MERSEYSIDE race organiser BTR Liverpool has announced "a busy and exciting" event schedule for this year – which includes a number of milestone anniversaries and the return of an old favourite.

Established in 2006, BTR Liverpool organises some of the region’s headline running events – including festive spectacular the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash and established road race BTR Liverpool Half Marathon. Both are long-standing, key events in the annual programme.

The 30th anniversary of BTR Liverpool Half Marathon is on March 17 with the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash celebrating its 20th anniversary on December 1.

This year also sees the 10th staging of community legacy Run For The 97 5K on Saturday, May 18, followed by a decade of the Port Sunlight Road Race on Sunday, June 9 featuring 5K and 10K distances, as well as a 15K dual race.

The BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K is planned for Sunday, April 14 and BTR Wirral 10K on Sunday, October 13.

The Women’s 10K Liverpool returns on Sunday, September 8.

The man at the helm of BTR Liverpool is Race Director Alan Rothwell. He began running as a youngster and now race events are his vocation.

He said: “Last year was positive in that we turned a corner and could see a marked increase in people once again taking part in organised races and fun runs.

"For some people that’s what really makes them tick. Once you sign up you’re committed to the cause – you have a target, focus, and aim. And a real reason to train and stay fit and healthy.

“The 2024 programme is full of variety. Honest events bursting with heritage, great history, landmarks, an infectious atmosphere; while others are packed with fun, laughter, a real community feeling; and not forgetting plenty of challenges along the way to really test runners."

Sunday, March 17: BTR Liverpool Half Marathon / 10 Mile Road Race

First staged in 1994, this is one of the longest established races in the region and a highlight in the North West race calendar. This is the 30th anniversary of this popular race.

Wirral Globe: Start of BTR Liverpool Half Marathon 2023Start of BTR Liverpool Half Marathon 2023 (Image: Erica Dillon)The 13.1-mile route starts and finishes at Pier Head Liverpool, winding its way through the city, taking in landmarks including Liverpool Cathedral, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, and Museum Of Liverpool. A grandstand finish on the world-famous waterfront comes under the gaze of the iconic Liver Birds – what backdrop to be presented with a finishers’ medal.

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

Sunday, April 14:  BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K – Liverpool and New Brighton

Runners take on an unusual challenge with the 18th BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K.

The race is the only time throughout the year when people can make their way through the Kingsway Tunnel on foot and run under the River Mersey – making it one of the most unique running events in the country.

Wirral Globe: Tunnel 10K 2023Tunnel 10K 2023 (Image: Paul Francis Cooper (BTR))After emerging on the Wirral side, runners continue along Seacombe Promenade to Fort Perch Rock and the Marine Lake, before finishing at New Brighton’s Marine Point with views overlooking the River Mersey.

Runners particularly enjoy the lively atmosphere when running through the tunnel to make it a memorable day.

Saturday, May 18: Run For The 97 5K / 1 Mile – Stanley Park, Liverpool

Run For The 97 was first staged in 2015 as a positive, inclusive event to celebrate and honour the lives of the 97 Liverpool Football Club fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989.

It also remembers the families of The 97 and the survivors, who have since tirelessly fought for justice with the utmost dignity. They continue to campaign for a Hillsborough Law.

The fun run is accessible and open to all – walk, jog, or run. Participants are invited to fundraise for three beneficiary charities – Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation, LFC Foundation, and Stanley Park junior parkrun.

Sunday, June 9: Port Sunlight Road Race 10K / 5K / 1K 

This year’s event marks the 10th staging. BTR Liverpool organise the event in conjunction with Port Sunlight Village Trust (PSVT).

The races start and finish at the village green and include 5K and 10K distances, and a 1K fun run for youngsters aged 12 and under.

Wirral Globe: Port Sunlight Road Race 2023 Port Sunlight Road Race 2023 (Image: Paul Francis Cooper)The 5K route takes runners along the tree-lined boulevards and perfectly manicured gardens of the historic village. The 10K follows two laps, and there is also a dual race option for runners who complete 15K and collect three medals.

Sunday, June 30 to Saturday, July 6: BTR Tour Of Merseyside (52 miles) – Liverpool, Thurstaston, Walton, Otterspool, Stadt Moers in Knowsley, Wirral Coastal Path

The ‘Tour’ is said, by organisers, to have become a firm favourite since it was launched in 2013 – a week-long challenge in a bid to become a tourist.

Wirral Globe: Tour Of Merseyside 2023 - Stadt Moers Tour Of Merseyside 2023 - Stadt Moers (Image: Paul Francis Cooper (BTR))Six races of varying distances are staged across seven days, covering 52 miles of road, beach, and cross country touring various areas of Merseyside.

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 races and 52 miles – the final race is 12 miles. A party rounds off the week for Tourists to celebrate their achievements.

Sunday 8 September: BTR Women’s 10K Liverpool – Sefton Park, Liverpool

This year BTR is bringing back a historically very popular female-only race after some considerable time.

The BTR Women’s 10K Liverpool takes place in Sefton Park, a stunning backdrop which lends itself well to the race.

The location was also the original home to the event when the race was at its peak in the 1980s and early 1990s, until there was a big shift in the wider race event market.

Women’s only races are returning with events in Scotland leading the way.

Entries for Liverpool are open and feedback already very positive about this new addition to the portfolio.

Sunday, October 13: BTR Wirral 10K – New Brighton

The out-and-back event returned in October 2023 after a break of two years – and now it’s back again for 2024.

The return brought with it a new start and finish line on Ian Fraser Walk in New Brighton – which is retained for this year’s event.

The route heads past Fort Perch Rock and along the picturesque promenade to Seacombe Ferry, before reaching the half-way 5K turnaround point and returning – with captivating views along the way.

The race is fast and flat – and perfect for runners chasing a personal best time. But equally good for those attempting their first 10K race.

Sunday, December 1: BTR Liverpool Santa Dash 5K / 1K Mini Dash – Pier Head Liverpool, Liverpool City Centre

This festive spectacular was created by BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell. First staged in 2004, it’s highly regarded as the city’s kick-start to Christmas.

Wirral Globe: Liverpool Santa Dash 2023Liverpool Santa Dash 2023 (Image: Paul Francis Cooper)Last year a staggering 6,100 red, blue, and mini Santas took part – it is thought to be the UK’s biggest festive 5K fun run.

Walk, jog, or run alongside wheelchair participants, charities, families, friends, colleagues – not forgetting baby Santas in prams and four-legged furry Santas.

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

To find out more about BTR events visit the website at www.btrliverpool.com and follow BTR on social media for the latest updates.