With St Helens’ annual 10K event on the horizon, one of the town’s best runners has stated his intent to win.

Jon-Jo Doherty has flown out of the blocks this year, having been crowned as Merseyside County Cross Country champion earlier, this month.

A self-confessed ‘late-comer’, 37-year-old Doherty admits that the outlook of amateur runners is what influenced him to participate.

Jon-Jo Doherty with Patsy McGonagle, founder of Finn Valley AC - image courtesy of Jon-Jo Doherty
Jon-Jo Doherty with Patsy McGonagle, founder of Finn Valley AC – image courtesy of Jon-Jo Doherty

He said: “My attitude consists of enjoying myself and doing the best that I can. You’ve got to make sacrifices, but that’s where I see the beauty in amateur sports.

“Most people get into sports at the age of seven or so and get into that routine of having good drills and warm-ups.”

Doherty, who first familiarised himself with running at clubs, The St Helens Striders and St Helens Sutton AC, doesn’t own a television and spends most of his other time learning to play the acoustic guitar.

“It can take 10 years to perfect a skill, if you’re taking it seriously, so that development has been there for those that have been involved as youngsters,” he said.

Doherty with Patrick O'Connor, image courtesy of Jon-Jo Doherty
Doherty with Patrick O’Connor, image courtesy of Jon-Jo Doherty

On March 3, Doherty, amongst other participants of the St Helens 10K, will be crossing the Steve Prescott Bridge, in an event organised by the foundation of the late, great St Helens’ rugby player.

Totally Wicked Stadium, image by Liam McDermott
Totally Wicked Stadium, image by Liam McDermott

The runner added: “I found inspiration to be part of a big race. I first finished in 19th-place – it’s not bad but you want to work your way to the top.”

Having claimed gold at Wigan’s last 10K, he aims to overcome his co-host of the Two Men on the Run podcast, Matthew Crehan, who usually leads the way in an event where Doherty is making his long-awaited return.

He said: “The last time I competed was in 2020, when I finished in second place to him. He’s on another level.

“He runs 100 miles, per week, but I once beat him, in the Harrock Hill race. It was a different terrain and I passed him, which was nice as it was competition between two friends. We’re good friends, but on the day of the race, I’ll be giving 100%.”

With his eyes on one prize at a time, Doherty isn’t blinded by the fear of success.

His positive attitude ensures that he’ll “aim for the moon, but won’t be disappointed to land amongst the stars.”