Thousands take to the streets for the largest Half Marathon in Liverpool
On Sunday, btrLiverpool staged the largest Liverpool Half Marathon in the city since the race started 20 years ago enjoyed by local and international visitors.
The race was officially started by local-life long wirral runner Eddie Mountford who turns 90 year old next month. After a long and distinguished career as an amateur runner it was a fitting tribute to start the 2013 event.
Eddie said, “I love Liverpool and the atmosphere today is fantastic. I have participated in over 30 marathons and the crowds make it special and spur you on. The people who have turned out today for the half marathon will create great energy to support the runners. People from all over the world come to this city for events like this, and when they see it they take back with them their experience and thats what puts Liverpool on the map, its wonderful.”
The event attracted 8,400 entries with and increase of 800 from 2012 with the furthest travelled participants from Brazil, Canad and New Zealand, with most Eurpoean countries represented.
The largest contingent is from Ireland many celebrating St Patricks day in fancy dress.
Many charities once again took part to raise much needed funds including the Oliver King Foundation. Mark King Oliver’s dad commented, “Its events like this that help us in raising awareness for our campaign to introduce defibrillators into schools and public buildings across the region. We’d like to thank our runners for taking part and their fundraising efforts along with everyone who has supported us, its been a great day.”
As the sun broke the rain clouds it was Josh Lilly who claimed first place at 01:02:23 followed closely by Tomas Abyu in second and Bartosz Mazerski in third place. The first female was Linda Howell coming in at 01:22:29 and Rachael Tewkesbusy in 2nd and Margaret Sykes in third place.
A Liverpool marine Andy Grant who lost his leg after an explosion in Afghanistan took part in the race raising funds for Help The Heroes. Andy said, “Its been a humbling experience to have experienced so much support from runners and the crowds during the race. Im delighted to have achieved this personal challenge and made up that I had the opportunity to do it in Liverpool.” Andy has already raised £1,700 participating in the race and was supported by his partner and two children on the finish line. he further remarked, “it was amazing approaching the finish line, the day has been very memorable.”
Alan Rothwell BTR Race Director said: “Its great to see our events program grow and the half marathon has gone from strength to strength. We welcome new runners and its our aim this year to encourage more people to ‘get going,’ with the introduction of new events as well as to encourage more people to have a go at the more challenging races. The feedback from the runners today has been very positive and that the important part, that they enjoy it. Its been a great day.”
Race entries are already open for next year and more information on the website.