The early bird catches the worm - or so the saying goes - and 1,647 women have been quick off the mark to sign up for a charity walk in Bury St Edmunds.
They took advantage of an early bird offer – which closed on May 31 - to register for the Girls Night Out sponsored walk for a reduced price, beating the event’s previous record of 1,355 early bird entrants, set last year.
The annual moonlight walk, which sees women wear pyjamas and flashing bunny ears to walk either 11.2 or six miles around Bury St Edmunds, is in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care.
Jenny Baskett, St Nicholas Hospice Care Events and Challenges Fundraiser, said: “We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the number of women keen to walk with us for Girls Night Out. We knew the event was popular and had built a loyal following, but to have attracted so many walkers already this year was a shock.
“The walk is now in its eighth year and it has just got bigger and better every time. It always has a fantastic atmosphere and the women who take part tell us how much they enjoy it, but we make a big effort every year to ensure each walk is better than the last.”
Girls Night Out 2015 raised £190,000 for the Hospice, which cares for patients in West Suffolk and Thetford facing long-term and life-threatening illnesses and their families.
On Saturday 10 September, the pyjama-clad women taking part will walk scenic routes around the town. All will be greeted on their return to Angel Hill with a bacon butty (or vegetarian alternative) and hot chocolate.
Jenny added: “The funds raised through Girls Night Out will help to ensure the Hospice can continue to support people facing long term or life-threatening illnesses, and their families.
“We are thrilled so many women have already signed up for Girls Night Out, but there is still plenty of time to get involved. We are aiming to have more than 2,000 women walking this year, so please speak to your friends and family about taking part.”
Registration forms are available from Hospice shops in Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Newmarket, Haverhill, Thetford, Mildenhall and Brandon, or sign up at www.girlsnightoutwalk.co.uk. Registration costs £15, including a T-shirt and pair of flashing bunny ears.