Row over refunds in Sheffield Half Marathon fiasco

Race officials discuss the unofficial Sheffield Half Marathon.
Race officials discuss the unofficial Sheffield Half Marathon.
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Organisers at the centre of the Sheffield Half Marathon fiasco still cannot answer why water was not delivered on time – as runners make calls for refunds.

Supply firm Water Direct said the causes behind the cancellation of Sunday’s event, blamed on insufficient water, remained ‘under investigation’.

The firm confirmed it had provided a quote for the job back in February.

A probe has also been launched by the half marathon organising committee. They claim they will look into the possibility of refunding runners their entry fees of between £24 and £26 – although Margaret Lilley, chair of the committee, has already been quoted as saying: “The rules say there are no refunds.”

Frustrated runners say they want their cash back, and others insist they will never take part again.

Michael Shuker, of Upperthorpe, said: “I am so incensed at the total lack of organisation that I am not prepared to let this matter rest until I have received a refund.”

Jamie Windle, of Mosborough, said: “I will never do the Sheffield half marathon again - they don’t deserve my money.”

High Green dad Paul Roberts, whose wife Kathy did the race not knowing it was off, said: “They need to give money back, or the least they could do is offer half price entry next year.”

Sheffield mum-of-three Rosey Alexander said: “I either want a refund or a free go at next year’s race.”

Water Direct, which also supplied water to the London 2012 Olympic Games, is based in Essex.

The firm confirmed a quote had been provided to organisers who approached them in February for the provision of temporary drinking water tanks.

The company said: “We are devastated this event had to be cancelled and are investigating and liaising closely with organisers to establish exactly what led to this outcome.”

Keith Silcock, managing director, added: “As a gesture of goodwill Water Direct shall be offering free water to next year’s Sheffield Half Marathon.

“We can certainly assure there will be no problems whatsoever.”