number of entries for this year’s Grand East Anglia Run is set to hit the right notes – thanks to the help of the bell ringers at St Nicholas Chapel.
For the very first time, the eight bells of the newly-refurbished chapel will be rung at the start of the race to provide a festive beat to urge runners on.
Jon Benstead, one of the bell ringers, said: “For many centuries bells have been a means of communication, telling all within their hearing messages of merriment, sadness and caution.
“They are used to mark special occasions – weddings, coronations and funerals.
“In the 19th century bells were rung to celebrate the safe return of the whaling fleet.
“The Bespak Grand East Anglia Run is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the refurbishment of these magnificent bells and this very british pastime and it’s a great oppurtunity for us to be part of this superb event.”
Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds, cabinet member for health, heritage and culture, said: “I am delighted that the bellringers will be adding an extra sound to this year’s event.
“It will really add to the atmosphere.
“I must thank the volunteers who help marshall the route, or hand out water or medals or generally help with all the tasks involved in running such a major event.”
Entries for this year’s event have broken all records and entries for both the Mini GEAR and GEAR are closed.
More than 3,500 runners are expected to fill the streets of Lynn as they take part in the 11th Bespak GEAR.
Alive Leisure race director Roger Partridge said: “We’ve had an amazing response this year, which has gone well beyond our expectations given that we raised the number of places on both events.
“I’m really looking forward to it, the Tuesday Market Place will be packed and the addition of the bells at St Nicholas Chapel ringing will really add to the atmosphere.
“I am also hoping that this will be the year that we get a sub 30-minute course record. The record set by Tedele Geremew in 2012 at 30 minutes 18 seconds still stands.”
Keyvan Djamarani, managing director of race sponsors Bespak, said: “We are really looking forward to the GEAR this Sunday and the highest-ever entry response this just shows the continued popularity of the event as it continues to go from strength to strength.
“I hope everyone has a fantastic day and the weather is kinder this year.”
There are plenty of great viewing points throughout the course, including London Road, the Custom House, South Lynn, The Walks or the town centre.
The mini GEAR fun run starts at 10am, with the main race starting at 10.45am.
The Bespak GEAR is a UKA and BARR Gold-Graded event.
The course is suitable for runners of all abilities, including wheelchair athletes. There are generous cash prizes for category winners and everyone taking part will receive a quality medal and goody bag.
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