|Rousing run showed “borough at its best”
Alex Johnson (Joining Jack), Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, Joining Jack mascot JJ, Leigh MP Andy Burnham, Sir Bradley Wiggins.
The first ever Wigan 10k run showed the “borough at its best” as more than 2,500 runners raced around the town centre route and hundreds more cheered them on.
Sir Bradley Wiggins started the race, which took place on Sunday morning (8 September) in glorious, golden sunshine and beneath a bright, blue sky. Experienced athletes, fun-runners and people in fancy dress ran side-by-side – all raising money for good causes.
Councillor Chris Ready, Wigan Council cabinet member for leisure, was one of the 2,600 people taking part. He said: “It really was a day to remember. I’ve never felt more proud to be from Wigan. It was a truly rousing sight to witness all those people running through the streets of the town centre, all cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd who created a superb atmosphere.
“It’s wonderful to think of the money raised on behalf of charities and other good causes and it was great to see so many people participating in a sporting activity. The run really did show the borough at its very best.”
The Wigan 10k was organised by Joining Jack, the charity set-up by former Wigan Warriors player Andy Johnson and his wife Alex. They launched it last year when their five-year-old son Jack was diagnosed with rare condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Hundreds of people ran on behalf of the charity but runners were able to raise funds for a cause of their choice.
Wigan Council and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust also helped organise the run, with the council also hosting a festival of music and food in the town centre. The route of the run took in some of Wigan’s most famous landmarks including the DW Stadium and Mesnes Park.
It was started by Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins and local MPs Andy Burnham and Lisa Nandy were first off the blocks – briefly leading the field.
Councillor Chris Ready said: “I’d like to thank all those involved for putting on such a successful event, particularly Joining Jack. I’d also like to congratulate the runners who took part.
“It was my first 10k but I managed a respectable time of just over an hour. But regardless of that it was a pleasure to be there to experience such a great occasion.
“This has been a remarkable year in Wigan Borough. Wigan Athletic have won the FA Cup, Leigh Centurions have won the Northern Rail Cup and Wigan Warriors have won the Challenge Cup. Now we’ve had this tremendous 10k run and we still have the Rugby League World Cup to look forward to. We should all be so proud of our borough and believe in Wigan.”