The countdown is on to this year’s Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon

The two-week countdown is on until runners from across the world descend on Liverpool to take part in one of the city’s largest annual sporting events.

More than 5,000 runners will come together on the start-line at Pier Head Liverpool on Sunday, 2 April, for the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon 2017.

Described by organisers as the North West’s premier road race, the 13.1-mile challenge attracts runners from across the UK and overseas.

The grandstand start and finish line area on the city’s stunning UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront provides an iconic backdrop to one of the region’s most established race events – this is the race’s 24th consecutive year.

The race starts at 9am and is part of the national Vitality Run Series – it is the only event in the series in the North of England. This is Liverpool’s third year of a sponsorship agreement with Vitality.

Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon is organised by BTR Liverpool, the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region.

The BTR event portfolio also includes Liverpool Santa Dash; Mersey Tunnel 10K; Port Sunlight 10K/5K/1K; award-winning Wirral Half Marathon/10K; 26-mile Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral; and 52-mile Tour Of Merseyside.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:

“The Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon officially kick-starts another exciting year of running for BTR Liverpool. It’s the biggest road race in the BTR portfolio and a real highlight, so we cannot wait to get 2017 off the ground with the North West’s premier road race.

“First introduced to the race calendar in 1994, it still continues to have a strong domestic and international draw 24 years on. Many of our regular runners tell us that this was their very first half marathon race, so it’s great to welcome back familiar faces each year and see them running alongside newcomers starting out on their running journey.

“Entries for the half marathon are still open so come and join us for a fantastic day. Planning is already well underway for the 2018 event – our milestone 25th silver anniversary celebration race.”

Participants from across the globe are travelling to Liverpool specially to take part in the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon, from countries including Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the USA, as well as those closer to home including the Isle of Man and Ireland.

The Vitality Run Series brings together eight of the UK’s most exciting running events to provide all runners, irrespective of ability, to take on their next challenge and be inspired to reach their own personal goals.

Stephen Symons has done all 23 Liverpool half marathons

Vitality CEO Neville Koopowitz added:

“With just two weeks until the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon, I want to thank all those who have registered to run and all those currently working hard to ensure it will be a fantastic race. It promises to be a great day for runners and supporters alike.”

The race route features some of the city’s most iconic landmarks including Albert Dock Liverpool, the Museum Of Liverpool, Liverpool Cathedral, and Sefton Park Palm House. A three-mile home straight along Otterspool Promenade brings runners back to Pier Head Liverpool to cross the finish line in front of the magnificent Three Graces – the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building, and Port of Liverpool Building – and of course, under the gaze of the Liver Birds.

Hot favourite to take top honours in the half marathon is Liverpool Harrier Dejene Gezimu, who swept the board of BTR races last year. Gezimu took first place in 2016, narrowly missing out on setting a new course record – so this time he is back and goes into the race on good form.

Returning for 2017 to continue his unbroken record of taking part in every Liverpool Half Marathon is Stephen Symons from Manchester. Despite suffering from a brain haemorrhage in November 2012, Stephen still managed his continuous run in March 2013 and took part accompanied by family. The 51-year-old, who runs for Manchester YMCA Harriers Club, is back for his 24th successive year.

Last year, a new race was added to the day’s proceedings with the BTR Liverpool 10 Mile Road Race. This race has already sold out for 2017.

Entries are still open for the half marathon. All finishers receive a bespoke medal, commemorative T-shirt and goody bag.

Register online at www.btrliverpool.com

Website          www.btrliverpool.com

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