More than 5,000 people assembled at the Pier Head today to take part in the Liverpool Half Marathon.
With runners from 16 different countries taking part and the oldest of them being 87 years old, the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon is put on by BTR Liverpool, who also organise the city’s famous Santa Dash, and is in its 23rd year,
As well as the half marathon, there was also a special 10-mile event that runners could participate in, with both races being launched by Liverpool’s Lord Mayor Councillor Tony Concepcion down by the waterfront.
The 13.1 mile route took runners on a journey past some of Liverpool’s most iconic landmarks, as they bypassed the Anglican Cathedral, Princes and Sefton Parks, culminating in a four-mile finish along the River Mersey.
The winner of the of the 10-mile race was Conor McCardel, who completed the course in just under 59 minutes, while the winner of the half marathon itself was Ethiopia native, Dejene Gezimu, who ran a time of 66.55 minutes.
Dejene, who now lives on Merseyside and runs for Liverpool Harriers, was very relaxed after the race, saying he finds it much easier to run here than back in Africa.
He told JMU Journalism: “I ran the race very well. I had put in a lot of hard work in, and with the types of training that I do, and I felt that the race was very easy for me.
“When I run in Ethiopia it is very different, there is high altitudes and it can be very difficult, whereas here I can work by running on the roads, so it is not as hard.”
Many others who took part in the race were doing it for a cause that is close to their hearts, as a great number participated in order to raise funds for their chosen charities.
One such person was Paul Rollingson from Prescott, who was running to bring in cash for people with Down’s syndrome.
He told JMU Journalism: “My grandson has Down’s syndrome, so the cause is close to my heart, and I try and raise money every year.
“I have set a goal this year of raising £4,000, but I run a number of races throughout the year, and this half marathon was just my first so far, as I’ll be taking on the Blackpool full marathon next month.”
This was the second year that the event was held as part of the national Vitality Run Series, which consists of nine events around England, with Liverpool’s being the only race in the North.