Why we love the Grand East Anglia Run

GEAR Pam Loveless Nic Bensley

Two stalwarts of the Bespak Grand East Anglia Run have spoken about the benefits of running to encourage people to take up the sport and to enter the race.

Nic Bensley (42) and Pam Loveless (69) from King’s Lynn are two of just a few runners to have taken part in every single race since the first one in 2006 in The Walks, King’s Lynn.

Nic took part in his first competitive race in 1982 when he ran the King’s Lynn Half Marathon. He was inspired to take part after seeing running legends such as Seb Coe and Steve Cram. When he heard that the council was organising the Bespak ‘Great East Anglia Run’, he was pleased to be able to take part.

Nic has made the race his focus every year since the first event and has improved on his time year on year. Much of which he puts down to his membership of the Ryston Runners athletics club and his practice runs round the Walks on Saturdays as part of the King’s Lynn Park Run.

“We’re all born to run and it’s so good for your health. I would highly recommend using GEAR as a way to get into running. Enter the event and then just get out there and start training. Your time isn’t important, being active is. This is a fabulous event for the town and when you are running round the course, the noise from the crowd is amazing, and if you happen to hear your name being shouted, then that makes you go even faster.”

“Last year was a particularly good year for me, but I certainly had a battle on my hands. As I came down South Quay and onto King Street, towards the finish line, I could feel someone breathing down my neck. I couldn’t shake the contender off so just focused on an ‘eye balls out’ sprint finish. I ended up in a tie with Gavin Barron from Tri-Anglia and we both finished up winning the Duncan Gooderson Trophy for the fastest local runner.”

Nic has already entered this year’s event and his main aim is to finish in front of his girlfriend, Ryston Runners’ Marie French who was last year’s second placed senior woman.

Pam also began running in the 1980s when she was working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She used to run and walk between lamp posts on her way to and from work, gradually building up so that she could run greater distances without getting breathless. Pam felt it helped keep her more relaxed at work and helped her to cope with life’s ups and downs.

She entered the Bespak Grand East Anglia Run in 2006 as it presented a new challenge to her. Whilst she had been jogging for some years at this point, she felt she needed new motivation to keep up her exercise.

Pam said: “As you get older, it can get harder to motivate yourself to exercise. I feel stiff first thing in the morning as if my body has seized up overnight. By exercising regularly I can recover from this feeling quite quickly, and I know from research I’ve read, for people like the Arthritis Research Campaign, that exercising as your become old can really help reduce problems for your body.

“I love the Bespak Grand East Anglia Run because the course is wonderful, the people are so supportive and encouraging and the distance means that it is within most people’s grasp. I particularly like to run the course smiling and waving at all the spectators.”

This is the eighth year of the popular 10k race which starts and finishes in King’s Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place. For the third year, the race also includes a 1.2mile Mini-GEAR Fun Run, which is open to anyone aged 6 and over. Under 8s must be accompanied by an adult. Competitors must be 15 years and over to take part in the 10k race.

The Bespak GEAR costs £17 for affiliated runners and £19 for unaffiliated runners to enter. To enter the Mini-GEAR it’s £6 for adults, £5 for under 16s and £4 for under 8s to enter Mini-GEAR.

For the first time this year Bespak GEAR plays host to the Eastern Veterans Athletics Club Championship. The EVAC Championships are an individual event for males and females with awards for the over 35s in 5 year age categories up to 70+.

Bespak GEAR is organised by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and sponsored by Bespak. There are generous cash prizes for Bespak GEAR category winners and everyone taking part will receive a quality medal and goody bag.

If you feel inspired to take up running, you can enter the Bespak Grand East Anglia Run by visiting www.grandeastangliarun.co.uk

You can also follow GEAR on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GEARKL or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Bespak-Grand-East-Anglia-Run-2013

 

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