Year ahead packed with hat-trick of race milestones for BTR

Leading independent race event organiser Merseyside-based BTR Liverpool is gearing up for a memorable 2023 with three of its headline events reaching major milestones.

This year’s campaign is dubbed as 30/20/10 – 30 Years, A Life On The Run, and focuses on the hat-trick of key events.

It features the 30th BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon on Sunday 26 March, 20th BTR Liverpool Santa Dash on Sunday 3 December, and the 10th BTR Tour Of Merseyside, a seven-day 52-mile challenge which starts on Sunday 25 June. Entries are open now.

The three events appeal to very different audiences – from serious athletes pushing for a PB to families running together for run and everyone between, including many people taking part in their very first organised event.

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

Alongside the hat-trick of anniversary events, the 2023 portfolio also includes BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K on Sunday 16 April; Run For The 97 5K/1 Mile on Saturday 27 May; Port Sunlight Road Race 10K/5K/1K Fun Run on Sunday 11 June; 5K Fun Run Winter Series spanning Autumn Leaves on Sunday 24 September, Bonfire Blast on Sunday 5 November, Winter’s Trail on Sunday 31 December; and Grinch 5K Fun Run on Sunday 17 December.

This year also sees the return of the BTR Wirral 10K on Sunday 15 October, as well as a new event scheduled for Sunday 3 September to be announced shortly. Making this year’s programme a strong 12-event portfolio.

The man at the helm of BTR is Liverpool-born race director Alan Rothwell. He has completed more than 40 marathons including London and New York. Here Alan takes a look back to how it all started.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell explained: “As we embark on our running adventure into 2023, there is fantastic alignment and synergy among three of our headline events – we have a great year ahead. It all starts on Sunday 26 March with the 30th BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon – a brilliant race which takes in the landmarks of our incredible city set against the iconic backdrop and world-famous skyline.

“I cannot remember a time when I didn’t run. My earliest memory of enjoying running was cross country season at school. I acknowledged early on that I was never going to make it as the dynamo in Everton’s midfield. Running became my passion. I had no clue about pace, distance or training, I just ran.

“The founding of London Marathon and Great North Run sparked a real running boom – and I found my spiritual home. I had a focus and direction for my casual, lone wolf running, and found myself on a self-indulgent crusade of purely running. Mile after mile, race after race.

“I took part in the very first 1994 Liverpool International Half Marathon, as it was then known, and met organisers Bill Sergeant and Jim Ross. It was a chance meeting, and they asked me to get involved. Fast forward to the present day, the race is owned, organised and delivered by BTR Liverpool – which stands for Born To Run. Very appropriate.

“Whether you are starting a couch to 5K journey or are a seasoned distance runner looking for your next high octane challenge, BTR is looking forward to welcoming you to be part of our special year of celebration and achievement.”

Here is an overview of the three anniversary events:

BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon / 10 Mile Road Race

Sunday 26 March 2023 – Pier Head Liverpool

First staged in 1994, this is one of the longest established races in the region and a highlight in the North West race calendar. The race also attracts a strong number of overseas competitors.

The 13.1-mile route starts and finishes at Pier Head Liverpool, winding its way through the city and onto Sefton Park, taking in the sights along the way. A grandstand finish on the world-famous waterfront comes under the gaze of the city’s iconic Liver Birds.

In 2020, it was rebranded to BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon to celebrate the city’s strong tourism offer. Famous landmarks along the route include Liverpool Cathedral, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, and Museum Of Liverpool.

The event also includes the eighth annual BTR Liverpool 10 Mile Road Race.

New for this year’s 30th anniversary event, European sports brand 361º are proud to partner with BTR Liverpool in what promises to be an exciting year for both parties. With a brand new range of running shoes, including the all-new Centauri, 361º is encouraging BTR participants to ‘do more’ in 2023. Find out more by visiting

BTR Liverpool Santa Dash 5K / 1K Mini Dash

Sunday 3 December 2023 – Pier Head Liverpool, Liverpool City Centre

This festive spectacular was created by BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell. First staged in 2004, it is now highly regarded as the city’s kick-start to Christmas and thought to be the UK’s biggest festive 5K fun run.

Last year’s dash attracted 5,500 red, blue and mini Santas – Liverpool really knows how to throw a party.

The Santa Dash is accessible and open to everyone whether they walk, jog or run, alongside wheelchair participants, families, groups of friends and colleagues – and not forgetting baby Santas in prams and even four-legged furry Santas.

Santas dash from Pier Head Liverpool, through the Grade I Listed Royal Albert Dock Liverpool and taking in the city centre, before finishing outside Liverpool Town Hall with festive stilt-walking characters and ‘real’ snow.

BTR Tour Of Merseyside (52 miles)

Sunday 25 June to Saturday 1 July 2023 – Southport, Thurstaston, Walton, Otterspool, Stadt Moers in Knowsley, Wirral Coastal Path

This special race has become a firm favourite since it was launched in 2013. It attracts runners from far and wide to take on a week-long challenge in a bid to become a Tourist.

Six races of varying distances are staged across seven days, covering 52 miles. Terrains include road, beach and cross country, with runners touring various areas of Merseyside including Southport, Thurstaston, Otterspool, and New Brighton.

The half-way point of the week is now classed as (optional) fancy dress, where literally anything goes!

The coveted ‘Tourist’ medal is awarded on the final day upon completion of all race distances – with the final day being a testing 12-mile race. The week is rounded off with a social gathering for Tourists to celebrate their achievements.

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