WEEKEND OF RUNNING

RETURNS TO WIRRAL

BTR WIRRAL 10K / BTR WIRRAL HALF MARATHON /

BTR 26-MILE WHISTLE STOP TOUR OF WIRRAL

Runners pulled on their trainers to take part in a hat-trick of races across Wirral at the weekend.

The three races – Wirral 10K, Wirral Half Marathon, and Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral – were organised and delivered by Hoylake-based BTR Liverpool. The events saw 1,300 runners take part and hundreds of spectators descend on the destination to cheer on the participants.

This year marked the sixth consecutive year of the BTR Wirral 10K and BTR Wirral Half Marathon. The races once again started and finished at The Dips at New Brighton yesterday (Sunday, 9 September).

The race was named Event Of The Year 2015 at the Wirral Tour Awards.

The courses have previously started at Birkenhead Park but were changed last year due to works near the Four Bridges. The new course routes were retained for this year’s races.

After setting off from The Dips at New Brighton, the runners headed along the promenade to Seacombe Ferry, before heading back to New Brighton. They then followed the established route passing Fort Perch Rock; along Ian Fraser Walk to the Clown Roundabout. The 10K runners finished at Coastal Drive, while the half marathon runners continued towards the Leasowe Lighthouse before also returning to Coastal Drive.

The 10K and half marathon runners were joined on Sunday by a group of almost 200 runners who were taking part in the half marathon as part of a 26-mile three-day triple race event – the fourth annual Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral.

The Wirral Tourists began their challenge on Friday evening (7 September) with a 5-mile off-road race at Arrowe Park, followed the next morning (Saturday, 8 September) with eight challenging multi-terrain miles covering Thurstaston Country Park and the Wirral Way. They then joined the half marathon runners on Sunday to complete the third race in the series.

All runners were presented with a bespoke commemorative medal and technical fabric running T-shirt upon completing their races.

The Wirral 10K was won by Mark Ryall from Marshall Milton Keynes AC with a time of 33 minutes 37 seconds. Second place was Peter Green from Knowsley Harriers in 36 minutes 6 seconds, and third place was Ray Clark from Warrington Running Club in 36 minutes 44 seconds.

The first female finisher in the Wirral 10K was Linsey Ryall in 40 minutes 39 seconds, representing Marshall Milton Keynes AC – seeing the club take double top honours in the 10K race. Second place female was Jo Irvin from UTS Running Club in Wirral, with a time of 42 minutes 13 seconds. Alexandra Kokkinaki took third place in 42 minutes 42 seconds.

Mark Dunham from Southport Waterloo AC set a new course record for the current Wirral Half Marathon route with a time of 1 hour 12 minutes 3 seconds – taking 3 minutes 19 seconds off last year’s winning time

Second place was Lewis Rooney from Liverpool Harriers AC in 1 hour 14 minutes 27 seconds, followed by Steffan Sayer from Menai Track & Field Team in 1 hour 16 minutes 41 seconds.

The top three female finishers in the Wirral Half Marathon were Louise Casey from Widnes Running Club in 1 hour 33 minutes 17 seconds; second place was Jennifer Houghton from Kirkby Milers in 1 hour 35 minutes 12 seconds; and third place was Sarah Caskey from Peterborough AC in 1 hour 35 minutes 40 seconds.

The overall winner of the three-race Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral was Jay Walker from Wallasey AC with a combined time of 2 hours 42 minutes 47 seconds. Jay took third place last year and returned to take the top honours.

Second place was Jamie Mackie with a time of 2 hours 44 minutes 59 seconds, with third place taken by Steven Longmore in 2 hours 47 minutes 19 seconds.

The female top finishers in the Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral were Natasha Sheel from Serpentine RC with winning time of 2 hours 54 minutes 10 seconds. Second place female was Jenny Mann from Liverpool in 3 hours 29 minutes 29 seconds, while Laura Owens from Liverpool Running Club took third place in 3 hours 33 minutes 45 seconds.

More than 50 runners representing Birkenhead School students, staff, parents and former pupils also took part in all three races – including headteacher Paul Vicars. They were running in memory of pupil Krishan, who had passed away in September 2017. They were running to raise funds towards a memorial to Krishan.

Hoylake-based race organisers BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region. Its growing portfolio includes the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K; BTR Liverpool Santa Dash; BTR Port Sunlight 5K and 10K; and 52-mile Tour Of Merseyside.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:

“The three races – Wirral 10K, Wirral Half Marathon, and Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral – give runners the opportunity to really test themselves in their chosen distance. Wirral offers a fantastic choice of running terrains and the 10K and half marathon course along the Wirral coastline is a real highlight, both for the runners and spectators.

“Well done to everyone who took part, they really pushed themselves despite challenging weather conditions – but still plenty of big smiles as they crossed the finish line. Congratulations to the Wirral Tourists 2018, the event is the perfect taster for our week-long Tour Of Merseyside to run on consecutive days and is no mean feat. Well done.

“A huge thank you must go to our volunteers who make such a difference on race days, they included including past Tourists, Everton in the Community, Claire House Children’s Hospice, and Liverpool Running Bugs.”

Next up in the BTR portfolio and the final run of the year is the 15th annual Liverpool Santa Dash 5K fun run and 1K Mini Dash on Sunday, 2 December.

Entries are open now for the Liverpool Santa Dash, and blue Santa suits are limited. Enter online at http://www.btrliverpool.com/santa-dash

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