In contrast to last year, when the half marathon was forced to cancel and the 5k re-routed due to heavy snowfall Sunday’s (17 March) Run Wigan Festival went as smoothly as organisers could have hoped with over 2500 competitors taking part across the quartet of events.
Organised on the back of the success of the Wigan 10K, the Run Wigan Festival was launched as a second flagship running event and has provided the local community with another major running event to complement the September 10K.
Setting the field on their way was 11-year-old Jack Johnson, the face of the event and inspiration behind the Joining Jack charity. Jack has been fighting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy since he was diagnosed at the age of three. His parents set up the charity in 2012 and the festival has raised invaluable funds to develop research into a treatment of cure for DMD.
The return of the half also saw a new course record set, as Chris Perry of Vale Royal AC bagged first in 1:10:50, followed by Salford Harriers’ Gary Priestley 1:11:57. There was also a new course record in the women's race where Leigh Harrier Abigail Howarth (1:20:4) claimed first ahead of teammate Laura Riches (1:24:50) in second.
Vale Royal enjoyed further success in the 5k as Andrew Miles claimed top spot in an impressive 16:06, closely followed by Bruno Lima (16:14). Susan Samme (20:19) was the top runner in the female competition in 20:19.
In what will surely be a big boost for organisers, the first ever Wigan 10 Miler pulled in a strong field with close to 500 taking part. Of those, Middleton Harriers’ Keith Scott (56:18) and Lindsay Murphy (1:11:43) proved to be the first ever winners.
You can view full results from Sunday’s event here.