Confusion at the start line of the Sheffield Half Marathon.
Confusion at the start line of the Sheffield Half Marathon.
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Organisers of Sheffield Half Marathon have been widely criticsed, but do they deserve it, asks Colin Drury

Can we talk about Sheffield Half Marathon?

Never done it, personally. My philosophy is if God had wanted us to run he wouldn’t have invented the internal combustion engine.

Hats off, of course, to anyone nailing Attercliffe to Hunter’s Bar and back again but I could basically do that right now without any training at all. Tram. Bus. Tram. I’ll have a drink waiting for thee in The Carlton.

Still, the half marathon? Incredible event, isn’t it? And we should all be thankful there’s a small team of volunteers – unpaid, unrecognised, unrewarded – willing to spend their spare time putting it on for the good of the city.

These people deserve our praise. They deserve medals for organising something no other civic body will.

What they don’t deserve is to be called clowns if, like this year, a mistake happens. Because they’re not. They’re dedicated and selfless and you can bet your last Lucozade no-one feels worse about things going wrong than them.

So, the run got cancelled, and there was disappointment? Well, that disappointment now needs a sense of proportion.

An error happened. These volunteers apologised and said they’ll learn. And now, since they’re not pros or profiteers, they have a right to some understanding.

They also have a right to send out a letter, like last week, explaining it’s a not for profit event and refunds will hit charities.

That’s called giving people the full picture.

And yet still they get pilloried. So it makes one wonder: why would they even bother again? They don’t have to do this. They’re not obliged. They don’t gain anything.

Let those who name-call and take cheap shots spend their spare time doing it next year.