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Stephen Symonds

Liverpool Gets Ready To Shine

Liverpool Half Marathon is 30 years young this weekend...

The BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon returns this Sunday (26 March) for its milestone 30th staging, with a staggering 5,100 runners gearing up to take on the city centre challenge. They'll need to set their alarms though, as the clocks go forward the night before!

First staged in 1994, the half marathon is one of the longest established races in the region and there are two runners gearing up to take part in their 30th outing at the race. 57-year-old Stephen Symons suffered a brain haemorrhage in November 2012, he still completed the next half marathon race in March 2013 accompanied by family. He has since fully recovered and continues to take part each year.
 
Jamie Doolan, a 52-year-old nurse from Broadgreen has also completed 33 marathons – no mean feat after being told he would struggle to walk due to a problem with his legs at birth. He went on to have them straightened with splints, then aged 21 had pins inserted to strengthen his right ankle.
 
And then there are the potential record-breakers. On the day Martin Pritchard-Howarth and Branwell Spencer will attempt to set a new record as the fastest in a 3D plant costume, dressed as sunflowers. Martin already holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon runner dressed as a mountaineer. They are fundraising for equal rights for the disabled charity Scope, and have already raised £2,000.
 
As part of its commitment to community engagement, BTR Liverpool has invited Fans Supporting Foodbanks to collect food donations at the event. Runners and spectators are encouraged to drop off items at the charity’s van which will be parked at the Pier Head near the start line.
 
The man at the helm of BTR is Liverpool-born Race Director Alan Rothwell, who has been involved with the Liverpool Half Marathon from the very start. He told us: “I took part in the very first 1994 Liverpool International Half Marathon, as it was then known, and met organisers Bill Sergeant and Jim Ross. It was a chance meeting and they asked me to get involved. Fast forward to the present day, the race is owned, organised, and delivered by BTR Liverpool – which stands for Born To Run. Very appropriate.
 
“This weekend’s race kick-starts a remarkable year for us. We look forward to welcoming more than 5,000 runners plus spectators and support from our incredible volunteer teams. This is a milestone event in a vibrant city full of landmarks, all set against the backdrop of a world-famous waterfront. Liverpool is iconic. It’s going to be special.”
 
To find out more visit the BTR Liverpool website.

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