IT’S going to be bigger and better - that’s the pledge of the organisers of Wigan’s 10k at the launch of the 2014 event.
Last year’s inaugural road race was one of many highlights for the town with more than 2,600 people running the course and even more enjoying what was a spectacular day.
This year’s run, on September 7, will see the runners limit lifted to 3,500 with 800 already signed up.
The race’s organisers, the Joining Jack charity, officially launched the 2014 Wigan 10k this week with one promise: “We’ll make it even better.”
Its route will stay the same with the start line moving down Market Street a little to accommodate the runners.
Joining Jack was set up by former Wigan rugby player Andy Johnson to raise funds to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a muscle-wasting illness which his six-year-old son Jack was diagnosed with in 2011.
Last years event helped raise thousands for the charity with the race also open to various other causes as well.
Now, after careful planning, and with slight tweats to the organisation, everyone is raring to go again.
Andy said: “All systems are go again and hopefully we can build on last year’s success and create the atmosphere we had then.
“People are still talking about last year’s event now. It’s the aim to create the atmosphere and people can go out and do their best and make it an event Wiganers can be proud of.
“We’ve said all the way through that we want to put as much money as we can into research and combine it with events that people want to be a part of and the Wigan 10k is something that was done right last year.
“We are still so overwhelmed with the support, it’s been incredible. Without everybody rallying around us we would be in a heap at home.
“Advancements are being made month by month so new proposals are coming forward constantly and you’ve go to hope and believe one of these will come to fruition. I think we’ve got a good chance and we live in hope.”
The race’s main organiser was Andy’s brother Matt who has plenty planned to make this year’s event bigger and better.
With the launch taking place this week, Matt is hoping the numbers will take a surge and is advising people to sign up soon to avoid disappointment. Matt said: “It’s incredible to think we’re only five months away now. We have over 800 people signed up already and that’s without an official launch.
“We’re anticipating a real surge in numbers with spring and the lighter nights. It’s great that Halliwell Jones are back on board with local companies too and we’re very grateful to all those because they obviously help facilitate the event.
“We also need to thank Wigan Council who we have been working with, they’ve been absolutely fantastic.”
One reason last year’s event was such a huge success was that it catered for everyone, not just the runners.
With live music, beer tents and food stalls in the town centre, thousands came out to support it.
Matt added: “We’ve got a lot of things planned and we’re going to be making a lot of announcements as we get nearer the big date.”
Among last year’s runners last year was Lucy Boyce, the wife of Wigan Athletic captain Emmerson who cheered her on on the day.
She took part to raise funds for Joseph’s Goal and as this year’s event is launched, Lucy is urging people to enter.
“The Wigan 10K is a wonderful event which I was thrilled to take part in,” she said. “It was very well organised and is a fun, interesting route. I particularly liked running around the DW Stadium! Whether you walk, run or wheel it around, you’ll enjoy the experience thoroughly whatever your level of experience.
“Many local people came out to support the event and offered friendly encouragement which I found made it much more enjoyable and rewarding. I have continued to run since the Wigan 10K last year, being my first experience of a race, as I had such a great time and I intend to do it again this year. It really did kick-start my current enthusiasm for running and I have nothing but happy memories from that day.”
To sign up www.wigan10k.co.uk.