More than 3,000 signed up for town’s first running gala

The start of last year's Wigan 10k

The start of last year's Wigan 10k

There are just a few days left until thousands of people will pound the streets in the inaugural Run Wigan Festival.

After the success of the Wigan 10k, runners can take on a different challenge in the town centre on Sunday.

Wigan-based charity Joining Jack is organising a half marathon, 5k race and family mile.

And there is still time to take part - online entries will close on Friday, or earlier if the races sell out, and registration for the family mile will be available on the day.

Race organiser Matt Johnson said: “If you are not doing anything this weekend, get involved with this big day in Wigan.

“There are still spaces left, including for the 5k and family mile.”

Medal for the first half marathon

Medal for the first half marathon

He said entries had been “flying in” over the past two weeks.

More than 2,000 people have now signed up for the half marathon, while entries have passed 1,000 for the 5k and 250 for the family mile.

Matt said: “We are delighted. It’s a big thank you to everybody that has registered to support us.

“We hope everyone has a good day and runs well and spectators enjoy the day and help to create a good atmosphere.

It’s a big thank you to everybody that has registered to support us

Matt Johnson

“Hopefully everyone will stay in the town and have a party and the weather will be good for us.”

The day will start with the half marathon at 9.30am, followed by the 5k at 10.15am and family mile at 1pm.

Runners will set off from Market Street, with the 5k going along Woodhouse Lane and through Mesnes Park, and the half marathon route taking in the DW Stadium, Wigan Pier and Haigh Hall.

As participants gather at the start line, a music mix by Wigan Warriors legend Martin Offiah will be played.

The races will be started by nine-year-old Jack Johnson, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is the inspiration behind charity Joining Jack.

He will then tackle the half marathon course, being pushed in a wheelchair by retired rugby players Wayne Godwin and Ewan Dowes.

Matt said: “Jack is excited. He has a big job to start the races and he is taking part in the half marathon with his two rugby friends.

“Like all the runners, he’s hoping for dry weather and he’s looking forward to participating.”

Participants will receive a medal when they finish, along with a T-shirt and goodie bag for the half marathon.

The final run will be a one-mile family run along Parson’s Walk and through Mesnes Park.

Children will be given their race number on the day and receive a medal and water at the end. Parents or guardians can run with them for free.

Afterwards, runners can enjoy live music from several bands in the town centre and browse a European food market.

And Wigan Warriors is offering free entry to everyone with a medal to their match against Huddersfield Giants at 3pm that day.

For more information and to register to take part, go to the Run Wigan Festival website

Registration for the half marathon and 5k will close at 1pm on Friday or earlier if they sell out. People can also sign up for the family mile between 11am and 12.30pm on Sunday at the race information point in the town centre.

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