Entry is open for the Great East Run 2018 – and event capacity has been increased
- Credit: Andy Abbott
The Great East Run is returning to Ipswich in September – and this year’s event will be bigger than last year’s inaugural challenge.
In 2018 the number of entries will be increased by 500 – meaning up to 3,500 people can take part in the half marathon around the streets of Ipswich town centre and along the River Orwell as far as Freston.
The route will be the same as last year – with competitors finishing on the practice pitch at Portman Road.
This year’s event will take place on September 16, a week earlier than last year, and that has caused some concern with members of the Felixstowe Road Runners.
Their Felixstowe Coastal 10 race is scheduled for that day because they had understood the Great East Run would be the following weekend.
But the return – and expansion – of the Great East Run has been widely welcomed. It is organised by the Great Run Company in association with the county and borough councils and the Ipswich Jaffa Running Club.
Alex Jackson, of the Great Run Company, said: “We’re really excited to be able to bring the Simplyhealth Great East Run back to Ipswich for a second year and to allow an even bigger number of runners to be a part of a fantastic half marathon in Suffolk.
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“The event received an unprecedented level of demand for entries last year, with the extra places we added selling out in just one day so I would encourage anyone who wishes to sign up to do so as soon as they can.”
Jaffa chair Alison Beech said: “We are excited to be building on the success of last year’s race and look forward to helping to grow the event to even bigger and better things.”
Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council, said: “After the success of last year’s event I am looking forward to seeing even more runners of all ages and abilities lining up to complete the Simplyhealth Great East Run on September 16.
Ipswich Borough Council deputy leader Bryony Rudkin said: “We are all looking forward to an even bigger and better event this year.
“The organisers have built on the solid foundations of the Ipswich half-marathon and are now attracting a regional profile for the Simplyhealth Great East Run.”
Anyone who would like to enter the Great East Run should visit the event’s website. Last year entries came in very quickly.
The first Great East Run attracted 3,000 runners – from club athletes to those raising money for charity.
However a clash with the Felixstowe Coastal 10 in 2017 was only averted when that race was moved two weeks before the Great East Run (GER), and organisers hoped they had avoided choosing the same date again.
Now both events have been scheduled for September 16.
The Felixstowe Road
Runners’ Facebook page has registered its irritation, saying: “To say I’m disappointed with GER is a massive understatement.”
A GER spokeswoman said the date for the run is based on a large number of factors.
She said: “Due to the staging of other events, the chosen date is the only time the event could take place in the month of September.
“Our aim is to provide Suffolk with a world class running event and moving the event to a different time of year would be detrimental to its long term growth ambitions.”