Entries for the Simplyhealth Great East Run are half way to reaching capacity, just two days after opening.

The half marathon event will return to Ipswich on Sunday 16 September 2018 and organisers have once again experienced a huge demand for entries.

Last year, the inaugural event sold out within months of opening, with the full 3,000 places being sold by April.

This year’s event offers 500 extra places and opened on Monday 8 January, but the event is well on its way to reaching capacity in record time.

3,500 participants will line up on Russell Road and take on the 13.1-mile course which heads out into the scenic Suffolk countryside.

Organisers and their partners Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Jaffa Running Club, took the already established Ipswich Half Marathon event to the next level with a closed road course, taking in some of the region’s most iconic sights, which will return once again in 2018.

Runners head out of the town centre towards to village of Freston. On returning back into Ipswich, they have the unique opportunity to finish inside Ipswich Town Football Club’s practice pitch area.

Last year’s event featured sunny weather conditions and unrivalled local spectator support across the entire route, as well as just under £1 million being raised for charity by participants.

Alex Jackson, of the Great Run Company, said: “Once again, we’re overwhelmed by the level of support that the Simplyhealth Great East Run has received since the 2018 event has opened for entries.

“The fact that so many people have signed up so quickly, in just a matter of days, shows there is a huge level of demand for running events in Suffolk. Our aim is to provide a world class running event for the area and we’re confident that with this level of participation we will be able to build on the event year on year.

“Whether you’re an experienced runner, or considering setting yourself the challenge of an event for the first time, we hope the Simplyhealth Great East Run will encourage more people in the area to become more active this year.

“If you want to experience the satisfaction of completing a half marathon challenge while celebrating everything that’s great about Suffolk, sign up soon to avoid missing out.”

Participants of the Simplyhealth Great East Run pass the prestigious Willis building designed by Lord Foster before heading towards the town’s vibrant waterfront.

The route then goes past Felaw Maltings on the way out and back along Wherstead Road, where participants will pass twice under the iconic Orwell Bridge.

Runners then return to the town centre, passing over the Wet Dock lock gates and continue along the waterfront for a second time before crossing the finish line.

The Simplyhealth Great East Run is part of Suffolk County Council’s ambition to become the most active county in England and partners are confident that the success of the event will continue to raise East Anglia’s profile as a tourism destination for both runners and spectators across the U.K.

Entries for the Great East Run are now open at: Greatrun.org/East.