Wigan Half Marathon – 17th March 2024

Report by Sam Ainscough

13.1 miles running in your hometown – what’s not to love!?

The Wigan Running Festival is becoming more-and-more popular in the North West with roughly 1000 people taking to the streets of the town. Each year there’s a selection of events, ranging from the Family Mile to the Half Marathon. The events all start (and finish) in Mesnes Park – a jewel in Wigan’s crown!

This was my third attempt at the course and my target was to enjoy it and get to the finish in under 1:45.

Miles 0-4: The first stage is relatively flat and you end up at the arse-end of a big industrial estate – lovely! But, as you approach mile 4, you see the impressive DW stadium… a place which has seen the mighty Latics beat many a foe in the past. This sight obviously then gives you inspiration to complete the next stages.

Miles 5-7: You have some steady miles which follow the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath. Trails… concrete… fat cobbles… mud… a few road crossings… lots to contend with. Main highlight is running past the famous Wigan Pier.

Miles 8-10: Now the hills begin! You leave the canal and start to meet a few undulations, and then you need to climb for approximately a mile to Haigh Hall (a big stately home which is currently undergoing major renovations so is shrouded in scaffolding). Definitely the hardest slog of the course.

Miles 11-13: You are rewarded for your efforts with the rest of the course being predominantly downhill, with one exception of a 400m climb towards the park gates at the mile 12 marker which feels as if you’re climbing Everest. Then you glide back down to the start/finish zone in Mesnes Park.

I managed to cross the line in 1:41:00 – not a bad day’s work, but definite room for improvement with more quality training in the bank.


Striders results

Position Name Time Age Category
170 Sam Ainscough 01:41:00 SM

First man home was Thomas Charles from Chorlton Runners in 1:09:40.  First woman was Serena Walker from Wigan in 1:26:41

Full results: here

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