THIS year's Winsford 10k is expected to go ahead as planned.

Mum Charlotte Mills, who used to live in Winsford, revived the community event last year, hopes that hundreds of runners will be able to take part on Sunday, October 18.

"As it stands at the moment we are going ahead," said Charlotte, 42. "We're waiting until next month before we promote it. We're watching how things sit with UK Athletics."

Charlotte and runner Iain Borsbey teamed up with Compass Minerals to form event company Rock Salt Running and restored the run in 2019.

The 2020 route will start and finish at Winsford's famous salt mine at Compass Minerals and following the same picturesque trails, paths and lanes of Winsford and Whitegate Way, through the grounds of Vale Royal Abbey and back along the River Weaver to the salt mine.

However, changes may be introduced at the start to meet any social distancing requirements.

"We may have an open start rather than a mass start with everyone together," said Charlotte. We are busy at the moment working on models we could follow to make things as safe as possible to facilitate social distancing if we need to."

Winsford Guardian:

Some 330 runners took part in last year's Winsford 10k Picture: Mick Hall

Last year, 330 runners took part and the event raised vital £300 for St Luke's with £1 from every entry going to the hospice and remaining proceeds helped to fund more inclusive events.

"We were hoping for 500 entries this year but we might have to reduce it for health and safety reasons," said Charlotte. "We are working out our risk assessments."

Runners who entered the spring 10k which was due to take place in March and had to be cancelled had their entries deferred to 2021.

"Entries for the October 10k will be on the understanding that if we do have to cancel due to Covid-19, those entries will be also deferred to next year."

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Charlotte, who struggled to climb stairs six years ago, launched Winsford's very own running club, Rock Salt Runners six months ago and it has grown from strength to strength.

The determined mum started running after conquering a serious illness.

Winsford Guardian:

Mum Charlotte Mills revived the Winsford 10k last year after conquering serious illness

Charlotte, from Cuddington, was diagnosed with chronic sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease which causes swollen tissue to develop in the organs of the body, six years ago and gained eight stone after being put on steroids.

A friend put her in touch with Northwich Running Club and she joined their free Couch to 5k programme in January 2017.

"I plucked up the courage to join and it has given me a new lease of life," said Charlotte, who is now in total remission from her illness. "I had hit rock bottom and now I'm a fully fledged runner!"

Her club Rock Salt Runners has been providing runners of all abilities virtual challenges and time trials throughout lockdown.

"Loads has been going on to keep everyone engaged and motivated," said Charlotte. "We've tried to appeal to different runners. One of my friends owns her own cleaning business and was hit all of a sudden by being inactive. She did couch to 5k on her own during lockdown and it has made a tremendous difference to her mental health.

"Having something to focus her energy on whilst she couldn't work has been really positive."

The club is currently risk assessing social distancing running after UK Athletics gave permission for six people to run together.

"It has been good for me that I have been forced to run on my own during lockdown," said Charlotte. "I have taken responsibility and gained confidence. I know I can just go out and do it, I don't need someone to cajole me but I've forgotten how to run and chat at the same time!

"Everyone is chomping at the bit to get back together.

Winsford Guardian:

Charlotte Mills, second from right, can't wait to get back out running with friends from Rock Salt Running

"We hope to have small groups resuming running very soon. We want to make sure that everything is in place to make it as safe as possible fore everyone."

Details of how to book a group run will be available on Rock Salt Running's Facebook page.

Runners will be able to enter Winsford 10k at rocksaltrunning.com in the coming weeks.