Course records were set as
crowds turned out for Port Sunlight Village Road Race
Photographs with thanks to Paul Francis
MORE than 1,700 enthusiastic runners
took to the picturesque boulevards of
Sunlight Village, on Sunday, 17 April 2016. The
Port Sunlight Road Race is organised in conjunction with Port Sunlight Village
Trust and is sponsored by
Unilever. This was the 5th annual event
featuring 5K and 10K races, followed by a children's 1K fun run. 3 course
records were set on the day, showcasing the excellent standard of running on the
The race day is firmly established in the village's event calendar and on the
region's running scene, attracting runners and spectators to the historic
village to enjoy the day's proceedings.
The races were started by Cameron Jones, Head of Unilever Port Sunlight, and
Paul Harris, CEO of Port Sunlight Village Trust. They were joined by the Deputy
Mayor of Wirral Councillor Pat Hackett and the Deputy Mayoress, and Maggie
Sparks, the Chair of Trustees at Port Sunlight Village Trust. They all cheered
on runners and congratulated them on their achievements.
The 5K race was won by Aaron Jarvis from Liverpool Pembroke and Sefton Harriers,
who was the 1st male home, in 16.10. Hannah Whiteside was the 1st female
finisher, in a time of 19.48.
In the 10K, it was Dejene Gezimu from Liverpool Harriers AC who took the top
honours, in a time of 30:18. Sophie Whiteside from Liverpool Harriers AC took
1st female position, in a time of 36.40.
3 course records were set on the day; Aaron set the 5K male course record;
Dejene set the 10K male course record; and Sophie set the 10K female course
record. And it also proved to be a real family affair, Hannah and Sophie
Whiteside are sisters, each taking the female honours on the day.
A major achievement was recorded by amputee, a former Royal Marine Commando,
Andy Grant from Liverpool. The 27 year old runs wearing a blade, and won Gold
Medals at the Invictus Games 2014. Andy made his Port Sunlight 10K debut and
achieved a 10K PB time of 39:15; taking 34th overall place in the race.
A group of 69 eager runners also pushed themselves by taking part in the 5K
race, quickly followed by the 10K race. This is the 3rd year that runners have
done the double, with the number taking on the Port Sunlight double challenge
increasing year on year.
BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:- "What a fantastic day of
running in Port Sunlight, during which three new course records were set.
Congratulations Aaron, Dejene and Sophie, you've certainly raised the bar even
higher for next year. We had an excellent turn out and there was a real family
atmosphere. Our thanks go to our headline sponsor Unilever, and also Port
Sunlight Village Trust and the residents."
The 5K also featured 40 runners from sponsors Unilever, who have been following
the Couch To 5K programme. They have been using lunch breaks and after work
training runs to prepare for the race; which is the 1st running event for many
in the group.
Unilever supported the event for the 3rd consecutive year as part of its
brightFuture campaign. 1 of the company's goals is to help a billion people
around the world improve their health and well being by 2020, so supporting the
BTR Port Sunlight Village Road Race is a fitting way to show its commitment to
Cameron Jones, Head of Unilever Port Sunlight, commented:- "Unilever is
proud to sponsor the BTR Port Sunlight Road Race, what a fantastic event. The
day was excellent and it was wonderful to see how delighted the runners were to
complete their own individual challenges. Congratulations to our 40 Unilever
runners who ran in the 5K race, you've done yourselves very proud."
Paul Harris, CEO of Port Sunlight Village Trust, added:- "Port Sunlight
Village Trust is delighted to have hosted another successful event here in Port
Sunlight. The road race always creates a special atmosphere in the village and
we are very grateful to the residents for their help in making it another safe
and enjoyable day for all."
Mascots from the BTR Footsteps Fundraisers charity partners for 2016; Courage
from Radio City's
Cash For Kids; Chang the elephant from
in the Community; and Zoe Bear from Zoe's
all entertained youngsters taking part in the 1K fun run.
The BTR Footsteps Fundraisers initiative brings the charities together through
BTR's key race events by encouraging participants to fundraise and support them.
Funds raised will be split equally between the 3 charities.
All 5K and 10K finishers received a bespoke finishers' medal, T-shirt, and goody
bag which included a number of items from sponsor Unilever.
Port Sunlight Village Trust is an independent charity set up in 1999 to be
responsible for the preservation and promotion of the Port Sunlight Conservation
Area. The Trust invests nearly £3million each year in building maintenance and
repair, heritage conservation, and lifelong learning programmes for residents,
the local community, and domestic and international visitors.
Unilever is extremely proud of its history and heritage in Port Sunlight, where
company founder William Lever built his factory and village in 1888. The company
continues to have world class manufacturing, R&D and IT facilities based here,
along with a third of its UK workforce. Unilever's brands include household
names Persil, Dove, Tresemme, Radox, Comfort and Surf.
If you do not know who
are, they are the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and
delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region and Merseyside. Its
portfolio also includes the Mersey Tunnel 10K; Liverpool Santa Dash; 26 mile
Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral; and the award winning Wirral ½ Marathon / 10K.
The next event in the BTR portfolio is the Run For The 96 5K, on Sunday, 22 May
2016, at Liverpool's Stanley Park. The community legacy fun run is staged to
celebrate the lives of the 96 Liverpool fans lost in the Hillsborough tragedy
while remembering their families and the survivors.
Did you take part in this race or are you going
to do any of the other BTR events on Merseyside. If you did or are going
to, do let us know by emailing us to:-