Organisers of the annual Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR) are hoping to hit their entry limit when the event is staged for the 10th time this spring.
Several runners who have completed all nine previous editions of the 10 kilometre race around Lynn gathered in the shadow of the Custom House to officially launch this year’s event on Wednesday.
A maximum of 2,000 runners can take part in the race, on Sunday, May 3.
Race director Roger Partridge said: “We’ve had a very big initial entry. Hopefully we can get to the course limit. That would be marvellous.”
Eight runners joined the launch after responding to a Facebook appeal for people who had completed every GEAR race since its inception in 2006 to come forward.
Each of them will be given a number ending in 10 to mark their achievement and Mr Partridge said: “We want people who are lining the course to give them an extra loud cheer as they go past to thank them for their commitment to the event.”
One of them, Stewart Robins, of Lynn, is now a member of the Ryston Runners club and completed his first London Marathon last year.
He said: “GEAR has a special place in my heart, as it was the race that got me started.”
Another nine-timer, Mark Doughty, of North Wootton, plans to run the 1.2 mile Mini GEAR race with his son this year before the main event.
He said: “I am proud that my home town produces what I feel is one of the best 10k races in the country, but I am biased.”
The race is being organised by Alive Leisure, in conjunction with West Norfolk Council, and sponsored by Bespak.
Starting and finishing in the Tuesday Market Place, the course takes runners on a loop through the town centre, the Walks and along the waterfront, showcasing some of the town’s key landmarks.
David Pope, the borough council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “When the council first came up with the idea of holding this race in the town centre, they never dreamed that it would be the massive success that it has been.
“To see the same faces returning year on year, many of them being joined by their family and friends, is so rewarding and exactly what this event is all about.
“It’s a great way of encouraging people to be more active as part of a healthy lifestyle, whether young or old, whether a regular runner or just a beginner.”
GEAR entries are open to people aged 15 or over cost £17 for affiliated athletes or £19 for non-affiliated runners.
Entries for the Mini GEAR are £6 for adults, £5 for under 16s and £4 for under eights.
For more information, and to enter the event, please visit www.grandeastangliarun.co.uk.