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Publication date:- 2017-07-04

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Liverpool FC Legends Ian Rush and Gary McAllister thrilled fans as they posed for pictures and selfies, ahead of officially starting the race. The duo attended as guests of Vitality and Liverpool Football Club with mascot Mighty Red. They also cheered on runners who were fundraising for the Liverpool FC Foundation; the Club's official charity.

Ian Rush made 660 appearances for the Reds scoring 346 goals, while Gary McAllister featured 87 times scoring 9 goals; firmly establishing themselves as fans' favourites at Anfield.

Liverpool FC Legend and Club ambassador, Ian Rush commented:- "It was a great honour to start the Vitality Liverpool ½ Marathon. Seeing thousands of runners raising money for so many great causes, including the LFC Foundation; it was really inspiring. Many congratulations to Dejene Gezimu and Michelle Nolan, those were two incredible finishes."

Liverpool FC Legend and Club ambassador, Gary McAllister added:- "It was fantastic to be on the start line cheering the runners on. The atmosphere was electric and it was great to see so many Liverpool FC fans turn out to run the ½ Marathon."

It was a 24th consecutive race appearance for Stephen Symons; thought to be the only ever present runner who has taken part in every event in the race's history since it started in 1994.

Despite suffering from a brain haemorrhage in November 2012, Stephen still managed his continuous run in March 2013 and took part accompanied by family. The 51 year old, who runs for Manchester YMCA Harriers Club, clocked a time of 1:57:14; and is already looking forward to taking part in next year's 25th silver anniversary race.

Alistair Rutherford, aged 21 from Allerton, ran dressed as a viola and set a new Guinness World Record as the fastest ½ Marathon runner dressed as a musical instrument.

The viola student ran in a custom made viola costume and was raising funds for musical charity Arco. He set a new record with his time of 1:19:32; smashing the record by 7 minutes 25 seconds.

David Miles ran as a chef carrying a 3.5kg cooking pot and broke the Guinness World Record as the fastest ½ Marathoner dressed as a chef.

The 53 year old chef lives in Parbold after living in Maghull for many years. Fundraising for Cancer Research UK, David hoped to smash the 1:40 barrier; he recorded a time of 1:37:39, beating the record by 9 minutes 46 seconds.

Former Emmerdale and Waterloo Road actor Kurtis Stacey, from Liverpool, took part in the BTR 10 Mile Road Race to raise funds for the James Bulger Memorial Trust. He was joined by childhood best friend Craig Macauley.

This was Kurtis and Craig's first race in a year long challenge to complete seven BTR running events during 2017 to fundraise for the charity. They will be joined in future races by Milk Tray Man and Cheshire firefighter Patrick McBride, and Dale Roberts, ambassador of the James Bulger Memorial Trust.

Vitality Liverpool ½ Marathon is organised by BTR Liverpool, the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region. The BTR event portfolio also includes Liverpool Santa Dash; Mersey Tunnel 10K; Port Sunlight 10K/5K/1K; award winning Wirral ½ Marathon/10K; 26 mile Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral; and 52 mile Tour Of Merseyside.

This year marks the 24th staging of the event which began in 1994. Plans are already underway for next year's 25th Silver Anniversary celebration race; appropriately being staged on Sunday, 25 March, 2018. Entries opened on Monday, 3 April 2017, with almost 150 runners have registered already.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:- "What an incredible day and start to the race year for BTR. Thank you to the runners, volunteers and spectators for making it such a great event. One new course record was set at last year's Vitality Liverpool ½ Marathon; this time all four course records were broken. This is a huge testament to the quality of running and high standards of the event; the North West's premier road race. Congratulations Dejene, Michelle, Mark and Sarah; fantastic running across both races and you've definitely raised the bar even further. The race also hosted 2 Guinness World Record attempts. Well done Alistair Rutherford and David Miles who brought a lot of colour to the event with their costumes. Great vision from both runners who took on their challenges with real determination and smashed the records. Plans are already well underway for the 25th Silver Anniversary race of the Liverpool ½ Marathon on 25 March 2018. Over 100 runners have already signed up to be part of the celebrations."

Photos below by Dave Evens - Zanto Digital

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