THE North West’s biggest half marathon will grow further again this year with the introduction of a new Liverpool 10-Mile Road Race for 2016. The event will run alongside the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon on Sunday, 13 March – the 23rd consecutive year the half marathon has taken place. Last year, more than 5,000 runners took to the streets of Liverpool to complete a challenging 13.1 miles, while taking in the iconic sights and landmarks the UNESCO World Heritage city has to offer. First staged in 1994, the event has grown in numbers and popularity to become the North West of England’s biggest half marathon. Organised and delivered by BTR Liverpool, this is the second year the half marathon has been part of the Vitality Run Series. The event features a grandstand start and finish area situated on the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pier Head Liverpool. The location is on the city’s world-famous waterfront and is under the gaze of the iconic Liver Birds and the magnificent Three Graces – the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building, and Port of Liverpool Building. The route takes runners on a scenic course passing Albert Dock Liverpool, the Museum Of Liverpool, Liverpool Cathedral and Sefton Park Palm House, before embarking on a three-mile home straight along Otterspool Promenade and towards Pier Head Liverpool to cross the finish line. Participants in the 10-mile road race will enjoy the same start and finish areas as the half marathon runners. Their route will also take in the key city sights before turning off at Sefton Park for a shorter version of the half marathon route. They will also run along the waterfront to complete their race. So far, runners from 12 overseas countries will be travelling to Liverpool to take part – and with six weeks until race day, organisers BTR expect this figure to increase. The countries represented so far are Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States of America. BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented: “We are always looking for ways to develop and improve BTR events, so introducing the Liverpool 10-Mile Road Race option to the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon is the perfect way to do just that. This is the region’s most established race event of this distance, and Liverpool currently doesn’t have a 10-miler – until now. We’ve already had an encouraging response. “The ethos of our race portfolio is to encourage and inspire runners. The new race distance is ideal for runners who are keen to step up from a 10K but feel they are not yet ready to attempt a half marathon, this is the perfect middle ground. The 10-miler enables them to have the best of both worlds – the atmosphere of a headline race event and a fresh new challenge. “The Liverpool 10-Mile Road Race has excellent potential to grow and further enhance and the overall event for future participants.” The Vitality Run Series brings together nine 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. The Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon is the only race in the North of England in the series. This is Liverpool’s second year of a three-year sponsorship agreement with Vitality. There is an increased prize structure for the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon 2016, with monetary prizes for male and female finishers up to and including 10th place. There are also increased veteran and team prizes. The overall winners and age category winners will also receive a complimentary entry into the 2017 event. All finishers in both races will receive a bespoke medal, commemorative Brooks T-shirt and a goody bag.