A major new UK marathon has been announced today by organisers RunLiverpool to take place in the Liverpool City Region this coming October 9th.
The 2011 RunLiverpool Marathon will be the first to be held in the city in over 20 years and is set to be a high-profile annual event in Liverpool’s sporting calendar, with RunLiverpool expecting the race to attract an estimated 12,000 participants.
The launch event, which took place at The Royal Liver Building saw the RunLiverpool team introduce the road race in the presence of dignitaries from both Liverpool City and Wirral Councils, Marathon veterans, business leaders, Marathon ambassadors and members of the press.
Unveiling the 26-mile marathon route, organisers explained how it has been designed specifically to take in some of the best-known sights on both sides of the Mersey.
Starting in Birkenhead Park – New Brighton, Liverpool Docks, Queensway Tunnel, Princes Park and Sefton Park are just some of the locations participants will pass whilst running the marathon course, along with the captivating view between six and nine miles where runners can fully appreciate the magnitude of the world famous Liverpool skyline.
The race finishes in the shadow of the ‘Three Graces’ on the city’s Pier Head.
A number of high-profile personalities have already committed to support the event, including British Olympic gold medal winner Steve Smith, 400m British record holder Iwan Thomas, Paul O’Neill, British Touring Cars driver and Steve Brogan, British Superbike Champion.
Liverpool’s own British super-middleweight boxing champion Paul Smith Jnr. and popular Wirral actress Suzanne Collins are to be amongst official RunLiverpool Marathon Ambassadors, championing the event and embarking on training programmes which will see them both run the course for their own charities.
Entries opened to runners in late January via the official RunLiverpool Marathon website, www.runliverpoolmarathon.co.uk, with 3000 places being reserved solely for Merseyside runners and a further 6,000 places available for national and international runners. In addition there are 3,000 charity places for charity entries.
The event has already captured a huge amount of international attention, with organisers receiving enquiries from countries across Europe and there has been considerable interest from the United States, due to it taking place on the anniversary of John Lennon’s birthday, who would have been 71 in 2011.
Through its national and international draw and formal charity programme, The RunLiverpool Marathon is expected to contribute an estimated excess of £3,000,000 in economic impact to Liverpool and the City Region, and will contribute to the profile of the city as a world-class tourist destination and running centre of excellence.
An estimated 30,000 visitors are expected to stay in the city during Marathon weekend.
Race Director, Alan Rothwell said:
“It’s fantastic that all our hard work is finally paying off – this road race has been in development for a number of years. With London still dominating the marathon landscape and the City of Liverpool now firmly acknowledged as an international tourism destination, we knew that the time was right to bring back the ultimate runner’s challenge.
There are thirty or so marathons held annually, but none come close to the London experience. Liverpool will now change that."
Marathon veteran, Ron Hill MBE commented:
“My running career has seen me compete in 115 marathons in locations around the world – however I made my debut at the original Liverpool City marathon back in 1961. Winning that race launched me into a lifelong love of long distance running and the marathon in particular.
Nine years later I broke the World Record for the distance with a time of 2 hours 9 minutes and 28 seconds. The return of the marathon to the city is testament not only to the commitment and passion of the RunLiverpool team but also to the growing interest in the sport. It’s very encouraging to see that the legacy of those early races is alive and well in the twenty-first century.