No wonder it’s popular - a free Christmas pudding welcomes every finisher of the annual Percy Pud 10km in Sheffield. But free festive treats cannot be the only explanation for the Steel City Striders website being swamped with 14,000 hits when the race link went live at 5pm on Sunday evening.
The race is entirely volunteer-led and organised by the Steel City Striders where runners enjoy an out-and-back course alongside Damflask reservoir in Loxley.
Last night the running club’s website had 14,000 hits, including 2,000 clicks on the race entry link within five minutes of it becoming live.
Alan Barnett, from the running club, said the Percy Pud has become ‘hotter than Glastonbury’.
“It shows it’s the most popular race in the region.”
Mr Barnett said the situation is ‘embarrassing’ but he does not believe anyone will be put off from entering.
He compared the situation with trying to get tickets to see Take That, saying that fans don’t stop trying to get tickets just because the website has crashed.
Steel City Striders apologized for ‘the awful experience people have had’.
They said their service provider “assured us in midweek that stress tests had been conducted and they were ready for the expected high demand.”
Last year the race's intense popularity meant all 2,400 entries filled up within two hours of the link going live.
After ‘unprecedented’ demand the online entry service provider, FR systems, said on Twitter: “Some people are getting an error page, as a result we have postponed the entry until we can find the cause. Very sorry for the inconvenience.”
The company offers timing, results, online entries and fulfilment to more than 200 events in the UK every year.
They have offered to drop their service charge and cover the payment provider costs because ''the service that we have provided has not met our usual high standards".
Many people clicking on the Percy Pud link last night were hoping to fill out the entry form several times for family and friends.
Steel City Striders has therefore pointed out that there could be far more than 14,000 people wanting a place.
Mr Barnett said: “We are doing the best we can.”
The 2016 running of the Percy Pud 10k will be on Sunday 4th December at 09:30am.
The club hopes to reopen entries later this week.