Great East Run sells out for second year in row as demand for places soars

The challenge will see runners pass under the Orwell Bridge. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

The challenge will see runners pass under the Orwell Bridge. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

One of Suffolk’s biggest sporting events has sold out for the second year running – five months before the starting pistol sounds.

�1million was raised for good causes by runners who took part in the 2017 half marathon event last y

�1million was raised for good causes by runners who took part in the 2017 half marathon event last year. From left to right: Clare Jackson, Ruth Coomber, Giles Marcow, Rob Harvey and Daryl Simpson. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Thousands of runners are set to pound the streets of Ipswich and its picturesque surroundings for the Great East Run in September.

This is the second year in a row that the event has seen a massive demand for entries, with every single place snapped up ahead of the big day.

More than 3,500 people – 500 more than last year – are preparing to lace up their running shoes for the half marathon challenge.

Alex Jackson, of the Great Run Company, said: “For the second year, the response to the Simplyhealth Great East Run has been overwhelming.

Demand for places in the 2018 Great East Run have soared, with every single one selling out with fiv

Demand for places in the 2018 Great East Run have soared, with every single one selling out with five months to go until the challenge. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

“There’s clearly a huge demand for running in Suffolk and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to the start line in September.

“We’ll continue to work with our local partners to ensure the event can grow and attract more runners from both around the region and throughout the UK in the years to come.”

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Runners kick off the 13.1 mile route on Russell Road, looping around Ipswich Waterfront before heading out towards Freston.

Participants pass under the Orwell Bridge – where huge crowds are expected to turn out and cheer them on – and will cross the finish line at Portman Road.

Thousands of people took part in the first ever Great East Run last year.
Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Thousands of people took part in the first ever Great East Run last year. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Andy Abbott

Staged in partnership with Suffolk County Council (SCC), Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich JAFFA running club, last year’s Great East Run collected just under £1million for charity.

Fundraisers, first-timers and competitive club runners were among those involved.

It is part of an initiative fuelling Suffolk’s ambition become the most active county in England.

Tony Goldson, SCC’s cabinet member for health, said: “After the success of last year’s event it’s great that even more people will have the opportunity to take part this year and to sell out so soon is testament to all the partners involved.

The half marathon will pass through Ipswich's picturesque waterfront.
Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The half marathon will pass through Ipswich's picturesque waterfront. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Andy Abbott

“I have no doubt that all the work undertaken in recent years to develop weekly free to attend running events across the county is helping to get more residents active and inspire them to take on the Great East Run.

“I look forward to cheering the runners home.”

For more information about this year’s challenge, which takes place on September 16, visit the Simplyhealth Great East Run website.

The first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich.
Banana men Craig Fookes and Adam Williams.
Pictu

The first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich. Banana men Craig Fookes and Adam Williams. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Andy Abbott

The Simplyhealth Great East Run is returning to Ipswich this September.
Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The Simplyhealth Great East Run is returning to Ipswich this September. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Andy Abbott