THE Lostock Six-Mile race will continue to be held after a late surge of interest.

Yesterday saw the 31st annual staging of one of the most traditional events on the Bolton athletics calendar.

Fears had been expressed by organisers at Lostock Athletics Club that this year could mark the end of the race due to a lack of interest. But, following an appeal via The Bolton News, it was inundated with entries and Lostock chairman John Smith told competitors at the presentation the show would go on.

“It helped with the story going in The Bolton News that we might have to finish,” he said. “We only had about 50 entries up to a fortnight ago, then we got a lot of interest.

“We had about 180 entries with 172 finishers. It was a great event and I was very pleased with the level of interest.

“What made my mind up was all the runners giving us a spontaneous big round of applause before the race. And then when I said during the presentation that it would be going ahead again next year there was a big cheer from everyone, so it was fantastic.”

The race was won by England international Andy Jones who broke his own course record by three seconds.

The 34-year-old, who finished 10th in the London Marathon three years ago, was joined on the starting line-up by local running legend Ron Hill.