Merseyside was bathed in fine spring weather as it celebrated the 23rd annual Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon on Sunday (13 March). The event saw over 5,000 runners take part and heralded the successful launch of the Liverpool 10 Mile Road Race.
Half marathon participants were given their marching orders by Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Tony Concepcion and Lady Mayoress Ann Concepcion. There were some familiar faces in the field, including 87-year-old Eddie Naisby – a regular and firm favourite at the BTR Liverpool events – from Prestatyn RC who finished in 2:38:35.
The iconic course took runners around the Albert Dock, the Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool Cathedral and Sefton Park Palm House. Moving towards the last three miles, runners headed straight along Otterspool Promenade back to the finish at the iconic Pier Head.
The perfect racing conditions meant impressive times were on the cards and so it proved as Michelle Nolan set a new course record in the female competition, while male champion Dejene Gezimu narrowly missed out on a similar feat. Gateshead Harriers’ Nolan crossed the line in 1:20:19, followed by Gemma Connolly (1:21:23), with local runner Kirsty Longley in third (1:22:17).
Gezimu, meanwhile, followed up his success at the Merseyside County Championships in January with another victory in 1:06:58 – which has been recorded as a PB for the runner. Notts AC’s Benjamin Douglas secured second (1:07:49), while Daniel Kestrel took third (1:08:09).
Reflecting on the continued success of the half marathon, which is the north-west premium 13.1 mile event, plus that of the new 10 mile race, BTR Liverpool director Alan Rothwell commented: “We are absolutely thrilled with this year’s Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon and our brand new 10 Mile Road Race. Over 5,000 runners turned out in force in perfect running conditions and thoroughly enjoyed the race.
“There was a real buzz round the Pier Head, which looked absolutely fantastic and showcased our stunning waterfront. A new female half marathon course record was also set by Michelle Nolan, absolutely brilliant and well done. We have to say a huge thank you to everyone who ran; the marshals; the army of volunteers on the water stations; spectators; and especially the runners who travelled from 16 overseas countries to take part in one of BTR’s biggest races.”
Entries for the 2017 event are now open. More information is available here.