Two world records set at city’s premier road race

Appearances by Liverpool FC Legends, four new course records, and two Guinness World Records being broken were all features of Sunday’s Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon.

VLHM 2017 Winner Dejene Gezimu Image by Paul Francis Cooper


5,000 runners who took part in the 13.1-mile half marathon and the BTR 10 Mile Road Race, which ran alongside the main event for the second consecutive year.

Liverpool FC Legends Ian Rush and Gary McAllister were given the honour of officially starting the race, cheering on runners as they crossed the start line.

Ian Rush and Gary McAllister


Last year’s top placed male and female runners in the half marathon again took first place – Dejene Gezimu from Liverpool Harriers and Michelle Nolan from Gateshead Harriers AC. Both also set new course records.

The half marathon also played host to two Guinness World Record attempts. These were both successful (subject to official verification).

Alistair Rutherford from Allerton becoming the world’s fastest half marathon runner dressed as a musical instrument, and David Miles from Parbold becoming the world’s fastest half marathon runner dressed as a chef.

World Record attempts Alistair Rutherford & David Miles Image by Paul Francis Cooper


Both races started and finished under the gaze of the Liver Birds at Pier Head Liverpool.

The course featured some of Liverpool’s most famous sights including Liverpool Cathedral, Princes Park, Sefton Park, Otterspool Promenade, Albert Dock Liverpool, and Museum Of Liverpool.

Runners then returned to the city’s waterfront for the finish, where they were presented with their finishers’ medal, T-shirt and goody bag.

The winner of the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon 2017 was Dejene Gezimu – taking the top honours for the second consecutive year.

Dejene also set a new course record with his winning time of 1:05:52 (gun time).

The first female home in the half marathon was Michelle Nolan from Gateshead Harriers AC with a winning time of 1:19:38 (gun time). Last year Michelle set a new record by 45 seconds. This year she returned and broke her own record by running another 43 seconds faster in 2017.


It was a 24th consecutive race appearance for Stephen Symons – thought to be the only ever present runner who has taken part in every event in the race’s history since it started in 1994.

Despite suffering from a brain haemorrhage in November 2012, Stephen still managed his continuous run in March 2013 and took part accompanied by family.

24th Liverpool Half Marathon for Stephen Symons Image by Paul Francis Cooper


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

This year marks the 24th staging of the event which began in 1994. Plans are already underway for next year’s 25th silver anniversary celebration race, being staged on Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Entries opened are already open.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:

“What an incredible day and start to the race year for BTR. Thank you to the runners, volunteers and spectators for making it such a great event. One new course record was set at last year’s Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon – this time all four course records were broken.

“This is a huge testament to the quality of running and high standards of the event – the North West’s premier road race. Congratulations Dejene, Michelle, Mark and Sarah – fantastic running across both races and you’ve definitely raised the bar even further.

“The race also hosted two Guinness World Record attempts. Well done Alistair Rutherford and David Miles who brought a lot of colour to the event with their costumes. Great vision from both runners who took on their challenges with real determination and smashed the records.

“Plans are already well underway for the 25th silver anniversary race of the Liverpool Half Marathon on 25 March 2018. Over 100 runners have already signed up to be part of the celebrations.”


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