6 Jun

Running Dad’s Ray Of Sunshine

Running Dad Stephen LeaA Liverpool runner who withdrew from May’s Port Sunlight 10K to be alongside his wife during labour was last week given the opportunity to complete the race. Stephen Lea, from Bootle, planned to compete in the Mersey event in his aim to complete the full set of six BTR Liverpool races but his newborn, Franky, had other ideas.

Stephen took up the story: “I was all set to run on the Sunday morning, but then Carly went into labour and Franky had other ideas. I got home at 8am after being in the hospital all night and I did think about heading over to Port Sunlight to run, but I’d had no sleep and thought I better rest then get back to Carly and the boys instead of racing.”

After hearing Stephen's story, event director Alan Rothwell decided to officiate and cycled the 10K course with Stephen on Friday (30 May). Stephen completed the btr Port Sunlight 10K in 50:24, cheered along the course by wife Carly, sons Franky and Bobby. He was presented with his medal and T-shirt by Lionel Bolland, chief executive of Port Sunlight Museum & Garden Village.

Stephen added: “I am really touched that Alan and the BTR team went out of their way to make this happen. I don’t think that any other race organisers would do this, it’s a fantastic gesture.”

Next up for Stephen in his challenge is the Mersey Tunnel 10K on Sunday (8 June) followed by the 52-mile BTR Tour Of Merseyside in July.