Launching the GEAR for 2015. Picture: Paul Tibbs.

Runners who have supported the Bespak Grand East Anglia Run since it started, came together to celebrate the launch of this year’s race. 

The 2015 event will be the tenth and some of the long-standing supporters helped to kick-start publicity for the King’s Lynn race at the Custom House on Wednesday.

This year’s GEAR takes place on May 3 with the main 10k at 10.45am and the mini GEAR 1.2-mile fun will get under way first at 10am.

Original runners who came forward after an appeal on social media were: Ruth Barber, Stewart Robins, John Gaisford, Mark Doughty, Michael Shaw, John Turner, Adrian Scaites-Stokes, Brian Kett Nick Bensley and Peter Drew.

Several of them have spoken about the impact the GEAR has had on their lives.

Mr Robins, 47, from Lynn, said it was his first race and held a special place in his heart.

It has spurred him on to achieve more running goals.

“I now do the Park Run and joined Ryston Runners and now do lots of 5k, 10k ten mile and half marathons and last year, I did my first London Marathon, but GEAR has a special place in my heart as it was the race that got me started,” said Mr Robins.

It was also the first organised race for Mr Gaisford, 67, of Downham Market. He said: “I found it so amazing and what has brought me back every year since is the level of  crowd support and the people that come out to cheer us on.”

Mr Doughty, 40, of North Wootton, said he felt the GEAR was one of the best 10k races in the country.

“I keep entering because the race improves every year and I am particularly delighted that this year, I will be able to do the mini GEAR with my son before the  main race,” he said.

The GEAR was also the first race for Hunstanton man, Mr Shaw, 47, who has since gone on to compete in the Great North Run, half marathons and last year, he took part in his first marathon.

“I always look forward to May and the GEAR, which holds many fond memories for me,” he said.

To mark the achievement and dedication of the ten runners, race director Roger Partridge said they will have special numbers this year so they can be identified.

The officially graded race is a circuit through the town centre which takes in local sights.

Entry online is open at www.grandeastanglianrun.co.uk