5,000 plus runners are getting ready for Liverpool's biggest race of the year. The 25th silver anniversary race of the BTR Liverpool Half Marathon takes place this Sunday (25 March) and the event also includes the third annual BTR 10 Mile Road Race.
Both races start and finish under the gaze of the Liver Birds at Pier Head Liverpool, an iconic backdrop to showcase the city set against the Three Graces – the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building, and Port Of Liverpool Building. The course features some of Liverpool’s most famous sights including Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Princes Park, Sefton Park, Otterspool Promenade, Albert Dock Liverpool, and Museum Of Liverpool.
Runners then cross the finish line at the waterfront, where they will collect their bespoke commemorative finishers’ medal and T-shirt, specially designed to mark 25 years of the race from 1994 to 2018.
Originally known as the Liverpool International Half Marathon, the event has been staged across a number of courses since 1994. BTR was delighted to bring the race back into the heart of the city from its Sefton Park home to start and finish at Kings Dock. And since 2013, BTR has been proud to boast a grandstand start and finish area on the city’s iconic waterfront at Pier Head Liverpool – part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The race will be officially started by Bill Sergeant, Jim Ross and Ronnie Hart – the trio behind the original Liverpool International Half Marathon in 1994. They will be joined by Wigan-born double World Championship medallist Jenny Meadows, one of Britain’s leading female athletes.
Last year’s event saw four new course records set by the first place male and female in both the half marathon and 10-miler – and this year’s two races are again set to be hotly contested by an impressive field of runners.
BTR race director Alan Rothwell told runABC North: “The 25th anniversary Liverpool Half Marathon is quite a milestone. In recent years, the running market has massively grown and competition is fierce – so it’s testament to the event and its fantastic history that it’s stood the test of time.
“This year we have introduced a special personal best medal to mark the silver anniversary. It’s proved extremely popular and we have 500 runners taking on a challenge of their own as they hope to set a new half marathon PB.
“Claire House Children’s Hospice is the official event charity so I’d urge runners to dig deep and make a donation. I’d also encourage the public to come out on Sunday and cheer on the runners, that support really does make a huge difference in spurring them on to the finish line.”
Participants are travelling from across the globe to specifically to take part from destinations including Canada, Dubai, France, Germany, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Norway, Qatar, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States of America.
A team of 22 from Malta are gearing up to run, as well as a team of 15 from Denmark who have even had special running kit designed and produced to make it an extra special occasion.
Also lining up on the start line is 52-year-old Stephen Symons, who is thought to be the only ever present runner who has taken part in every Liverpool Half Marathon – making this Stephen’s 25th consecutive race start. Despite suffering from a brain haemorrhage in November 2012, Stephen still managed his continuous race run in March 2013 and took part accompanied by family.
A team of 35 from the Everton Football Club Academy will take on the half marathon to raise funds for official club charity, Everton in the Community, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary throughout 2018.