A Wet and Windy Liverpool Landmarks Half

Liverpool Half

The weather created some really tough conditions for runners at the weekend but more than 3,500 entrants turned out for the BTR Liverpool Landmarks Half Marathon and the 10 Mile Road Race in what turned out to be some of the worst weather conditions in the race’s 26 year history.

It’s always been a hugely popular race with the Merseyside running community in particular, but also with the North West and UK-wide. The number of runners travelling from overseas grows each year too, reflecting what a popular tourist destination it is. This year runners travelled to Liverpool from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Jersey, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United States of America.

Both races started and finished under the gaze of the Liver Birds at Pier Head Liverpool, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and an iconic backdrop to showcase the city set against the Three Graces – the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building, and Port Of Liverpool Building.

Liverpool Half
A soggy start didn’t deter the runners (copyright Paul Francis Cooper)

The course featured some of Liverpool’s most famous sights including Liverpool Cathedral, Princes Park, Sefton Park, Otterspool Promenade, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, and Museum Of Liverpool.

The BTR Liverpool Landmarks Half Marathon 2019 was won by Daniel Kestrel from Rotheram Harriers AC in a time of 1:11:01 (gun time)and Ellen McLeod from Sheffield RC recording a time of 1:28.

The winner of the BTR Liverpool Landmarks 10 Mile Road Race was Mark Dunham from Southport Waterloo AC with a time of 56:08. The first female to finish was Liz Turner from Penny Lane Striders in 1:10:17.

Everton’s Ian Snodin was joined by runners and volunteers representing Everton in the Community. They were raising awareness and funds for The People’s Place, the charity’s mental health focused fundraising campaign to develop and build a purpose-built mental-health facility close to Goodison Park. Places are available to run for Everton in the Community in future BTR races.

The day’s most senior participants were 81-year-old John Courtney from Liverpool; Ronald Thornton aged 79 from Crosby; and 75-year-old Marion Hirst from Liverpool.  Stephen Symons, who has taken part each year since the race started in 1994, also took part.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:

“Wow what a way to start our race portfolio for 2019. Huge congratulations and well done to everyone who took part, in what were some of the worse weather conditions we’ve experienced in the race’s 26-year history.

“Ten miles and a half marathon are long distances to run anyway, but in such challenging and testing weather of rain, cold, wind and hail, it’s real testament to the grit and determination of every single runner.

“Special mention must also go to the stewards and volunteers who help make the race a success, including BTR Road Runners, Dockside Runners, Everton in the Community, GoodGym; Liverpool Area Army Cadet Force, Origins Sports Massage, and Penny Lane Striders.

“Thank you also to our team of official race pacers, and the Race Angels along Otterspool Promenade who gave runners that much-needed boost along the waterfront, where drumming band Batala Mersey were waiting for them on the home straight.”

Next race in the BTR portfolio is the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K on Sunday 14 April 2019. Runners start in Liverpool, run under the River Mersey and through the Kingsway Tunnel, finishing at New Brighton. Enter online at https://www.btrliverpool.com/mersey-tunnel-10k BTR Liverpool also organise the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash; BTR Port Sunlight 5K and 10K; and 52-mile BTR Tour Of Merseyside.

Images (c) Paul Francis Cooper