MORE than 1,000 runners took part in a series of races in Wirral at the weekend.

The Wirral 10K, Half Marathon or 26-mile three-day Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral were organised by Hoylake-based BTR Liverpool.

Around 1,200 participants took part.

The Wirral 10K and BTR Wirral Half Marathon took place in New Brighton on Sunday. It was the third year the races have started and finished at The Dips.

Finishers in all three races received a commemorative medal and T-shirt to mark their achievement.

The races were officially started by Mayor and mayoress Tony and Barbara Smith.

They were joined by Everton Football Club Ambassador Graham Stuart, representing club charity, Everton in the Community.

For those taking part in the fifth annual BTR Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral, the Wirral Half Marathon was the last of their three races.

They had previously completed five miles off-road race at Arrowe Park on Friday evening (6 September), followed the next morning by eight miles multi-terrain along the beach at Thurstaston, through Thurstaston Country Park and along the Wirral Way.

The Wirral 10k was won by Michael Heyes representing Mersey Tri in a time of 36 minutes 13 seconds.

Colin Walsh from Penny Lane Striders took second place in 37 minutes 23 seconds, with third-place James Blake recording 37 minutes 45 seconds.

Carmel Edwards took first female place in the BTR Wirral 10K in 39 minutes 12 seconds.

Second place female was Elaine Opara in 45 minutes nine seconds representing Wallasey AC, followed by third place female Natasha Culkin in 47 minutes 49 seconds.

The winner of the BTR Wirral Half Marathon 2019 was Andrew Parkinson from Mossley Hill AC in 1 hour 15 minutes 55 seconds.

He was followed by James Nicholls from South Cheshire Harriers in 1 hour 20 minutes 26 seconds, and third place Graham Rands from Manchester Tri Cub in 1 hour 20 minutes 43 seconds.

Ffion Hughes took first female place in the BTR Wirral Half Marathon recording a time of 1 hour 29 minutes 51 seconds – setting a new female course record since the route was changed in 2017.

Second place female was Louise Casey from Widnes Running Club in 1 hour 31 minutes 50 seconds – beating her first place position time last year by one minute 27 seconds.

In third place was Jennifer Brady from Liverpool Running Bugs in 1 hour 33 minutes 37 seconds.

Andrew Parkinson and Ffion Hughes also won a Polar running watch, donated by The Runners Hub in Heswall and presented by Antony Dala.

Jay Walker from Wallasey AC returned to the Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral for his fifth consecutive year, and is one of a handful of runners who have taken part each year since the race was introduced by BTR in 2015.

He recorded his fastest combined time of all three races in 2 hours 37 minutes 55 seconds – beating last year’s winning time by four minutes 52 seconds.

Second place male in the Whistle Stop was Dave Lemon from Buckley Runners in 2 hours 49 minutes 32 seconds.

Third place was taken for the second consecutive year by Steven Longmore in 2 hours 50 minutes 36 seconds – Steven has also taken part every year.

First place female finisher in the Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral 2019 was Zoe Richardson in a time of 3 hours 7 minutes 51 seconds. She was followed by Sophie Weston in 3 hours 25 minutes 44 seconds, with third place taken by Alex Buckley from Chorlton Runners in 3 hours 28 minutes 53 seconds.

Sunday’s field of runners also included a group of 40 runners from the Bank Of America in Chester.

They took part across both races to raise funds for their chosen charity of the year, HoneyPot, who have a base in Welshpool.

They raised more than £1,200 by taking part in the races.

BTR race director Alan Rothwell said: "Congratulations to all our runners who each took on their own personal race challenge in the Wirral 10K, Wirral Half Marathon or Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral.

"We're delighted that Wirral's Mayor and Mayoress and Everton Football Club Ambassador Graham Stuart joined us to start the race, adding a real sense of occasion.

"A big thank you must also go to our volunteer teams from Claire House Children's Hospice and Everton in the Community, as well as many runners from across the Merseyside running community who helped out across the weekend."