Marathon to return to Merseyside after 20 years

Liverpool waterfront
Image caption Places will be reserved for Merseyside runners

Merseyside will host a marathon for the first time in 20 years, it has been announced.

Run Liverpool is due to take place in the city on 9 October. It is expected to attract 12,000 participants.

The 26-mile route will start in Birkenhead Park and take runners to New Brighton, Queensway Tunnel, Liverpool Docks, Princes Park and Sefton Park.

The race will finish on Liverpool's Pier Head, in the shadow of the Three Graces.

Three thousand places have been reserved solely for Merseyside runners. A further 3,000 will be for charity entries.

Organisers say they hope it will contribute more than £3m to the regional economy.

'Ultimate challenge'

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 made his marathon debut in the Liverpool marathon in 1961 and broke the world record for the distance in the city seven years later.

He said: "The return of the marathon to the city is testament not only to the commitment and passion of the Run Liverpool 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 21st century."

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