More than 2,000 people will take on the challenge of running under the River Mersey and through the Mersey Tunnel next weekend, in one of the most unique races in the country.

The 15th BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K takes place on Sunday, September 26, starting in Liverpool at 9.30am and finishing across the river in New Brighton.

Fondly known locally as the ‘new tunnel’, The Kingsway Tunnel was opened by The Queen in June 1971 with this year marking its 50th anniversary.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell said: “This is always a popular race, and we’re excited to bring the event back to life during the tunnel’s landmark year after all having to miss out during 2020.

The Mersey Tunnel 10k starts in Liverpool and ends in New Brighton. Photo: Paul Francis Cooper

The Mersey Tunnel 10k starts in Liverpool and ends in New Brighton. Photo: Paul Francis Cooper

“The route promises plenty of incredible views along the way to help make the race pass even faster – and the atmosphere in the tunnel itself is great fun."

The race was last staged in April 2019. It was postponed last year due to Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown.

The point-to-point event comes just two weeks after the BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon and 10 Mile Road Race, the biggest race staged in the city for 18 months. It was last held in March 2020 shortly before the Government announced the first national lockdown.

The race starts in Blackstock Street in Liverpool city centre and takes runners straight into the Kingsway Tunnel. After emerging on the Wirral, the route continues along Seacombe Promenade, Fort Perch Rock and the Marine Lake, to the finish line on Ian Fraser Walk at New Brighton’s Marine Point, overlooking the River Mersey.

The Mersey Tunnel 10K returned to the North West race calendar in 2006 at the request of the Mersey Tunnels, with BTR Liverpool taking on the mantle to organise and deliver the event.

The 10k tunnel run

The Mersey Tunnel 10k is a popular event. Photo: Paul Francis Cooper

The design of the finishers’ commemorative medal and T-shirt also celebrate the tunnel’s landmark year.

A new female course record was set by Kirsty Longley from Liverpool Pembroke Sefton Harriers when the race was last staged in April 2019, clocking 36 minutes 19 seconds – and breaking the previous record she set in 2017 faster by 30 seconds.

The male record still stands at 30 minutes 52 seconds, recorded by Dejene Gezimu from Liverpool Harriers AC in 2016.

Organisers BTR Liverpool have put a series of safety measures in place for race day. Runners are encouraged to take a Covid-19 lateral flow test in the days leading up to the event. Anyone displaying symptoms, feeling unwell or testing positive is urged not to attend.