Still time to sign up for Wigan 10k

Bob Horgan with son Luke. Picture by James Stewart
Bob Horgan with son Luke. Picture by James Stewart

Thousands of pounds are expected to be raised for good causes when the Wigan 10k returns on Sunday.

Joining Jack is holding the popular race for the sixth year to raise funds for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The charity was set up by former Wigan Warriors player Andy Johnson and his wife Alex in honour of their son Jack, now 10, who has the condition and will be the official race starter.

Many of those taking part will be running to raise money, whether for Joining Jack or other charities close to their hearts.

Father-of-two Bob Horgan is returning to his home town to take part and will push his three-year-old son Luke in a buggy as he runs.

It is one of a series of races he will tackle in aid of the Children’s Hospital Charity in Sheffield, as Luke is a long-term patient there.

He developed meningitis at birth and now has cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, epilepsy and other health issues.

Bob, 38, who grew up in the borough and now lives in Sheffield, will be joined by his sister and brother-in-law Kate and Phil Furlong, who live in Ashton.

He said: “I do enjoy running with Luke. He always loves it. He loves getting in the fresh air, he likes the rush of the wind through his hair and regularly has big smiles through it and makes lots of happy noises whilst he’s running.”

Bob, an accountant, aims to raise £500 to thank the hospital for the care given to Luke. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bob-horgan2018.

Also setting themselves a challenge are fund-raisers walking the 10k course wrapped in chains to support DIAS domestic violence centre.

They are raising awareness of how hard it is for victims of domestic violence to leave abusive relationships and collecting funds for the Wigan-based charity.

Youngsters will also be doing their bit as the family mile returns, after it proved to be a popular addition to last year’s 10k.

Sue Capstick, practice principal at Bridgeman Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre, has sponsored the race for the past four years.

She has gathered a team of primary school pupils to run the mile to help get youngsters active and raise awareness of ME in children.

Sue, who is a fund-raiser for the Perrin Technique, a therapy she uses to help ME patients, said: “I have had quite a number of young children come through for ME treatment. They often miss school and they cannot have a social life. There is not always the right support for these children.

“This year I mentioned that I want to raise awareness that children can be affected too. So we have teamed up with Woodfold Primary in Standish to get as many school children as we can to take part in the family mile for sponsorship.”

Dozens of children will take part and are invited to dress in the group’s superhero theme.

There is still time to sign up for both the 10k and family mile, which start on Market Street in Wigan town centre.

Registration for the 10k closes at midnight on Thursday, while entries for the family mile will be available on the day.

Race organiser Matt Johnson said: “People should sign up now to make sure they get their place. It’s such a unique atmosphere at the 10k. I think with it being the first major flagship fund-raiser that the charity organised and early in the charity’s creation, it’s got a special place in everyone’s hearts.”

The 10k starts at 10am and will see thousands of runners and walkers follow a 6.2-mile course along Woodhouse Lane to the DW Stadium and back via Mesnes Park.

The family mile starts at 12.30pm and will take in Mesnes Park, with youngsters running with their parents or being pushed in buggies.

Everyone who completes the races will be given a medal as they cross the finish line.

Crowds are expected to gather on the streets in the town centre and along the route to cheer on the runners and a team of volunteers will ensure everything runs smoothly, including more than 20 cadets from the 723 (Wigan) Squadron of the Air Training Corps.

Afterwards, runners and their supporters will be able to enjoy live music on a stage in the town centre, headlined by Oasis tribute act Oaces, and a European food festival.

To sign up, go to www.wigan10k.co.uk