Over 1,500 runners take on annual Port Sunlight Road Race

More than 1,500 enthusiastic runners pulled on their trainers last weekend for the 11th staging of the Port Sunlight Road Race.

The event on Sunday, 9 June, featured two competitive races covering 5K and 10K distances, as well as a 1K Fun Run for youngsters aged 12 and under which attracted almost 200 youngsters.

Three of the top four finishing places were secured by Wirral clubs Wallasey AC and Pensby Runners. Two podium places were also taken by runners from Unilever Port Sunlight.

This year’s races sold out two weeks before event day – and is the highest number of entries since the event has been staged post-pandemic.

Entries are already open for next year’s race on Sunday 8 June 2025 at https://www.btrliverpool.com/port-sunlight-event.

First staged in 2012, Port Sunlight Road Race is well established in the region’s race calendar.

On the day, 115 runners from Unilever Port Sunlight took part across both races, including a team from the company’s Sunlight Runners group.

Official proceedings for the event – which included starting the races, handing out medals, and prize presentations – were conducted by Emily McArdle, Trustee of Port Sunlight Village Trust, and Cameron Jones, Head of Unilever Port Sunlight.

The 5K route took runners along the tree-lined boulevards and perfectly manicured gardens of Port Sunlight village. The 10K followed two laps of the 5K route. Runners were presented with a commemorative medal and T-shirt after completing their races.

A group of 250 runners also took on the dual race challenge – completing the 5K race, quickly followed by the 10K. They collected two medals and T-shirts, along with a third bonus medal to celebrate their achievement.

One of the day’s most senior runners – 77-year-old Sidney Molyneux from Wirral – completed the dual challenge race.

A total of 578 runners completed the 5K race.

Port Sunlight Road Race 5K 2024 was won by Christopher Jones from Wallasey AC with a time of 17 minutes 15 seconds. This is the second consecutive year he has took the top honours in the race.

Second place male was David Hinde from Chester Tri in 17 minutes 37 seconds. Kieran O’Brien from St Helens Striders took third place with 17 minutes 52 seconds.

First place female in the 5K was Paulena Kremling from Wallasey AC in 18 minutes 51 seconds.

Second place was Evie Melissa Smith from Warriors Pentathlon Athletics Club in 20 minutes 1 second. Lynsey Coan from Unilever Port Sunlight took third place with 20 minutes 41 seconds – this was a second consecutive podium place after she won the same race last year.

The 10K race saw a total of 942 runners completed the race.

Port Sunlight Road Race 10K 2024 was won by Ben Taylor from Pensby Runners in 33 minutes 24 seconds.

Second place was Justin Strover from Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC with a time of 35 minutes 25 seconds. Matthew Johnston from St Helens Striders was third in 35 minutes 58 seconds.

First place female in the 10K was Rachel Jacks from Southport Waterloo AC with a time of 40 minutes 31 seconds.

Second place was Marleen Renders from Unilever Port Sunlight in 42 seconds 13 seconds – taking the same position for the second consecutive year. Ellie McGuinness was third place in 42 minutes 17 seconds.

Emily McArdle, Trustee of Port Sunlight Village Trust, commented, “This event is always a real highlight in the Port Sunlight calendar. Well done to all the runners, especially those visiting for the very first time, and we hope to welcome you back next year. A big thank you to our residents who support the event by either taking part, spectating and everyone on, or volunteering.”

Cameron Jones, Head of Unilever Port Sunlight, added, “What a fantastic day for the village and a brilliant turn-out, with a lot of people saying this was the best year yet. Unilever Port Sunlight has sponsored the event for the ninth consecutive year as part of our commitment to promoting health and wellbeing. Congratulations to everyone who took part, our team of 115 and the Sunlight Runners. You all did yourselves very proud.”

Volunteer teams included Birkenhead Park Running Club, Claire House Children’s Hospice, Marsh Lane Harriers, and members of the Merseyside running community.

The race record times remain in tact.

The 5K record was set by Joseph Boden from Wallasey AC in 2019 with a time of 15 minutes 28 seconds. The female 5K record is held by Helen Sahgal from Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton Harriers in 2018 with 18 minutes 13 seconds.

The 10K record is 30 minutes 19 seconds, set by Dejene Gezimu from Liverpool Harriers in 2016. The female 10K record was set in 2016 by Sophie Whiteside, also from Liverpool Harriers, with a time of 36 minutes 42 seconds.

BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing, and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region.

Next in the BTR race portfolio is the 52-mile BTR Tour Of Merseyside starting on 30 June including races in Thurstaston and New Brighton, as well as the BTR Wirral 10K on Sunday 13 October.

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