3 Jul

Big Summer Tour Starts On Merseyside

2104's tourists with Alan Rothwell

The highly anticipated annual BTR Tour Of Merseyside (TOM) returns this weekend when 300 runners embark on the gruelling week-long 52-mile challenge. The unique event will see the participants – also known as tourists – race in six events over seven days at various locations across Merseyside, with one rest day in the middle of the week.

This is the third annual BTR Tour Of Merseyside. The brainchild of BTR race director Alan Rothwell, the event is growing increasingly popular year on year, with competition fierce to make the final list of 300 competitors. The BTR TOM 2015 sold out in just two weeks after entries opened in July 2014.

The six BTR Tour Of Merseyside events cover variety of race terrains including beach, road and cross country, and include both morning and evening start times. The Tour starts with this Sunday’s Southport Half Marathon (5 July), where the runners will participate as guests of Vital Events. It finishes with a 12-mile Wirral Coastal run the following Saturday (11 July), and the runners will cover 52 miles over the course of the week. Southport will be followed by daily races in Thurstaston in Wirral on Monday (6 miles), Walton on Tuesday (10 miles), Hale on Thursday (5 miles), Knowsley on Friday (6 miles), and New Brighton on Saturday (12 miles), with a rest day on the Wednesday.

The first BTR Tour Of Merseyside took place in July 2013 with 73 tourists completing the inaugural event. Last year, the field more than doubled with 161 finishers. This year, the line-up of 300 tourists includes 29 of the original team of 2013 who are on course to complete a Tour hat-trick.

BTR 's Alan Rothwell commented: “The Tour Of Merseyside has proved to be an inspiring event and has captured the imagination and the hearts of some of Merseyside’s most committed runners. The last two years have created some very poignant and special memories in the running community. The camaraderie, support and excitement between the tourists is incredible to witness and it definitely grows in abundance throughout the week.

“The Tour is unlike anything else in the sporting calendar as it sees runners of all abilities compete with each other and most importantly, themselves, to complete a mammoth 52 miles in six races over seven days – that’s no mean feat. Come along and support the tourists in their challenge.”

The Tour Of Merseyside 2015 is full, but there are limited guest entry places available for three of the events – Monday at Thurstaston; Thursday at Hale, or Saturday at New Brighton. Details are available on the BTR Liverpool website.