Mersey Tunnel 10k race returns this weekend

Photo: Paul Francis Cooper

THE 13th annual BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K takes place this Sunday (15 April) when 2,400 runners will run under the River Mersey.

The race starts at 9.30am in Liverpool city centre and finishes in New Brighton.

The route takes runners from the start line in Blackstock Street, through the Kingsway Tunnel, along Seacombe Promenade, past Fort Perch Rock and the Marine Lake, to the finish line on Ian Fraser Walk at New Brighton.

The race takes place on the 29th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, when 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives in the football disaster on 15 April 1989.

To mark the poignant date, runners will be invited to join in with a minute’s applause to remember The 96, their families and the survivors. The applause will take place shortly before the race starts at 9.30am.

For this year’s race, the Seacombe Promenade water station will be positioned slightly further along the waterfront, near the Memorial Gardens at Wallasey Town Hall.

The water station will be manned by volunteers from the LFC Foundation, the official charity of Liverpool Football Club.

Wirral Council is marking the anniversary by floodlighting Wallasey Town Hall tower red this weekend, as well as displaying special banners reading Truth, Justice, and Never Forgotten. Flowers will also be laid.

The race also marks a month to the fourth annual Run For The 96 5K, which takes place in Liverpool’s Stanley Park on Saturday 12 May.

A week earlier (Sunday 6 May), a team will be taking part in the inaugural Run To Remember 96K Relay at Seacombe Promenade, from Wallasey Town Hall and the Memorial Gardens To The 96.

Each kilometre will be dedicated to one of The 96. The endurance event is free to join in, and participants can choose the distance they run. This will be a curtain raiser to the family fun run event taking place the following week.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented: “The Mersey Tunnel 10K continues to attract runners keen to experience the rare and unique opportunity to run through the Kingsway Tunnel and under the River Mersey. There’s always such a great atmosphere on the day, with runners emerging from the tunnel with a big smile on their faces.

“This year’s race will be particularly poignant sharing the date of the 29th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy. We are asking runners to come together, stand side by side, and join in a minute’s applause shortly before the race starts at 9.30am as we pay our respects to The 96, their families and the survivors.”

The Mersey Tunnel 10K returned to the North West race calendar in 2006 at the request of the Mersey Tunnels with BTR Liverpool taking on the mantle.

The BTR portfolio also includes the Wirral Half Marathon and 10K; Liverpool Santa Dash; Port Sunlight 10K and 5K; and Tour Of Merseyside.

This year, the race has also attracted participants from Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand.

The most senior race participants are four runners aged between 72 and 90-years-old, they are:

  • Sue Nicholls, aged 72 from Cornwall;
  • Phillip Murray, aged 78 from Liverpool and runs for Penny Lane Striders;
  • Phil Humphreys, aged 79 from Ellesmere Port;
  • Eddie Naisby, from Ruthin in Wales – who celebrated his 90th birthday on 1 April and runs for Prestatyn RC.

Local running clubs taking part include BTR Road Runners, Kirkby Milers, Liverpool Running Club, Penny Lane Striders, and Wallasey AC.

Finishers will receive a commemorative medal and T-shirt.

Final race entries are available at www.btrliverpool.com/mersey-tunnel-10k