Good causes were handed a massive boost today [Sunday 30th April] as runners hit the streets for the sell-out Asda Foundation Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR 10K).
Enthusiastic crowds helped create a fantastic atmosphere as they cheered on the large field of some 2,500 runners, which snaked its way along an attractive course that featured the town centre, River Ouse pathway, The Walks and a number of historic buildings including Red Mount, the Custom House and Greyfriars Tower.
Conditions were just about perfect, although there was a wind to contend with.
Among the runners was King’s Lynn mum Verity Gamble, taking part to raise money for Theresa’s Tiny Treasures, a charity which helped her family after her daughter, Summer, was stillborn.
The charity provides keepsakes and photography for free to families who lose babies during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Verity crossed the line in a time of 1 hour, 22mins and 25secs.
Also taking part was Mick Yates, 53, of Lynn, whose five-year-old grandson, Thomas, has Hunter syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
He was running to raise money for the MPS Society, which supports people with the syndrome and funds research into the disease. Mick clocked an impressive time of 53mins 19secs.
First across the finish line was Adrian Mussett in a time of 32mins 56secs. Andrew Leach took second place in 33mins 25secs with Malcolm Muir third in 33mins 34secs.
Faye Fullerton was the first woman home in 35mins 05secs followed by Emma Risbey who clocked 36mins 42secs for second spot and Laura Thomas who took third in 38mins 24secs.
The field included runners competing in the Bespak GEAR 10K Corporate Challenge – a new feature for 2017 – in which teams battled to be crowned fastest team in the race.
Also popular was the Bespak Mini GEAR – a 1.2-mile fun run for people of all ages and abilities, with every finisher receiving a Mini GEAR medal and a goody bag to show off their achievements.
There was music to enjoy on the course with bandstand utilised in the Walks and the Rock Choir performing on the Quay.
This year’s GEAR was organised for the first time by not-for-profit company Run For All, working in partnership with Alive Leisure and West Norfolk Council.
Lynne Preston, events manager at Run For All, said: “We were delighted with the incredible response to our first GEAR 10K. We are extremely grateful to everyone involved who worked so hard to make the run such a success, especially the brilliant volunteers.”
Asda Foundation senior manager Julie Ward said: “The GEAR 10K is an excellent addition to the Asda Foundation 10K series and the fact that all places were sold out is a reflection of its enormous popularity.
“Well done to everyone who took part and special thanks must go to the many volunteers who contributed so much to the event’s success.”
Kayvan Djamarani, Managing Director of Bespak, said: “It was heartening to see so many families participating in the Bespak Mini GEAR and the team spirit and competitiveness of all those involved in the Bespak Corporate Challenge. It all added up to a tremendous day.”
The event’s partner charities were Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind, Norfolk Accident Rescue Service, Wellbeing of Women and the Pandora Project.
It was supported by the Asda Foundation, West Norfolk Council, Bespak, Alive Leisure, Lynn News, KLFM, Aftershokz, Banana Kick and Arla Protein