Call to change Sheffield Half Marathon organisers

Sheffield Half Marathon no water- Utter confusion
Sheffield Half Marathon no water- Utter confusion
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A runner has launched a petition calling for the organisers of the Sheffield Half Marathon to be prevented from staging the event again.

Engineer Joe Palmer’s online bid asks Sheffield Council to ‘refuse all permits and licences to Sheffield Half Marathon Ltd that would allow it to run future events’ after Sunday’s race had to be called off.

Organisers said it was cancelled because of a lack of water, and are investigating – as are the water suppliers, Water Direct, who said they were not paid in advance as required. Organisers refute their claims.

Joe, aged 27, who lives in Rotherham, said: “There is no animosity in this petition, but without some step-change in how the race is run it is not going to work.

“The mood of many runners on Sunday was, ‘We are never going to do this again’.”

Hundreds of runners completed the 13.2 mile route anyway, oblivious to the fact the race had been cancelled as they did not hear any announcements.

Frustrated competitors have called for refunds – and fumed at being sent emails after the run inviting them to buy £29.99 photographs from the event.

A spokesman for the organisers said the email was sent by a third party.

He added: “Everyone has a right to petition against a group of volunteers who have worked tirelessly over many years to deliver successful half marathons, and who have raised more than a million pounds for local charities.

“We intend to communicate directly with all participants of the half marathon in the very near future.”

Six people have so far signed the petition on Sheffield Council's website.

n More of your views on the half marathon: Readers’ Champion on P10 and Letters on P24.