Four staff members will be on the start line for Run Norwich as The Forum welcomes thousands of runners, volunteers and members of the public on Sunday, 21 July, as the host venue and founding partner of the run.
The staff team typifies the spirit of the day with everything from an experienced runner to someone recovering from illness and inspired to run by the event.
Now in its fifth year, the event will see 7,500 people completing a 10k route going past the city’s iconic landmarks including Norwich Castle, the Cathedral and The Forum.
Forum Chief Executive Tim Bishop, Facilities Supervisor Mike Persich, Marketing and Communications Manager Richard Smith and Science Festival Marketing and Communications Manager Jan Robertson will all be running.
Jan, 42, is taking part for the second time and has been using the Couch to 10k app to help her train.
She said: “About four years ago I had an illness that meant I wasn’t able to walk very well and sometimes I had to be pushed around in a wheelchair. After I got better from that I wanted to keep healthy and stay mobile.
“Last year I ran Race for Life at the Norfolk Showground in May and then I did Run Norwich. I struggled in the beginning because I am not a natural runner, but I had my name on my bib and on my hat and people kept shouting at me ‘you can do it Jan!’ and it was so lovely to have that support from complete strangers in the crowd. I’m back and want to beat my time.”
Mike, aged 65, has taken part three times before - only missing one year due to injury.
He said: “I started running when I was about 13 at school and I was in the cross country team. I joined the Air Force and I ran for them too. I’ve been running all my life, although it gets harder the older you get.”
Mike runs twice a week taking part in the Gorleston Parkrun every Saturday. He recently won the Wroxham 5k Series for his age group.
He said: “Run Norwich gets more popular every year, it’s really well organised and it’s always a good run. The crowd really helps get you around the course!”
Richard, 30, running for the second year in a row, said: “I started running just for the race last year. I was always last in the school races and didn’t enjoy running but since I’ve been doing more fitness I’ve got much better. I felt I had to give this a go.
“The crowd and the volunteers were amazing and they really cheered everybody on. It’s great running past all the well-known Norwich landmarks too and the atmosphere was electric.”
Tim, 61, is running for the first time having worked every year, and said: “Run Norwich is a great day for the city and a fantastic day to run or to be a volunteer or a spectator.”
Tim is running for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital’s Boudicca Breast Cancer Charity. He said: “It shows the best of The Forum because all of our spaces are being used to create a brilliant city event that brings everyone together.”
“When we helped start Run Norwich we dreamt of a great event showing off our fantastic city That’s what it has become and this event is what The Forum is all about. Great partnerships that create great moments everyone can enjoy. It’s about the proper runners like Mike but for the start we wanted it to also be about people like Jan who are inspired to give it a go and their stories can help inspire others.”
The race starts at 9.30am.
Proceeds from this year’s run will go to CSF, The Nancy Oldfield Trust and Headway Norfolk and Waveney. Almost £400,000 has been raised for charities since the race began in 2015.
Run Norwich Expo
The Forum also hosts the Run Norwich Expo – a two-day pre-race celebration giving runners the chance to enjoy a host of stands and activities from race partners and supporters as they pick up their race packs. And the popular word wall containing every entrant’s name will also be back.
The Expo takes place at The Forum on Friday, 19 July from 9am to 6pm and Saturday, 20 July from 9am to 4pm.
For more information, visit the Run Norwich website.