A stunning week of racing, running, friendship and endeavor makes everyone a winner.
Expectation was high going into the first Tour Of Merseyside and for many it was a step into the unknown so would it be a step too far for some? For just a few injury sadly intervened but for most they took it in their stride for every one of the 52 miles.
Each and every participant was tested to their own personal limit and all those that crossed the final finish line were filled with a mix of ecstatic jubilation and surprise that they had completed the journey – and for quite a few the realisation that it had too quickly come to an end.
What the runners hadn’t anticipated was just how much bonding would take place throughout the week. Personal barriers were smashed and a unique sense of friendship percolated throughout the six days. Completely unprompted these hardy souls who came to the start line as individuals in Southport rejoiced in the warmth (literally!) of sporting friendship as they crossed the line at New Brighton on the final day. This was certainly a week of ultimate challenge.
The medals were clasped firmly in hand as the self proclaimed ‘Tourists’ made their way to the post race presentation where their thoughts and comments were laid bare for all to see. Did I really say that? Did we really do that? Yes they did and the determination that got them through the first Tour Of Merseyside will stand them in good stead as most proclaimed their burning desire to return next year.
Had the intense heat got to them – or did they just enjoy the best week of running they had ever had? We’ll see.
At the sharp end of the Tour the eventual winners were a Salford Harrier duo of Anthony Taylor and Hayley Winder who won in composite times of 5 hours 12 minutes and 38 seconds and 6 hours 42 minutes and 36 seconds respectively.
2nd place in the men’s race went to Charlie Sharpe (Spectrum Striders) in a time of 5 hours twenty four minutes and 45 seconds and in 3rd place was Gareth Howell (Liverpool Harriers) in 5 hours 27 minutes and 24 seconds.
2nd place in the women’s race was secured by Sarah Jackson (Liverpool Harriers) in a time of 6 hours 51 minutes and 24 seconds with Rosemary Rogers (Dee Striders) taking a very creditable 3rd place in a time of 7 hours 5 minutes and 13 seconds.
Such has been the success of the first Tour Of Merseyside entries are now open for the second staging of this most demanding of events. Entries will be restricted to the first 300 applications.
Once the first 300 places have been taken there will be a reserve list for additional places should any of the original entry list withdraw.