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Runners complete 52 mile Mersey Tour Challenge

20th July 2016

Categories: News

Thurstaston Trail
Thurstaston Trail, Wirral, Tour of Merseyside Race


BTR Tour Of Merseyside 2016 – 6 RACES – 7 DAYS – 52 MILES

The BTR Tour Of Merseyside which sees runners taking on a 52-mile challenge has been held for the fourth year.

The seven-day event saw 300 runners complete six races of varying distances and terrain to earn the right to call themselves Tourists!

The male title has been held for three successive years by Manchester’s Anthony Taylor. This year, Taylor came third and the top honours went to Terence Forrest from Cairngorm Runners, he came second last year. Second place male was Ian Moran from Liverpool Harriers AC.

The female title was this year taken athlete Jenny Clague from Liverpool Harriers AC, who was fastest female across the event. She also took first place back in 2014 but had to pull out in 2015 during the fifth race due to illness. This year she returned with unfinished business.

In second place for the females was Victoria Jones from Liverpool Sefton Pembroke Harriers. Lauren Morley from Shrewsbury AC took third place.

Since leading race organisers BTR Liverpool added the Tour to its growing event portfolio in 2013, interest and popularity have steadily grown.

During its inaugural year, a modest 73 completed the race, with numbers more than doubling to 160 the following year.

The 2015 race sold out in two weeks and saw 269 runners complete the race. But interest has since massively spiked. This year’s event sold out a year in advance with all 300 places snapped up in eight hours.

Entry for the Tour Of Merseyside 2017 opened the day after this year’s event. The field was increased to 400 with no reserve list – and all places sold out in a record four hours.

From the original field in 2013, a third of the original Tourists are still taking part. And for 2017, 20 remain – 15 males and five females continue to fly the flag for the Tour Of Merseyside and next year will go on to compete for their fifth successive Tour medal.

The six races of the Tour Of Merseyside are the Southport Half Marathon, where runners are guests of Vital Events. This is followed the next day by six miles of beach and trail in Thurstaston; 10 miles on the Sustrans Loopline in Walton; new for 2016 was a 5-mile race along the Liverpool waterfront at Otterspool Promenade (the race the runners have now adopted as fancy dress day); six miles cross country at Stadt Moers in Knowsley; concluding with a 12-mile Wirral coastal run from New Brighton to Hoylake and back to New Brighton.

After completing the final race, all Tourists received a commemorative finishers’ medal and a bespoke T-shirt featuring the names of the 2016 runners.

The Tourists were then invited to a prize-giving celebration at Camp and Furnace in Liverpool, the highlight of which was a special video featuring footage of each race day.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell created the Tour Of Merseyside, he commented:

“The Tour Of Merseyside never fails to inspire me. What an incredible week of excitement, anticipation, nerves and laughs. The atmosphere is incredible, and you can see and feel the camaraderie growing day by day. The challenge is like no other. Each race is completely different and really pushes the runners, taking them out of their comfort zone.

“Having the 2017 sell out in just four hours is testament to the Tourists, volunteers and spectators who all play such a huge part in making the Tour such a special experience. The BTR Team would like to say a heartfelt thank you for all being such an integral part of the Tour Of Merseyside.”

BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events in Liverpool City Region. Its portfolio includes the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon; Wirral Half Marathon/10K; Liverpool Santa Dash; Mersey Tunnel 10K; and the Merseyside Running Community Awards.

Local running clubs were well represented and included the Kirkby Milers; Knowsley Harriers; Liverpool Harriers AC; Liverpool Pembroke Sefton Harriers AC; Liverpool Running Club; Mossley Hill RC; Penny Lane Striders; Pensby Runners; Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers; Southport Waterloo AC; Spectrum Striders RC; St.Helens Striders; Warrington Running Club; and Wirral AC.

A total of 60 guest runners joined the Tourists across the three races at Thurstaston, Otterspool and New Brighton. They each received a Day Tripper medal.

The BTR Tour Of Merseyside was the latest event in a year-long joint fundraising partnership between BTR Liverpool and its three official charities.

The BTR Footsteps Fundraisers initiative brings the charities together through BTR’s key race events by encouraging participants to fundraise and support them. Funds raised will be split equally between the three charities – Radio City’s Cash For Kids, Everton in the Community and Zoe’s Place.

During the celebration at Camp and Furnace, two places for next year’s Tour Of Merseyside were raffled, raising £865 for the BTR Footsteps Fundraisers charities. The winners were Mark Dunne from Liverpool and Hayley Wilkinson from Warrington. They each have a place guaranteed in next year’s event.

Next in the BTR portfolio is the BTR Kids’ Fun Run series on 4 September. It returns for a second year in a new location of Hoylake with 1K, 2K and 3K distances. All youngsters taking part will receive a medal, T-shirt and goody bag. And new for 2016, the event will also feature the BTR Big Kids 5K.

This is followed by the award winning Wirral Half Marathon/10K on Sunday 11 September. A stand-alone race, it also forms part of the second annual 26-mile three-day Whistle Stop Tour Of Merseyside race, which is held from Friday to Sunday (9 to 11 September).

Website www.btrliverpool.com
Facebook Facebook/BTR Liverpool
Twitter @BTRLiverpool


ENDS


Notes to Editors


BTR TOUR OF MERSEYSIDE 2016
First 3 Male Finishers (overall combined gun time)
Terence Forrest    Cairngorm Runners    4.57.02
Ian Moran   Liverpool Harriers AC   5:02:05
Anthony Taylor         5:07:00


BTR TOUR OF MERSEYSIDE 2016
First 3 Female Finishers (overall combined gun time)
Jenny Clague  Liverpool Harriers AC   5:57:50
Victoria Jones   Liverpool Pembroke Sefton Harriers 6:21:17
Lauren Morley  Shrewsbury AC    6:23:1

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