There is just under a week to go to the first Run Wigan Festival and registration levels have been flying at a fast rate. Entries for this Sunday’s flagship fundraising event, organised by Wigan-based charity Joining Jack and featuring a half marathon, 5k and a Family Mile, will close this Friday (17 March) at 1pm – any would-be participants are encouraged to snap up the remaining places before the deadline.
All three races will start and finish at the bottom of Market Street and will take in popular landmarks throughout the town. In an expression of gratitude to all those competing, organisers have invited runners to take in a rugby league match later in the afternoon for free – anyone with a finishers’ medal from any of the races will receive free entry to the Wigan club’s match against Huddersfield later that day.
The race will be started by nine-year-old Jack Johnson, the inspiration behind the Joining Jack charity. Jack has been fighting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy since he was diagnosed at the age of three. Mum, Alex, will be leading alongside Jack who will be pushed around the 13.1mile course in a special buggy by dynamic duo Wayne Godwin and Ewan Dowes, two team mates of Dad Andy, a former professional rugby league player.
Jack’s younger brother James, aged five, will be competing in the Family Mile race with Andy, and to complete the family connection, the whole event is the brainchild of Jack’s uncle Matt Johnson who is hoping to complete the 5k. Matt said: “We have been quite overwhelmed by the success of the Wigan 10K over the past four years that we thought why not create another running event this time with a range of distances so there is something for everyone.
“We launched the event last summer and there has been a growing interest with momentum growing since Christmas but the numbers over the past couple of weeks have been incredible. It’s going to be another fantastic day and we can’t wait – we’re just keeping our fingers crossed that the sun will be shining on us.”
Entry for the half marathon and 5k is priced at just £26 (£24 UKA) and £14.50 (£12.50) respectively. More information is available here.