Axed race makes Sheffield a laughing stock

Sheffield Half Marathon runners with bottles of water handed over on completion of the race.
Sheffield Half Marathon runners with bottles of water handed over on completion of the race.
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The cancellation of Sheffield Half Marathon made the city an international laughing stock when the news travelled quickly across the Channel to the home of the Tour de France - due to pass through the city within weeks.

French sports newspaper L’Equipe quickly picked up the news of the race being called off, while some Sheffield residents said yesterday’s problems called into doubt the city’s capability of hosting a stage of the Tour in July.

L’Equipe ran a piece on its website with the French headline ‘When a water shortage creates mess’, complete with pictures of crowd members handing water to runners.

Writing on the internet forum Owls Talk, one user commented: “This is a great advertisement for Sheffield - it won’t be long before we mess the Tour De France up as well.”

On The Star’s website - www.thestar.co.uk - reader Comrade Door said: “I am sure the organisers of the Tour de France will have their heads in their hands, wondering what they’ve let themselves in for by believing their world-class event can be trusted to a provincial English city.

“A half marathon cancelled by health and safety? You couldn’t make it up.”

Another reader, Damnblast, wrote: “Don’t tell the organisers of the Tour de France, or they may just organise a detour and end it in Rotherham to be on the safe side.”