Thousands turn out for Run Wigan Festival

Thousands of runners and walkers will be basking in glory and resting their weary legs today after completing races at Run Wigan Festival.

All smiles as the 5k gets underway
All smiles as the 5k gets underway

The third annual event proved to be a success, with many people beaming as they crossed the finish line to collect their medal.

People travelled from across the North West and further afield to take part in half marathon, 10-mile and 5km races, with many running clubs represented.

After weeks and even months of training, participants gathered in Wigan town centre on Sunday morning ready to get running.

All smiles as the 5k gets underway

Organisers from charity Joining Jack were relieved that extreme weather conditions did not return, after last year’s half marathon had to be cancelled and the 5k re-routed due to snow and ice.

The race starter was 11-year-old Jack Johnson, whose parents Andy and Alex set up Joining Jack when he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Runners and walkers streamed across the start line on Market Street to take on courses passing some of Wigan’s landmarks, including the DW Stadium, Wigan Pier, Haigh Hall and Mesnes Park.

Residents came out of their houses to cheer everyone on and musician Andy Mack and Pemberton Old Wigan DW Band performed for the half marathon runners.


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Even Captain America came to town for the run festival!

Happy but tired runners were given a medal after crossing the finish line and could collect a free pie from Pound Bakery.

Younger runners were also put through their paces in a family mile, which saw excited children tear through the streets with their parents.

They were presented with their own medal at the end.


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Afterwards, many participants and spectators stayed in the town centre to enjoy live music from a stage on the newly-revamped Market Place and browse stalls on an international market.

Runners warming up ahead of the half marathon

Some runners and walkers will now be collecting sponsor money, with thousands of pounds expected to be raised for Joining Jack and other good causes close to their hearts.

Joining Jack’s next run will be the Wigan 10k on Sunday, September 1.


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* Don't miss our picture supplements in Monday's Wigan Post and Tuesday's Wigan Observer

And they're off!
The half marathon gets underway
Family and friends line the streets to watch their loved ones pass by