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Liverpool Half Marathon 2017

posted 30 Aug 2017, 12:32 by Greg Pearson
Having had representation at Liverpool 'Rock n Roll' Half Marathon for the last 2 years, this year Reepham Runners contingency grew well in to double figures!

The Liverpool squad for this year included, Chairman and organiser Richard 'Splits' Dade, Mike, Dom, Grovsey, Charlotte, Vikki, Phillipa, Maree, Dave and myself. Guests included Chris who ran last year, Aaron, a work colleague of Mr Dade's and Craig Farr.

An early start on the Saturday as we left Cawston bright and early to rendezvous at Wymondham to leave in a 9 seater car Richard had pinched from work the night before! First stop Cambridge services for a fry up around 8am then back onto the bus for some more banter and eighties tunes!

We arrived in Liverpool around lunch time and we were staying at the Premier Inn Moorfields, about a mile walk from the start. Once we had sorted rooms and dropped the bags, it was time to slip one in. Mr Jolly had spotted a cracking little real ale pub around the corner from the hotel and we all arranged to meet there. Not before Mr Dade and myself managed to slip in a quick snifter at the Premier Inn bar....

Just the one in the real ale pub, we were being sensible......! Now a walk to the South Echo Arena, to the expo and catch up with Maree and Dave. The Expo is not great, a quick wander round a glimpse of the bling which was on offer tomorrow. Time for a quick photo of the squad, then it was onto Bierkeller Liverpool, a sports bar, come real ale bar and time to watch the FA Cup Final. Myself, Richard and Dom agreed that this would be our final pint in here, just the 3 today unlike others on the trip.......Mr Groves!!!

For once, a great FA Cup Final to watch. Some of the guys drifted away early. But we had arranged a great together for 7am to eat at the hotel. Last year, it was very difficult to find some where to eat in the city, as many places were booked. And given our numbers, this made sense.

Early night, prep gear for the morning. Mr Jolly had kindly organised ribbons in memory of the people who had lost their lives in Manchester the previous week. So these could be pinned to out shirts!

Alarm set for 6.30am for an 8am leave down to the arena for the start. Baggage delays meant that the start was pushed back to 9.15am as security was very tight, which was good to see. I got to my pen just before 9am for the staggered start and by the time we were ready to go it was around 9.22am. The first 3 miles is undulating round the city, taking in Matthew Street, where the original Cavern Club stood. Funnily enough we would be back down here this evening for tonights entertainment, but back to the race for now.

After 3 miles, you make a climb in the China Town and then a long hard climb coming up to the 4 mile mark, which I had completely forgotten about since last year. From then on, its fairly easy going. Bands adorn the route every 2 to 3 mile. A mixture of gospel choirs, rock bands, acoustic, steelpan bands makes this a very atmospheric race. And the people of Liverpool certainly turn out in force to support it. After the 4 mile mark, you run through various parks including Sefton, take in a little bit of Penny Lane, before turning onto a promenade on the 10 mile mark and heading back to the South Echo area and the finish. A head wind this year, meant that the last 3 miles was heavy going.

Upon, finishing, my second quickest half ever, I found out that Dom had finished in 3rd place!!! Exceptional running, Richard and Grovsey finishing just over the 1:30 mark. Again great running. Mr Jolly had a great run as well. Charlotte and Phillipa were both pleased with their times and Vikki banished memories of the Norwich Half Marathon, again with a great time. Sadly Maree did not make the start line due to injury but Dave again came home in a good time.

Right the serious bit out of the the concert. 90's band Republica were headlining this year and they were not on till 2pm. It was now 11.30am. First band on was 12 noon. Having picked up our medals - cracking as always, We headed to baggage - on the floor of the arena to pick up goodie bag and t-shirt. You always get a free pint as well with is run, so that went down well as we headed out of the arena and onto the concert plaza.

Needless to say more than a few beers were had - you've probably all seen the photos by now, kindly taken by Rob and Craig so I don't need to say no more!!!

I vaguely remember leaving the concert area around 5pm, a quick freshen up and then we were all out for a Pizza and onto Eric's in Matthew Street, Eric's is a longstanding venue for live music and both the bands we saw that night did not disappoint. We still all had some energy to throw some moves on the dance floor!!!

I rolled back in with Mr Dade at 1.30am.....Liverpool had again beaten me!!!!

A very subdued breakfast the next day and we were back on the bus for the long journey back home - some very tired hung over people aboard!!

We were back in Norfolk for around 2pm.

If you're not yet signed up of this race in 2018, the please do so. A great weekend - an ideal chance to get to know your fellow runners better. The last thing for me to say is a big thank you once again, on behalf of the squad, to Richard Dade for his enthusiasm and organisation of this fabulous weekend!