ST Helens runners took on the Stuttgart half marathon to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the two town’s twinning partnership.

The town's relationship with Stuttgart dates back to 1948, just a few years after the Second World War and is believed to be the oldest twinning partnership in Europe.

At the time St Helens was an industrial powerhouse for the manufacturer of glass and it was able to support the rebuilding of Stuttgart, parts of which had been destroyed or damaged by bombing during the war.

Ever since, the two have enjoyed regular twinning visits, with this year marking the 75th anniversary.

Every year, as part of the borough’s twinning partnership with Stuttgart - with 2023 marking the 75th anniversary - runners from St Helens are offered a place to represent the borough at the Stuttgart-Lauf, an annual half marathon which attracts thousands of participants and takes in the city’s picturesque landscapes, historic sites, and architectural landmarks.

Kim Wellens, Chris Shannon and Cameron Hannon - all members of St Helens Striders - were selected to take part in this year’s race which took place on Saturday, May 20.

To hear all about their adventure, Mayor of St Helens, Cllr Lynn Clarke, welcomed the runners into the town hall.

She said: "It's an honour to greet people like Kim, Chris and Cameron who represent our borough impeccably at international events.

“This one in particular was an extra special occasion as it was held in Stuttgart during our 75th twinning anniversary, with plenty planned throughout the year to celebrate this marvellous milestone with our German friends.

“Having only been Mayor a matter of weeks, I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, meeting many more people like Kim, Chris and Cameron, who bring out the very best in our great borough.”