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Thursday, May 30, 2024

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The Countdown is on for the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10k

The unique and atmospheric BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K returns this Sunday (14 April) with more than 2,200 runners already signed up – almost double last year’s numbers.

It’s the only time throughout the year when people can make their way through the Kingsway Tunnel on foot. While at the same time running under the River Mersey which runs between Liverpool and Wirral.

Fondly known locally as the ‘new tunnel’, the Kingsway Tunnel was opened on 24 June 1971 by the late Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II.

This is the 18th staging of the point-to-point race, which always proves popular with those gearing up for the London Marathon the following weekend.

Entries close at 5pm on Thursday 11 April. No more entries will be taken after this time. There will be no entries on the day. Final places can be booked here.

The race starts in Liverpool city centre, before runners head into the Kingsway Tunnel. After emerging on the Wirral side of the tunnel, runners make their way to Seacombe Promenade, Fort Perch Rock, and Marine Lake.

The finish line is on Ian Fraser Walk in New Brighton overlooking the River Mersey – a fantastic backdrop for runners to collect their commemorative finishers’ medal and technical fabric running T-shirt.

The Countdown is on for the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10k

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.

It has since taken place annually with the exception of 2020 when there was a break of almost two-and-a-half-years between races due to the pandemic. Post pandemic, the race was staged in September both in 2021 and 2022. Last year the race returned to a Spring date.

The eight official charity partners for BTR Liverpool’s 2024 event portfolio are Alder Hey Children’s Charity; Claire House Children’s Hospice; Clatterbridge Cancer Charity; Liverpool Women’s Hospital Charity; Mersey Cares; North West Air Ambulance; Wirral University Teaching Hospital; and Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice. The charities will be represented on the day by runners or volunteer teams.

Overseas runners taking part have travelled from Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, and the USA.

Local running clubs with the largest numbers taking part include Birkenhead Running Club, Knowsley Harriers AC, Liverpool Running Club, Mikkeller Running Club, Penny Lane Striders, Rimrose Runners, and Wallasey AC.

The current BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K race record is 30 minutes 52 seconds, set in 2016 by Dejene Gezimu from Liverpool Harriers AC.

The female record is 36 minutes 19 seconds, set in 2019 by Kirsty Longley from Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton Harriers.

This year’s entries sees registrations for senior runners ranging in age from aged 74 to 85-years-old.

BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing, and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region.

The BTR Liverpool race portfolio also includes the Wirral events Port Sunlight Road Race on Sunday 9 June, and Wirral 10K on Sunday 13 October.

Taking part in the Mersey Tunnel 10K for the first time is a team of 20 Armed Forces veterans from Liverpool, Wirral, and Sefton. They are pulling on their military boots and will march the 10K route to fundraise for Liverpool-based The Block – Armed Forces Foundation homeless prevention project.

The group began in 2019 as a small veteran community service aimed at helping local ex-forces in times of crisis. It is now a registered charity. Find out more about the charity at https://theblockaff.org/

Former Paratrooper Colin Eastaway from Liverpool is Chief Executive Officer of The Block – Armed Forces Foundation and is one of the charity’s founders. He served with the Special Forces Support Group, and did multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The group will carry equipment in a traditional military style exercise called speed march, or Tactical Advance to Battle (TAB). They will be led by former Paratrooper physical training instructor and founder of Tactical Athlete programme coach Mike Chadwick.

Colin explained:

“Together as a group, we are marching both to raise awareness of The Block and vital funds to support homeless ex-service personnel, mental health support, and housing.

“I struggled with civilian life after the military. And with other former colleagues from across Liverpool we identified that more support was needed in the city following a rise in Veteran suicide and homelessness – so we founded The Block.

“Veterans struggling with life after the military can experience poor mental health while in transition to civilian life. During a sudden change in circumstances, they can often find themselves at risk of homelessness or worse, at risk of suicide. Due to the cost of living and housing crises, we are receiving unprecedented requests for support from military service leavers.

“We are self-funded so every penny really will make a difference to the lives of people we support. By providing emergency accommodation along with inclusion and a safe like-minded space, The Block provides the tools our veterans need to tackle these difficult periods of their lives. Please support us along the way on the day, or by making a donation for veterans who really do need that helping hand.”

The Block Crowdfunder is being run through Aviva Community Fund, funds will be match-funded.

Donations can be made here.

Next in the BTR portfolio are Run For The 97 5K and 1 Mile in Stanley Park on Saturday 18 May, followed by the Port Sunlight Road Race 5K, 10K and 1K Fun Run on Sunday 9 June.

Full details and online entry can be found here.

READ MORE: M&S BANK ARENA TEAMS UP WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY CHASING THE STIGMA

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