Organiser Matt Johnson summed up the mood perfectly after the Wigan 10K recorded another impressive turnout on Sunday: “Who could believe that in our third year we would have 3,500 runners registered?” The race, started by Olympian Jenny Meadows in glorious sunshine, saw Thomas Carson successfully defend his title, while it was a family affair in the female field with Lauren Howarth taking top place, with her sister, Becky, in second.
The fast and flat route incorporates many of the town's landmarks with runners departing from the town centre on Market Street, onto Parsons Walk between Wigan College and the new Wigan Youth Zone. Competitors then took in the DW Stadium and into Martland Park Industrial Estate before heading back to the town centre via a loop of Mesnes Park and a finish on Market Street.
Horwich Harriers’ Carson continued his fine 2015 form with another victory in 32:37, 24 seconds quicker than his time last year. Bolton’s Karl Darcy finished second (33:24) with Richard White in third place (33:30). Carson commented post-race: “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!”
In the women’s competition, Leigh Harriers’ pair Lauren and Becky Howarth dominated the field with a one-two in 34:56 and 37:29, with the former securing seventh place overall. Georgina Leck rounded off the top three female runners (38:39). Mid-point in the field was Claire Hextall (1:00:39), while the last competitor came home in 2:06:41.
Organiser Matt Johnson was both delighted with the race conditions and the event’s rising popularity: “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. 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.”