7,000 take part in inaugural BT Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Runners in the 2014 BT Rock n Roll Marathon (picture: Competitor Group/Ryan Bethke)

Nearly 7,000 runners from around the world toured the streets of Liverpool for the inaugural BT Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon & 1/2 Marathon.

Austin Healey, former rugby player and BT ambassador, not only started the race but also held the finish line tape for the winners and greeted runners into the finish.

Additionally Liverpool City Council Chief Executive Ged Fitzgerald participated in the half marathon in full Elvis attire, raising over £4,300 for the Lord Mayor’s Charities and When You Wish Upon a Star.

In addition to local figures, the race partnered with five official charities including Cancer Research UK, Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Everton in the Community and Cash for Kids.

Rob Griffiths, race director, said: “Today demonstrated that Liverpool is a prime destination for a world-class running event. More than 500 runners traveled from all around the world including Australia, Brazil and Russia
to experience Liverpool’s rich history and culture. We look forward to continuing to grow this race next year and beyond.”

Both the marathon and half-marathon courses started and finished along the waterfront, featuring scenic views of the stunning docks, rich architecture, spectacular museums and historic commercial districts. The race began at the Albert Dock, one of the most visited attractions in the UK and a World Heritage Site. Live bands and cheering spectators lined both race courses, concluding with a celebratory finish line festival and concert headlined by The Farm and The Christians, among other acts.

Bands perform at the BT Rock n Roll Marathon (photo: Competitor Group/Ryan Bethke)
Bands perform at the BT Rock n Roll Marathon (photo: Competitor Group/Ryan Bethke)

Suzi Williams, BT Group Director, said: “The inaugural BT Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon was a real success today. Locals and visitors were treated to the many sights of Liverpool along the course, and The Farm performing ‘All Together Now’ to a packed crowd was a real highlight. The sun was shining and Liverpool shone too. All of us at BT are proud that we helped make it happen.”

In the marathon, Ben Fish won the men’s race in 2:25:20, nearly 16 minutes before the second place winner. Lucy Collins was the women’s marathon winner, crossing the finish line in 3:06:35. Simon Newton from Ackworth won the half marathon in 1:14:29, while Liverpool’s Emma Palmer won the women’s race in 1:25:46.

The Liverpool race is part of an international series of entertainment-themed marathons and half-marathons that revolutionized the running industry in 1998 by infusing the race course with live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations. Other European race destinations in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series include Nice, Madrid, Dublin and Lisbon.