Wigan 10k is another day to remember

THEY came, they saw, they conquered.

In the biggest Wigan 10k to date, 3,450 people took to the streets to raise thousands of pounds for various causes yesterday.

Joyful scenes at the finish line of the Wigan 10k

Joyful scenes at the finish line of the Wigan 10k

One thing that remained the same was the fabulous weather.

Once again the sun shone down on those taking part. Surely the most valuable employee behind the scenes at Wigan 10k HQ is the one who arranges the conditions...

The event is organised by the Joining Jack charity, who open it up for other charities too.

Matt Johnson is the uncle of Jack Johnson, the inspiration behind the charity, and also the main event organiser.

It’s growing and growing each year and who could believe that in our third year we would have 3,500 runners registered?

Wigan 10k organiser Matt Johnson

He said: “Can you believe we’ve had the weather for the third year in a row?

“With the British summer and the weather we get in Wigan, we’ve had blue skies and fallen so lucky again so all we can do is thank our lucky stars.

“It’s growing and growing each year and who could believe that in our third year we would have 3,500 runners registered?

“Not only are the runners coming in their thousands, I’m sure there were more spectators out there. All in all, it’s an event that the Wigan public are supporting but also people from right across the country.”

Runners taking part in the 2015 Wigan 10k

Runners taking part in the 2015 Wigan 10k

Runners were set on their way from Market Street by Olympian Jenny Meadows, fresh from her semi-final appearance in the 800m race at the World Athletics Championships.

They ran along Parsons Walk, Park Road and Woodhouse Lane before turning left onto Scot Lane and then Stadium Way before doing a lap of the DW, where a Steel band were performing.

They then headed back to the town centre with a detour of Martland Mill and Mesnes Park, where local singer Andy Mack spurred them on.

For the second year running Bolton’s Thomas Carson was the first over the finish line, with a time of 32 mins 27 onds.

Runners march towards the finish line

Runners march towards the finish line

He was followed by Karl Darcy a minute later before Richard White crossed in third.

“It was about 30 seconds quicker than last year so I’m pleased,” said 23-year-old Thomas.

“It’s always good to come back and defend your title. It’s always a great event, it’s well set up and organised.

“The crowd around the course is phenomenal – I’ll be back next year!”

It was very much a sister act in the womens’ race though with Lauren Howarth winning with a time of 34 mins 56 secs ahead of her sister Becky who finished second.

The pair, who run for Leigh Harriers, were soon followed by team-mate Georgina Leck.

Some runners took part in fancy dress

Some runners took part in fancy dress

“I’m really pleased with it, it’s the first time I’ve done the Wigan 10k,” said Lauren.

“Becky came second and our other team-mate came in third so it was great.

“It’s such a great event, with a brilliant atmosphere and amazing crowds.”

Of course though, it wasn’t about winning. It was about a community coming together to produce another day to remember.

So many charities benefited from yesterday as well as Joining Jack.

Runners ran for the likes of Wigan Youth Zone, Wigan and Leigh Hospice, Cancer Research, Joseph’s Goal and Embrace, among others.

When they returned to the town centre, there was live music from acts such as The Beard Band, The Lottery Winners, The Invisible Ducks, Marcadia, Cautious Retreat and Vicious Circle.

A special European food market helped feed the masses with beer tents and local pubs bustling.

Truly, another day to remember.

• Don’t miss Monday’s Wigan Evening Post and this week’s Wigan Observer for photo special pull-outs of the Wigan 10k.