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Town manager Paul Lambert to start Great East Run

PUBLISHED: 06:42 21 September 2019 | UPDATED: 06:42 21 September 2019

Great Britain Olympian Andy Vernon is joined by runners from the Great East Run Outreach Programme ahead of Sunday's half marathon Picture: GREAT RUN/MARK WITTER

Great Britain Olympian Andy Vernon is joined by runners from the Great East Run Outreach Programme ahead of Sunday's half marathon Picture: GREAT RUN/MARK WITTER

Copyright © Mark Witter Photography

Now in its third year, the major running event will take runners on a scenic route of Ipswich - through the Waterfront, under the Orwell Bridge and past Ipswich Town's Portman Road stadium.

Places were once again in high demand for the half marathon, which is staged in partnership with Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Jaffa Running Club.

Mr Lambert will be honorary starter of the event, alongside James Reeder, Suffolk County Council cabinet lead public health and prevention, Mayor of Ipswich Jan Parry, and county council deputy chairman Graham Newman.

For the full programme see our Great East Run - Everything You Need To Know guide.

A total of 31 runners will be attempting their first ever half marathon as part of the Simplyhealth Great East Run Outreach Programme.

To be eligible for a place on the programme participants must have been classed as inactive, doing less than 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity per week.

Great Britain Olympian Andy Vernon, who represented Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016, joined members of the Outreach programme yesterday to pass on some last-minute advice to runners before visiting Cliff Lane Primary School, Ipswich, where he took part in a Daily Mile event and answered questions from schoolchildren on his career.

Alison Beech, chairman of Ipswich Jaffa Running Club, said: "Ipswich Jaffa is delighted to again be part of the Simplyhealth Great East Run team and we look forward to supporting the event and all the participants on Sunday morning.

"There has been lots of hard work behind the scenes going into making this event a success and it will be fantastic to see that all come to fruition on the day.

"It's wonderful to have such an important sporting opportunity in the town, giving all levels of runners a chance to see the town from a different perspective."

Kate Thornton, Simplyhealth chief customer officer said: "Whether you're training for your first event, working towards a PB, walking or jogging, Simplyhealth will be supporting runners every step of the way, encouraging them to enjoy happier, healthier lives by being more active.

"This year, we're proud to have Diabetes UK as our official charity partner for the Series. Our partnership enables us to continue our great work in supporting people with their health; encouraging as many people as possible to become more active to reduce the risks of developing conditions such as diabetes. Good luck to everyone taking part. We look forward to seeing you at the finish line to celebrate your amazing achievements."

Mr Reedersaid: "It's fantastic that the number of participants taking part in the Simplyhealth Great East Run continues to grow each year and has sold out for the third year running.

"The ongoing development of free weekly running events across the county, such as Great Run Local and parkrun is almost certainly supporting the increase in participants each year and with more and more primary schools adopting The Daily Mile, this trend will hopefully continue for years to come and support Suffolk's ambition of becoming the most active county in England."

Sarah Barber, Ipswich Borough Council's town centre portfolio-holder, said: "We are really excited to see the town transform this weekend for the ever popular Great East Run. Not only is it a great way to raise money for charity and get people active but it's also the perfect opportunity to showcase Ipswich, with the route highlighting some of the town's treasures, such as the beautiful Holywells Park and vibrant waterfront."

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