Several road runners made their way across the country to take part in the Rock n' Roll half and full marathon in Liverpool.
The races started at the Albert Dock and took runners past the iconic Liver buildings and the Pier Head, the landing stage for the word famous Mersey ferry. It then turned towards the city centre and down Matthew Street, home to the Cavern Club and the heartland of the Liverpool music scene. Leaving the city centre, runners were welcomed by the sight of the largest Chinese arch in Europe before twisting their way through both Princes Park and Sefton Park. It then led down to Otterspool and a 4 mile run along the Mersey to the finish outside the Echo Arena.
All along the route, local bands played encouraging the runners and the aid stations were amply stocked with gels, water and energy drinks. At the finish a quality medal, t-shirt and goody bag were collected.
Claire Baker led the way home for the road runners in 1:53:29, setting a fantastic personal best (PB) with husband Stephen finishing one second later. Rob Bailey was home next in 1:58:28 and happy to set himself a PB in the city where he was born. Elaine Stone was very close behind in 1:59:35 ensuring that fantastically, all road runners made it home in under 2 hours on a surprisingly hilly course. A well-deserved pint of Carlsberg was included and greatly appreciated.
A finish line concert was available for runners and their supporters with 90s chart toppers Republica headlining. The full marathon headed out of the city centre to take in both Liverpool and Everton’s football grounds before re-joining the half course. Paul Greensides finished in 3:50:48 and Paul Evans finishing in 3:56:42.
The support around the course was amazing and the organisation was exemplary. Taking recent events into account, security was very high profile to ensure all runners and supporters were reassured that they were safe and many runners wore a yellow ribbon to show support for anyone caught up in the atrocities in nearby Manchester earlier in the week. The police were fantastic and whilst doing a serious job, showed that they too could join in the spirit of the event.
Report by Rob Bailey