The Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon is organised by BTR who organise other successful races such as the Port Sunlight 10k in May and the Tunnel 10k in June. The start and finish has been moved to a World Heritage Site and now the Liver Birds overlook proceedings. I'm a little biased as I'm from Liverpool but this is a great race in a fabulous city!
It is predominantly flat with a short, sharp incline just after the 1 mile point at Upper Parliament Street and a run along Princes Road, Devonshire Road, Belvidere Road and then a right turn off Ullet Road toward Sefton Park. where runners enjoy the natural beauty of Sefton Park taking in both the external roads and internal park pathways.
A section along Croxteth Drive passing the cricket club and allotments was re-introduced in 2013 to ensure the accuracy of the course and with the event being UKA Licensed an accurate 13.1 mile is guaranteed. At the bottom of Sefton Park runners will pass through a main road underpass to access Otterspool Park and then Otterspool Promenade as they head back toward the city centre at around 9 miles.
The promenade section takes in the Liverpool Marina along the way with runners following a four mile stretch back to the finish line, passing the Liverpool Arena at just after 12 miles. In the last mile runners pass the rear of the Albert Dock, behind the Tate Liverpool and cross the dock bridge just by the Liverpool Museum at 13 miles.
For me it was a revisit to my first ever half marathon in 2014. As it's in my home city of Liverpool. It was an amazing event last year and really sparked my interest in distance running. Last years weather produced gale force head winds, and at times made me feel like I was on a treadmill. The build up to this years race produced some glorious weather to train in and everything looked good for this years race.
The final week before the race, and weather forecast predicted high winds again. The day of the race however was nothing like the forecast with literally no wind, but plenty of rain. As always there was so much support from locals all along the route. It really is a fantastic race, well organised, planned and delivered by BTR.
What an fantastic day! If you only run one half marathon this has got to the one. It is part if the Vitality run series and promoted by BTR Liverpool. The race starts alongside the Three Graces, on Liverpool's World Heritage waterfront. The route takes up the biggest hill, past the Anglican Cathedral towards some of Liverpool's wonderful parks. We go around Princes Park to the road around Sefton Park. After nearly a full loop around the park we make our way into the Sefton Park. The route follows the paths as they weave though the park passing a few lakes on the way.
Out of the park into the underpass into another park! This one is Otterspool Park. After just a few minutes in here we arrive onto the Riverside Promenade. From here it's just 4 miles! In more or less a straight line. The views across and along the River Mersey are fantastic. As you come towards the end of the prom, you pass the Echo Arena and the back of the Albert Dock. A sharp right turn followed by a sharp left and you have 400 metres left. The crowds are amazing, clapping, cheering and shouting out names. Big push to the finish line with a big smile for the camera. What a finish line! Right under the iconic Liverbirds!! Then a medal, water, sports drink, great t shirt and a goody bag. Everybody had a big smile afterwards. If you don't believe me just ask the over 6000 runners who come back to the BTR Liverpool half marathon, year after year after year !
My 2nd time running this race and was hoping the wind wasn't as bad as last yr especially along the prom' for the last 4 miles, on the day there was no wind however we had persistant rain from start to finish which after a couple of miles I got used to it! The signal to start the race was given with a mix of runners eager to get going, off I went at a slow pace to get settled into the run, at roughly 0.7m I hit the only incline on the route 'parly hill', with that out of the way I increased the pace slighty as headed through toxteth into sefton park which the route stays in for approx' 3.5miles.
Out of the park we came to the underpass which took us under aigburth rd into otterspool park and the last water station, we eventually hit the last 4 miles along the prom' which thankfully had little wind just the continuing rain,with the echo arena in sight after passing the liverpool marina I found a bit of energy to up the pace as the liverbirds came into view after passing the albert dock and the noise of the commentator's announcements ould be heard as finishers crossed the line, I was so glad to reach the spectators 0.6m from the finish and turn the last corner to finally cross the finish line in a quicker time than last yr, all in all a great race,and will do it again, just hope we get better weather for it next yr!
Quite a rainy, soggy day but that didn't seem to dampen the spirits of us runners. Quite simply for me this will always be my favourite race. A varied route that is both challenging but that demands a PB. Great support & marshals. I look forward to this day all year.
Being my home town half marathon the BTR Liverpool Half is a must every year. With it being in March the weather can always be a bit challenging. This year was no different and we had rain from start to finish. The race itself is well organised and well supported with over 6000 runners this year. The course is good and the dreaded Upper Parliament hill is out of the way at mile one. The course then brings through some of the more scenic parts of South Liverpool around Sefton Park and through Otterspool Park to bring you onto the prom with a 4 mile stretch by the river to the finish line.
The light rain was quite beneficial early on in the race and kept you refreshed as you counted down the miles. Myself like most runners hold something back until you get onto the prom and you wait to see what sort of conditions you have to face, thankfully this year the little wind that was around seemed to be behind us. This is when many runners make that final push for home and I personally ran my quickest miles in the last 3 miles of the race.
The finish coming into Liverpool city centre is really eye catching as you run towards the Liverbirds. The only negative part of the course is the stretch of cobbles at 12.5 miles, these are unforgiving on old knees, especially in the wet conditions this year. The event itself is well supported with great crowds all the way around and water stations are well staffed by fantastic volunteers. The finish area is improving every year and the medal, t-shirt and goodie bag are fantastic. All in all a great half marathon in a great city.
Having run this one 3 times now, I can say with some authority that good runs here are always either made or broken by the wind on the prom, which is the last 4 miles of the course. All week, the forecast for the day was seemingly set in stone: heavy rain, with a 25mph head wind on the prom.
On the the day itself, although the heavens opened as promised, the wind was miraculously absent. The sense of relief from the runners turning on to the prom was something you could probably cut with a knife! Loads of support despite the weather, friendly pacers (which I particularly appreciate) and a pretty well-stocked goodie bag. Would run again!
Have run this twice - 2011 and 2013 and really enjoyed it both times. Lots of support all the way round. I quite like Sefton Park, although I know not everyone does. Already booked on 2014
I did this race back in 2011 - it's a fast course (with the exception of Upper Parliament Street). It now finishes in front of the Liver Buildings - a massive event with over 8000 runners! Brilliant race :)