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Everything you need to know about the Great East Run 2019

Thousands of people are set to take park in the Great East Run 2019 in Ipswich this weekend Picture: MARK ANDREW WITTER

Thousands of people are set to take park in the Great East Run 2019 in Ipswich this weekend Picture: MARK ANDREW WITTER

Copyright © Mark Witter Photography

The sold-out Great East Run 2019 returns to Ipswich this weekend - with 4,000 people set to complete the course, which takes runners through the Waterfront, under the Orwell Bridge and past Ipswich Town's Portman Road stadium.

The Great East Run 2019 passes through Ipswich Waterfront Picture: Sonya DuncanThe Great East Run 2019 passes through Ipswich Waterfront Picture: Sonya Duncan

Here is everything you need to know about the event - including road closures, start times, the course, food and drink stops, and where to park.

What time should I arrive?

The information point opens in the event village (inside Ipswich Town Football Club) at 8am on Sunday, September 22.

Baggage and changing facilities, also inside the village, will open at this time.

Runners will start to assemble in the start area, in Russell Road, at 9am.

The mass warm up will begin at 9.45am, and the first wave of the race - orange and fast-paced runners - will kick off at 10am.

The white wave will start at 10.05am and the green wave at 10.10am.

The information point will close at 2pm.

Banana men Craig Fookes and Adam Williams at the first Simplyhealth Great East Run in 2017 
Picture: ANDY ABBOTTBanana men Craig Fookes and Adam Williams at the first Simplyhealth Great East Run in 2017 Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

How can I get to the event?

By car

The town centre is easily accessible from other parts of Suffolk via main routes such as the A14 and A12, and smaller roads. For more information about planning your journey, visit Traveline.

There are a number of short and long stay car parks available in Ipswich for people travelling to the race by car.

Those nearest to the start area in Russell Road include:

- Portman Road A car park, long stay, 55 spaces

- Portman Road B car park, long stay, 132 spaces

- Portman Road C car park, long stay, 563 spaces

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 WITTERGreat 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

- Portman Road D car park, long stay, 26 spaces

- Princes Street car park, long stay, 21 spaces

- West End Road car park, long stay, 329 spaces

- Elm Street car park, short stay, 68 spaces

- Cromwell Square car park, short stay, 64 spaces

- St Peter's Dock car park, short stay, 100 spaces

For further details, visit the Ipswich Borough Council website.

By rail

Greater Anglia rail services are available from Ipswich railway station, which is just a five minute walk from the start line in Russell Road.

The Great East Run 2019 is being held in Ipswich this weekend Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThe Great East Run 2019 is being held in Ipswich this weekend Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

For timetables and to book tickets, visit the Greater Anglia website.

By bus

Ipswich Buses operate a network of services across town, visit their website.

First Group buses also link the towns and villages in Suffolk. For timetables and tickets, visit their website.

Which roads are going to be closed?

There are a number of road closures in place for the 2019 Great East Run.

The start area, in Constantine Road and Russell Road, will close from 2pm on Saturday, September 21.

Town centre roads will close from 6am on Sunday, September 22.

The out and back section along Wherstead Road and out to Freston (under the Orwell Bridge) will close from 7.30am on Sunday (Wherstead Road) and 9am (Freston).

Excitement is building for the Great East Run 2019 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNExcitement is building for the Great East Run 2019 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Road re-opening times are expected to be as follows:

- Town centre 11.15am

- Freston 1pm

- Wherstead Road 1.35pm

- Commercial Road/Portman Road stadium area 2pm

- Constantine Road/Russell Road 3pm

Visit the Great East Run website for further details.

What does the course look like?

The Great East Run course follows a scenic route, suitable for runners of all abilities.

It starts and finishes at Russell Road, passes the prestigious Willis building, heads through Holywells Park and travels down Ipswich Waterfront.

The route then passes Felaw Maltings on the way out and back along Wherstead Road, where participants will see Fox's Marina, Suffolk Food Hall and go twice under the iconic Orwell Bridge into Freston.

On returning to the town centre, runners will head towards Ipswich Town's Portman Road stadium, passing the statues of Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey, before crossing the finish line in the stadium's practice pitch and being welcomed by hundreds of supporters in the stands.

Who is taking part?

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert will officially start this Sunday's sold-out Great East Run.

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.

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

The Great East Run 2019 begins and ends in Russell Road, Ipswich Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThe Great East Run 2019 begins and ends in Russell Road, Ipswich Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

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.

If I'm running, where can I grab food or drink en route?

There is a feed station at Clif Bar as runners approach the Freston part of the course.

Apart from hydrating with water, it's important to take on fuel during a run. Our bodies can only store enough carbohydrate for 75 to 90 minutes of running.

Therefore, there is a Clif feed station at approximately eight miles, giving out Clif Shot energy gels and energy chews.

Runners are also urged to be prepared for the water stations along the course - they will be signed in advance.

Participants must ensure they are ready to take a bottle - and try not to stop suddenly when there are runners behind you.

The first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich drew bumper crowds 

Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThe first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich drew bumper crowds Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

When finished, bottles should be discarded in bins provided or at the kerb.

Can my family watch me finish?

Family and friends will be able to wait for runners in the event village, as they exit the finish system.

However, not everyone will be able to stand at the finish line or at the end of the secondary finish system, so runners are urged to arrange to meet them in the family reunion area, or elsewhere in town.

What happens after the race?

There is a complimentary post-event massage and stretch zones for runners, provided by organisers Simplyhealth.

A Nando's stand will be situated in the finish area, where the popular chicken chain will be handing out post-run treats.

Share your pre and post-run photographs with us via email.

Runners warming up ahead of the Ipswich half marathon 

Picture: ANDY ABBOTTRunners warming up ahead of the Ipswich half marathon Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

What have organisers said ahead of the event?

"We're really excited to be returning to Suffolk for the third Simplyhealth Great East Run," organisers the Great Run Company said.

"This year's event will be the biggest yet, with 4,000 runners taking part.

"The fact it has sold out for three consecutive years really shows the appetite for running is as strong as ever in East Anglia.

"The Simplyhealth Great East Run showcases Ipswich and the beautiful Suffolk countryside, raises thousands for local and national charities and good causes and helps get thousands of people active throughout the region.

"We look forward to seeing all of the runners on Sunday as we transform the streets of Ipswich into a celebration of running."

- For further details, visit the Great Run website.

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