Former World Cup footballer Danny Mills has kicked-off the launch of what promises to be an even bigger and better GEAR race in King’s Lynn next year.
The right back, who played for Leeds United and Manchester City, joined pupils from the town’s Greyfriars Primary School to officially declare entries are now open for the April 30 event which will also be renamed.
It was revealed at Tuesday’s launch that a new partnership has been agreed to take the event forward which will see the Grand East Anglia Run come under the organisational expertise of Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All events.
Amateur athlete Jane, who was awarded a CBE, raised almost £2m for charity through a series of endurance challenges before she died of cancer in 2007, aged 43.
The not-for-profit legacy company already stages a host of prestigious races countrywide, which include 10ks in Leeds, Lincoln and York as well as half-marathons and the Yorkshire Marathon.
The Lynn event will be run in conjunction with Alive Leisure and West Norfolk Council and will be renamed the Asda Foundation GEAR 10k.
It will also include the introduction of the new Bespak GEAR 10k Corporate Challenge to find the fastest business team.
This year’s event turned out to be a record-breaker with 2,400 runners in the 10k and 1,200 in the mini 1k run.
Speaking at the launch at Lynn’s Corn Exchange, Mr Mills, who has starred in BBC One’s Celebrity Masterchef, said he hoped to take part in the 10k next year.
“10k is a great distance and it’s good to sign-up for something you believe in. It doesn’t matter if you run, sprint, or walk it – every penny is worth it for the charity you choose.
“It’s really exciting now that the GEAR will be added to Run For All’s successful series of events.
Run For All events manager Lynne Preston said the company was delighted with its new partnership.
“With its proud heritage and wonderful historic buildings, King’s Lynn provides the perfect backdrop for a successful 10K,” she said.
Keyvan Djamarani, managing director of Lynn’s Bespak, which has supported the event for around 10 years, said the company was proud to be sponsoring the Mini GEAR and the 10K corporate challenge.
“We hope it is going to be a great atmosphere and that the whole community enjoys the event and that it becomes yet another memorable, fun-filled day,” he said.
The course will remain the same and take in The Walks and pass by buildings such as the Red Mount, the Custom House and Greyfriars Tower.
Borough council cabinet member, Elizabeth Nockolds, said: “Since the first event in 2006, we have watched the GEAR grow and grow.
“We are delighted to now have the experience and expertise of the Run For All team on board to ensure that the event continues to grow,” she said.
Asda Foundation senior manager, Julie Ward, said it was “thrilled” to add the Lynn event to its 10k series.
A number of volunteering roles for help on the day will be available. See www.runforall.com/volunteer for more information.