Sign up NOW for Run Wigan Festival

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Get your running shoes on

The countdown is on to the third Run Wigan Festival - and people are being urged to sign up now before it’s too late.

Runners have been steadily registering for the annual event being held on Sunday, March 17.

And with just a month to go, there are fewer than 100 entries left for the 10-mile race, which is being held for the first time.

Race organiser Matt Johnson said: “Based on our experience now with how registration increases leading up to the event, we are confident that it will sell out so we would encourage people, if they don’t want to miss out, that they need to register.

“With roughly 100 places left, they will disappear quickly. People who are keeping an eye out should act quickly so they don’t miss out.”

Matt believes runners may wait until closer to the race to enter, giving them more time to check the weather forecast, after snow and ice led to the cancellation of last year’s half marathon.

But he warned that could be too late, as the race is limited to 450 places.

Entries have also been pouring in for the festival’s other races, with more than 550 people signed up for the half marathon and 350 for the 5k.

Nearly 150 people have registered for the family mile, with places for that event available on the day.

Preparations are well under way for the festival, with the 10-mile course officially measured this week and trophies arriving for the winners.

The races will begin on Market Street, in Wigan town centre, with 11-year-old Jack Johnson once again acting as the official race starter.

His parents, former Wigan Warriors star Andy Johnson and wife Alex, set up charity Joining Jack, which organises the festival, after he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

As runners tackle the course, passing some of Wigan’s landmarks, they will be entertained with music from Andy Mack and Pemberton Brass Band.

Work to revamp Market Place is expected to be completed in time for the event, meaning the popular European market and a stage for live music will return. The list of bands to perform will be announced in coming weeks.

Organisers have also decided that as well as receiving a medal, everyone who completes the 5k, 10-mile and half marathon races will be given a pie.

As everything is finalised in the next few weeks, Matt is keeping his fingers crossed for one thing he cannot control - the weather.

He said: “Obviously we would like a day like we have at the moment - cool, a light breeze and dry. It would be fantastic for everybody, the runners and the volunteers together. I’m hoping that the weather is kind to us this year.”