Terence Forrest built on his second place showing at the 2015 edition of BTR Liverpool's Tour of Merseyside to secure top billing at last week’s event. The Cairngorm runner was one of 300 participants to successfully complete six races of varying distances and terrain to earn the right to call themselves Tourists.
Since the Tour was introduced to the BTR Liverpool portfolio in 2013, interest and popularity have grown steadily. During its inaugural year, a modest 73 completed the series, with numbers more than doubling to 160 the following year. This year’s event sold out a year in advance with all 300 places snapped up in eight hours.
The Tour kicked off on Sunday 3 July at Southport Half Marathon, where runners were guests of Vital Events. This was followed by six miles of beach and trail in Thurstaston; 10 miles on the Sustrans Loopline in Walton; new for 2016 was a 5-mile race along the Liverpool waterfront at Otterspool Promenade (the race the runners have now adopted as fancy dress day); six miles cross country at Stadt Moers in Knowsley; before the event concluded with a 12-mile Wirral coastal run from New Brighton to Hoylake and back to New Brighton.
Forrest finished with an overall time of 4:57:02, with Liverpool Harriers AC’s Ian Moran second (5:02:05) and Anthony Taylor, winner of the Tour for the previous three years, in third place (5:07:00). Liverpool Harriers’ Jenny Clague was the comprehensive winner in the women’s field in 5:57:50, with Victoria Jones (6:21:17) and Lauren Morley (6:23:10) following.
BTR race director Alan Rothwell commented: “The Tour Of Merseyside never fails to inspire me. What an incredible week of excitement, anticipation, nerves and laughs. The atmosphere is incredible, and you can see and feel the camaraderie growing day by day. The challenge is like no other. Each race is completely different and really pushes the runners, taking them out of their comfort zone.”
Remarkably, the 2017 event sold out within four hours of going live, a response that has delighted Alan: “Having the 2017 sell out in just four hours is testament to the Tourists, volunteers and spectators who all play such a huge part in making the Tour such a special experience. The BTR Team would like to say a heartfelt thank you for all being such an integral part of the Tour Of Merseyside.”