The BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K returns to its Spring date next weekend for the 2023 staging of the race.
The 17th staging of the race will take place on Sunday 16 April, starting at 9.30am in Liverpool city centre. The route will then take runners through the Kingsway Tunnel and along the Wirral coastline before finishing in New Brighton.
More than 1,300 entries have already been taken. Places are limited at 1,500, so registration will close once numbers reach capacity.
The race is the only time throughout the year when people can make their way through the Kingsway Tunnel on foot and run under the River Mersey, making it one of the most unique running events in the country.
The BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K returns to its traditional April date this year. The race has been staged each year since 2006, with the exception of 2020 during the pandemic, when there was a break of almost two-and-a-half years between races.
Post pandemic, the race returned and was staged in September, both in 2021 and 2022. But this year, it’s back to spring and takes place one week before the London Marathon. The race was last staged in April of 2019.
The race proves popular with runners tapering for the marathon in the capital, those looking for a race with a difference, or others chasing a new 10K personal best.
The Mersey Tunnel 10K returned to the North West running calendar in 2006 at the request of Mersey Tunnels, with BTR Liverpool taking on the mantle to organise and deliver the event.
BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing, and delivering headline race events across the Liverpool City Region.
The point-to-point race starts in Liverpool city centre, taking runners straight into the Kingsway Tunnel. The route also includes Seacombe Promenade, Fort Perch Rock, and Marine Lake before finishing on the Ian Fraser Walk in New Brighton overlooking the River Mersey.
Finishers will be presented with a commemorative medal and a bespoke technical running T-shirt.
The extensive BTR Liverpool race portfolio features various distances across different terrains, all with an ongoing commitment to sustainability. Events also include the Port Sunlight Road Race, the Wirral 10K, the Tour of Merseyside, and the Liverpool Santa Dash.
BTR Liverpool Race Director Alan Rothwell explained:
“The BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K always attracts new people coming to experience the race for the first time, alongside regulars who just relish the atmosphere and challenge. It’s a unique race and the only time you can go through the Kingsway Tunnel on foot.
“It’s great to be back at the traditional Spring date. It’s always been regarded as an excellent event for local runners, heading to London the following week, to use the race as a steady taper distance. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the start line on 16 April for another exciting race. Don’t forget to join in with the cheers of oggy oggy oggy along the way – especially as you head through the Tunnel.”
Last month’s BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon and 10 Mile Road Race kick-started a busy 2023 race calendar for BTR Liverpool, which will see three of its headline events reaching major milestones during the year.
The overall event campaign is dubbed as 30/20/10 – 30 Years, A Life On The Run, and focuses on the hat-trick of key events all spearheaded by Alan’s passion for running from an early age.
Alongside the 30th staging of the BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon in March, the next two anniversary events are the 20th BTR Liverpool Santa Dash and 10th BTR Tour Of Merseyside.
The race was last held in September 2022, the weekend after the passing of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II.
Fondly known locally as the ‘new tunnel’, the Kingsway Tunnel was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 24 June 1971. Runners observed two minutes silence before the race. The Beatles’ song In My Life played as a mark of respect and to reflect on The Queen’s incredible duty of more than 70 years.
The race record currently stands at 30 minutes 52 seconds, set in 2016 by Dejene Gezimu from Liverpool Harriers AC. He also took first place in 2018 and again last year.
The female record was set in 2019 by Kirsty Longley from Liverpool Pembroke Sefton Harriers in 36 minutes 19 seconds. Kirsty broke the record she had previously set in 2017 by knocking a further 30 seconds off her time.
Senior runners taking part are aged between 73 and 82-years-old.
The largest number of local clubs taking part this year include Kirkby Milers AC, Liverpool Running Club, Mikkeller Running Club, Penny Lane Striders, Rimrose Runners, and Wallasey AC.
Full details and online entry can be found at www.btrliverpool.com
Images by Paul Francis Cooper