Entries flooding in for the 10th GEAR

Bespak GEAR

Entries for the 10th Bespak Grand East Anglia Run have already gone past the 1000 mark, with the current entry at double the level for the same time last year.

The 1000th runner Emma Cuthell a member of the King's Lynn Triathlon Club and will be running as a KLTC team member this year.

This will be the 4th time that Emma, a radiologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, has taken part in the event. To mark her being the 1000th runner, she was presented with a special 10th anniversary T Shirt by Race Director Roger Partridge. 

Emma said: "I like this event because it is one of the best organised that I have been to.  The course is fast and flat which helps my times which have improved each year.  It's great for spectators too and my friends and family always come and watch.  The Tuesday Market Place start and finish means everything is self-contained and there is no queuing for numbers and everything is there when you finish."

Taking the first step towards running the Bespak Grand East Anglia Run could turn into a life-changing decision as 50-year-old Wendy Fisher (handicap 16.9) discovered when she was first encouraged to take part in the event in 2012.

Wendy, was working for Mars Food UK, and was asked to a get a corporate team together to take part in the race.  She had walked the race previously, when in training for the Moonwalk (a 26-mile power walk for Breast Cancer), but had never run it, and at the age of 47 hadn't really thought about taking up running.

"I had to get a team together and that meant taking part myself," said Wendy.  "I had no idea how to get started but thankfully someone at work told me about the park runs, that take place in The Walks, King's Lynn every Saturday, and suggested they would be a good way to get fit and start training for the 10k."

"I really enjoyed running with other people.  It made it much more fun and less of a chore.  I started on my 47th birthday and ran every park run until the Bespak GEAR in 2012.  I also participated in the GEAR Training Sessions, which helped even more."

"When it came to race day, I managed to get round in under an hour and I can't explain how proud I was.  I was so encouraged I joined the Ryston Runners, ran a few more races and then did my first half marathon in under two hours.  Last Saturday, close to my 50th birthday, I completed my 100th park run."

Wendy is set to run her first London Marathon on 26 April this year, having secured her place through the ballot, and is well into her training, with her first 18-mile run already under her belt.

"I will certainly be there on 3 May.  I'm not sure how fast I will be with post marathon legs, but I will definitely get round.  I wouldn't miss it for anything.  Who'd have thought that I would come this far, having only taken up running when I was 47.  I would encourage people to join the park runs or the beginners' training sessions and give it a go.  It's so much fun and it's so rewarding, and it has enabled me to raise funds for my two charities Association for Young ME sufferers and Cystic Fibrosis."

Wendy first got into GEAR through her connections with Mars Food UK, who have generously supported the race with products for the goody bags each years since 2012.  This year, Mars Food UK are continuing to support the event and are donating 1000 Mars Bars for the fun run goody bags, and 2,000 Dolmio Pata Vita lunch pots for the 10k goody bags.  And a further charity, The King's Lynn Trussell Trust Foodbank, benefits to the tune of £50 for every Mars Food UK employee that takes part in the race.

Alive Leisure Race Director Roger Partridge commented: "This event has achieved so much more than we had originally anticipated, even though we can never put numbers on the achievements.  Lots of people have taken up running thanks to the event, and lots of charities have benefitted as a direct results of the event.  We would like to thank everyone that enters and all our supporters and volunteers for making it all possible.

"We are sure the stories we get to hear about are just the tip of the iceburg, but would love to hear other people's stories via our facebook page."

If you have a Bespak GEAR story to tell, visit http://www.facebook.com/BespakGEAR.

The Bespak Grand East Anglia Run and Mini GEAR fun run is a Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk event, organised by Alive Leisure and sponsored by Bespak. 

The event takes place on Sunday, 3rd May 2015. The main race will start at 10.45am in the Tuesday Market Place in King's Lynn, with the mini-GEAR fun run starting at 10am. The fast, flat course takes runners on a loop through the town centre, through The Walks and along the waterfront, showcasing some of the town's key heritage and retail areas. The course is suitable for runners of all abilities, including wheelchair athletes.

The Bespak GEAR is a UKA and BARR Gold-Graded event. The cost of entry is £17 for affiliated runners and £19 for unaffiliated runners. To enter, runners must be aged 15 or over on race day. The Bespak Mini GEAR 1.2m fun run is open to anyone over 6 years of age (under 8s must be accompanied by an adult). The cost of entry for Bespak Mini GEAR is £6.00 for adults, £5.00 for under 16s and £4.00 for under 8s.

There are generous cash prizes for Bespak GEAR category winners and everyone taking part will receive a quality medal and goody bag.

Enter online now at www.grandeastangliarun.co.uk.

If you are wondering if you can run 10k, click here.

If you are looking to get round 10k, click here.

If you are looking to break 60 minutes click here,

If you are looking to break 50 minutes click here.

If you are looking to break 40 minutes click here.

Additionally, joining the parkun in The Walks every Saturday is another great way to prepare for the race - register at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/kingslynn/.

For all the latest information follow Twitter @GEARKL or like on Facebook www.facebook.com/BespakGEAR