The organisers of today’s Sheffield Half Marathon have said sorry for cancelling the event at the last minute - because they were unable to provide enough water stations throughout the route.
The decision this morning sparked uproar at the Don Valley Bowl, where the run was being held for the first time. Thousands of runners set off on the route anyway, but were turned back in places by police who put in place a shortened route.
Margaret Lilley, chair of the Sheffield Half Marathon organising committee, said people who crossed the finish line with their race number ‘will be timed’.
“We will be providing a list of all finishers and their times,” she said.
“It is with huge disappointment and regret that we were forced to cancel the 2014 SIG Insulation Sheffield Half Marathon because of a problem with the delivery of water by our suppliers.
“For health and safety reasons, we were unable to go ahead with race without the required number of water stations throughout the race route.
“As soon as we learnt of the problem, we did everything in our power to come up with a solution so that the race could go ahead as planned.
“But, we didn’t want to keep runners and spectators waiting any longer, so we took the decision to call the race off.”
Ms Lilley added: “We would like to express our sincerest apologies to everyone involved in the race who has been affected.
“But we have made the decision based on the best interest of runners and spectators.
“The Fun Run went ahead as planned because it was uncompromised by the water situation.
“At this stage we are unable to provide any further information about whether the race will be re-run in the future.
“With the majority of the race infrastructure in place, many runners decided to run the route as planned.”
A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “There was initially a police presence on parts of the marathon route to assist with the road closures to motorists to protect those participating in the run.
“Despite the cancellation, a large number of participants have still chosen to run the half marathon.
“Working with the organisers, officers attempted to speak to participants who had chosen to run and divert them on to a shorter route to the finish line.
“However officers have kept their positions and stance with the initial road closures to motorists to protect all the runners and ensure their safety is maintained.”
DID YOU TAKE PART IN THE HALF MARATHON DESPITE THE CANCELLATION, OR WERE YOU A SPECTATOR WHO HAD TRAVELLED TO CHEER ON THE RUNNERS? SEND US YOUR VIEWS AT NEWS@THESTAR.CO.UK, TWEET @SHEFFIELDSTAR OR VISIT FACEBOOK.COM/SHEFFIELDSTAR