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Runners Pay Tribute To The Queen At Mersey Tunnel 10K

Pic by Paul Francis Coope
Picture by Paul Francis Coope...

ALMORST 1,000 runners stood side by side ahead of the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K, on Sunday, 12 September 2022, in silent tribute to Her Majesty The Queen who passed away last week.

Participants were invited by organisers BTR Liverpool to observe 2 minutes silence before the race.

This was the 16th staging of the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K. The event 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 1 of the most unique running events in the country.

The Mersey Tunnel 10K returned to the North West running calendar in 2006 at the request of the 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 Liverpool City Region.

The race has been staged each since 2006, with the exception of 2020 during the Pandemic when there was a break of almost 2 1/2 years between races.

Fondly known locally as the:- 'new tunnel,' the:- 'Kingsway Tunnel' was opened by Her Majesty The Queen, on 24 June 1971, that made 2021, its milestone 50th Anniversary.

Organisers were given the go ahead to stage the race so felt it appropriate to honour The Queen as part of event proceedings; as a mark of respect and to reflect on her incredible duty of more than 70 years.

The race event was somewhat subdued as runners and race officials kept The Queen in their thoughts.

A tribute was read by race day host Graeme White, who also led the 2 minutes silence. This was followed by The Beatles' classic song In My Life.

Pic By Erica Dillon.
Picture by Erica Dillon...

The winner of the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K 2022 was Dejene Gezimu from Liverpool Harriers AC in 33 minutes 39 seconds. He last won the race in 2018. Dejene set the current course record at 30 minutes 52 seconds in 2016.

Jamie Mackie finished 2nd in 34 minutes 36 seconds, followed by Joshua Makin in 3rd place in 34 minutes 59 seconds.

1st place female was Fay Hughes from UTS Run Club in Hoylake with a time of 39 minutes 1 second. This is the second consecutive year Fay has taken top honours in this race.

2nd place was Becky Chittick from Penny Lane Striders in 45 minutes 29 seconds, while Anita Dawson finished third in 45 minutes 32 seconds.

The current female course record remains. It was set in 2019 by Kirsty Longley from Liverpool Pembroke Sefton Harriers with a time of 36 minutes 19 seconds. Kirsty broke the record she had previously set in 2017 by knocking a further 30 seconds off her time.

The point to point race started in Liverpool City Centre taking runners straight into the Kingsway Tunnel. The route also included:- Seacombe Promenade, Fort Perch Rock and Marine Lake, before finishing on Ian Fraser Walk in New Brighton overlooking the River Mersey.

Finishers were presented with a commemorative medal and bespoke T-shirt to mark their achievement.

Volunteer teams representing British Red Cross, Dockside Runners, Everton in the Community, and Liverpool Running Bugs helped with water stations, medals, and T-shirts.

Overseas runners travelled from:- Malaysia, Spain, and Sweden to take part. While local running clubs were well represented by Hoylake Road Runners, Liverpool Running Club, Penny Lane Striders, Rimrose Runners, and Wallasey AC.

Runners also included a team of 15 from the Bank Of America, in Chester, UK.

While 10 year old Owen Oswick from Wirral wowed everyone on the day by clocking a time of 40 minutes 49 seconds; finishing in 24th overall position.

The day's most senior runners were Tunnel 10K regulars 83 year old Phil Humphreys from Wirral, and Ron Thornton, aged 81, from Liverpool.

The extensive BTR Liverpool race portfolio features various distances across different terrains, all with an ongoing commitment to sustainability. Events also include:- the Liverpool Skyline ˝ Marathon, Port Sunlight Road Race, Tour Of Merseyside, and Liverpool Santa Dash.

Pic by Paul Francis Cooper
Picture by Paul Francis Cooper...

BTR Liverpool Race Director Alan Rothwell explained:- "Well done to everyone who took part, and once again made the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K a very memorable day especially during this incredibly poignant and historic time. The atmosphere on the day was understandably subdued, and I congratulate our runners on all their achievements. I want to publicly thank everyone who impeccably observed the 2 minutes silence to honour and thank Her Majesty The Queen for her loyal and dedicated duty which spanned more than 7 decades. We felt The Beatles' song In My Life was a fitting tribute and heart warming, but respectful nod from Liverpool, especially before we followed in her footsteps and headed into the Kingsway Tunnel which she officially opened 51 years ago. The Mersey Tunnel 10K is a unique race given it's the only time you can make your way through on foot. I'm sure everyone who was involved on the day will remember this year's race for many special reasons."

The date for the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K 2023 will be announced shortly. Next in the BTR event portfolio is a new Winter 5K series spanning 3 events starts at the end of September with Autumn Leaves in Arrowe Park, followed by Bonfire Blast in Hoylake in November, and Winter's Trail, on the Wirral Way, in December 2022.

Festive spectacular Liverpool Santa Dash sponsored by Park Christmas Savings returns, on Sunday, 4 December 2022, followed by The Grinch 5K, in West Kirby, on Sunday, 11 December 2022.

First race in the calendar for 2023 is the 30th Anniversary of the Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon, on Sunday, 26 March 2022.

Full race information and online entry can be found by visiting:- BTRLiverpool.Com.

The Queen's Green Canopy update - Memorial tree planting for her Majesty

FOLLOWING the death of Her Majesty The Queen, and the wishes of our Patron, His Majesty The King, The Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) initiative will be extended to the end of March 2023 to give people the opportunity to plant trees in memoriam to honour Her Majesty.

As a nationwide initiative created to mark the Platinum Jubilee, The Queen's Green Canopy was due to conclude in December 2022, the end of the Jubilee year. However, as the official tree planting season in the United Kingdom is from:- October to March 2022, the initiative will now be extended to include this full tree planting season, beginning in October 2022 and concluding in March 2023.

The Queen's Green Canopy is proud to be creating a living legacy with over a million trees planted in Her Majesty's name across the nation during the 1st planting season, October 2021 to March 2022. The extension of the QGC initiative will build on this legacy and serve as a lasting tribute to Her Majesty's extraordinary service to her country and her people.

The interactive map created by The Queen's Green Canopy to showcase the planting projects across the United Kingdom will also continue to the end of March 2023, giving people an opportunity to be part of this special legacy.

Alongside the inspiring floral tributes being left outside Royal Palaces, people can also gift a tree in memoriam in honour of Her Majesty, with trees to be planted in Schools and deprived urban areas across the United Kingdom.

For more information on how to get involved please visit:- QueensGreenCanopy.Org.

To gift a tree in honour of Her Majesty please visit:- Shop.QueensGreenCanopy.Org.

Further details about tree planting projects in honour of Her Majesty will be released soon on:- QueensCreenCanopy.Org.

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