The streets rocked to the beat of pounding feet today as

record numbers took part in the Liverpool Half Marathon.

 

Over 5,000 runners covered the 13.1-mile course in

perfect conditions, with bright sunshine illuminating the

course throughout.

 

The fastest man was Paul Sankey, who powered across

the finish line in 1hr, 13mins and 25 secs, with Julie Briscoe winning the womens’ race in a blistering time of 1 hr, 16 mins and 57 secs.

 

One finisher, Colin Grindley, said: “The last bit was a struggle but all in all it was a great run.”

 

Clair Harris, who has competing in her first half-marathon, said she felt “exhilarated” after finishing in 2hrs, 16 mins.

 

A slight delay did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the athletes who chattered nervously in the shadows of the Echo Arena whilst awaiting the race start.

 

At 9:35am the starter's pistol fired and they began, covering a route which started and finished by the waterfront, and which included the steep climb of Parliament Street, as well as laps of both Princes, and Sefton Park.

 

The runners were indebted to the people of Liverpool who turned out in their hundreds to offer vocal support, and to the masses of volunteers , who made sure those competing remained hydrated by handing out water at three-mile intervals.

 

The final three miles, along Otterspool Promenade towards the world-famous Liverpool skyline, were particularly tough, with a strong headwind slowing the runners down.

 

JMU Journalism’s Website Editor, Louisa Collington, who covered the course in an impressive time of 2hrs, 12 mins , said: “It feels amazing. That’s definitely the toughest thing I’ve ever done. I’m so proud of myself for finishing it.”

 

Liverpool-born Claudia Sutherland, who had travelled up from Ely in Cambridge to run the distance in her home city, said: “It was amazing, and much better than I thought it would be.”

 

Another runner, Jackie Walsh, was running the race in memory of her 16-year-old son, Lewis, who died in September 2009 after being hit by a car as he cycled across a pedestrian crossing.

 

She was raising money for the KIND (Kids in Need and Distress) charity because kind is “how Lewis was described by most of his mates”.

 

A massive clean-up operation began to swing into action before the last runners’ had finished, with many roads that had closed for the duration of the race re-opened by early afternoon.

 

 

 

Record entry boosts Half Marathon success

By Liam Deveney

Level 1 News Editor

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More than 5,000 runners took part, with Paul Sankey and Julie Briscoe winning each event (pics: Vegard Grott)

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