THE RACE ROUTE
The route is on undulating roads around and within Leverhulme Park. It has been accurately measured to 10 kilometres by the Association of UK Course Measurers (certified course number 11/333). There is elevation gain/loss of approximately 108m over the course as indicated on the profile inset in the route map below. The UK Athletics race permit is provided via runbritain.
Kilometre marker signs will be displayed along the route.
Drinks are available at about the half-way stage and finish.
Click on the Route Map for a larger version. Alternatively, download the Bolton 10K ROUTE MAP in PDF format here. The same route has been used 2012-Present.
The 10K race begins at 10am prompt. A five minute warning prior to the start will be given. The Start Line is located on the track within the Sports Centre.
Runners must cross the timing carpet in order to activate their chip. The carpet and the route’s exit from the stadium are both relatively narrow, so a fenced funnel is used to avoid bunching and promote safety.
You must enter the funnel to start the race and trigger your chip – don’t run around it or else you will not be given a time! Please be patient and courteous, and allow the quicker club runners to congregate at the front of this area.
Prior to the race, please stay clear of the carpet – you wouldn’t want your chip activating too soon! Also be aware that the Fun-Run finish is in the same location as the 10K start.
The final 200m is on the running track in front of the Grandstand, providing a good view for spectators.
After crossing the finish line, you will enter a fenced Finishers’ Area. Please do not exit this area until you have removed your timing chip. Use the collecting buckets and bins provided. Volunteers will be on-hand to assist you.
Water is available for all runners.
You can also collect your finisher’s T-Shirt and other race goodies.
Please do not approach the time-keepers or organisers for your ‘official’ time. Doing so may actually delay their publication and sorting out of category winners. See the Race Day Info section on how to obtain them.
The Bolton 10K start zone will get quite busy, especially since the Fun-Run will be finishing in the same area. As such, all spectators/non-runners should stay behind the metal railings – only competitors should enter the track area and start gather point.
After crossing the finish line, competitors will enter a fenced area to remove timing chips and collect their race Memento, water and other post-race goodies. Spectators should not enter this Finisher’s Area.
Refreshments are available from within Leverhulme sports centre and in the Powerleague building whilst the race is underway.
The Bolton 10K course passes a number points several times. These provide good positions for spectators to take photos and cheer on the runners. Recommended spots are at the following waypoints:
[C] – route passes at approx. 0.3km, 1.8km, 5.1km and 6.5km, and close to the finish area.
[F] – route passes at approx. 1.7km, 2.1km, 6.4km and 6.9km.
[G] – route passes at approx. 1.9km, 3.2km, 6.8km and 8km; also easy access to finish area.
[Q-U] – route passes at approx. 4.3km, 4.5km, 9km and 9.1km.
The setting for the Bolton 10K course is Leverhulme Park – the largest such parkland in the town. North-west club runners will no doubt be familiar with the location of BUH&AC’s base at Leverhulme, as it annually hosts race events in the Red Rose Cross Country series, Central Lancashire Grand Prix and other athletics track and field championships. A Race For Life event, in aid of Cancer Research UK, is also staged here, as is the weekly Park Run grassroots athletics scheme.
The park is named after one of Bolton’s most famous sons, Lord Leverhulme, who donated the land to the people of Bolton in 1914. In total, the park covers 98 acres, with the confluence of the south-flowing Bradshaw Brook and River Tonge (Eagley Brook and Astley Brook having merged 1km northwest upstream) at its centre. The gentle valley slopes provide a refuge for wildlife and several popular tree-lined ‘nature trails’ take advantage of this. Bolton United Harriers & Athletic Club have been based here since at least 1948, where luminaries of the athletics world such as Mike Freary, Ron Hill, Steve Kenyon and Tom Lancashire, have set various club and national records. The following details expand on the route line (coloured blue) and waypoints [letters] on the Bolton 10K Route Map.
Redeveloped in 2005, the famous track provides the start point [A] of the new Bolton 10K route. After approximately 300m anticlockwise [B], a narrow exit left (please avoid jostling and beware of the tarmac lip of the road edge) then takes a sharp right turn down Cinder Hill [C-D]. A flat parkland track follows alongside the babbling Bradshaw Brook, with the 1km mark just past the confluence with the River Tonge. Under extensive tree foliage, the lowest point of the route (64m) is encountered at the junction with Parkside Place [E], before Spooky Hill is tackled. The only substantial uphill on the course, its initial steep gradient slackens before emerging from the woods after 300m by cricket fields.
The route then winds its way around the zip-wire, children’s play area and main car park [F-C-G], rising slightly as it does, before gently subsiding down the central path past the 2km mark. Exiting the Park [H], Gorses Road is taken past Bolton Flat Green Bowling Club down to Gorses Steps, officially Bolton’s steepest public highway as featured in the 1970 film Spring And Port Wine. Runners will be thankful that they do NOT take this route, but instead veer south across the old railway line! Though the race group should be fairly spread by this point (approximately 2.5km), we ask for your consideration of other runners at this narrow pedestrian bridge and draw your attention to the five slight steps at its start.
A short pull up the linked Solent Drive and Bembridge Drive in the only residential part of the course leads to the Levers Arms pub on Radcliffe Road. The course high point of 95.5m at the junction with Long Lane [O] also marks the 3km point, before the route gently declines past the athletics track and along the eastern edge of the park. The first left turn into Blenheim Road [P] opposite St Osmunds RC Church goes past the 4km point and leads to the police station [Q] before a brief flirtation with Bury Road (A58) and Oakenbottom Road [R-S-T]. A short bridleway (take care at the narrow bollarded entry) sweeps runners back past another bowling green [U] and intersects a flat tarmac road parallel to five football pitches. The sight of the athletics stadium beckons competitors to the end of the first lap, with the halfway drinks stop available at the top of Cinder Hill [C].
Your reward is a complete second loop of the course! With the two uphill sections separated by 5km, the leg-burning ‘big W’ profile of the 2011 course has been altered to be more runner-friendly. Virtually flat all the way from the last kilometre, runners have a good view of their destination (and probably thoughts of “not long to go now!”)!
The route enters the stadium by the Powerleague Astroturf pitches, giving spectators a good view of the final 200m of the race. Don’t go off course by crossing the inside lane’s white line, otherwise you’ll be entering steeplechase territory with its water-jump!
The Bolton 10K has had some quick times over the years (simply see the Results), but as noted in the “About Us” history section, the various route incarnations means that comparing these is a bit like the old ‘apple and oranges’ idiom!
Since 2012 though, the same accurately-measured course has been employed. Excellent runs in good conditions established the current course records, for which a cash prize is available if they can be bettered. The standards to beat are:
Men – 32:05 – Set in 2017 by USA’s Gilbert Grundy of Guildford & Godalming AC, who knocked 15s off the 2014 time by Patrick Gardiner (East Cheshire Harriers & Tameside AC). He had knocked 59s off ex-BUH&AC runner Chris Busaileh’s (now of Herne Hill Harriers) 2013 mark.
Women – 37:54 – Set in 2017 by Blackburn’s former England international Pauline Powell, who took the previous best set by BUH&AC’s own Catherine O’Dwyer, whose 2014 mark shattered the previous best set by Melissa Neal of March AC in 2012.