Editor’s Comment: You can have your Sheffield Half Marathon money back, but you’ll be penny-pinching from the needy and vulnerable

Confusion at the start line of the Sheffield Half Marathon.
Confusion at the start line of the Sheffield Half Marathon.
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Jus t when you thought the clowns that cocked up Sheffield Half Marathon couldn’t sink any lower, they go and prove you wrong.

Tomorrow the Sheffield Star will carry a full look into a controversial letter which has landed on already disgruntled runners’ doormats.

Many people are still furious at the clanger which meant that one of the city’s most revered showpiece events became a laughing stock – unless you were one of those left standing around the streets of Sheffield, without a race to run. It was far from funny for those people.

Now imagine how you’d feel if you were effectively told that the defective goods you bought, you could have a refund on them right away. Then imagine the person who sold you the rubbish in the first place added that whilst your refund would be forthcoming, in accepting it you would be stealing from the pockets of the vulnerable and needy.

Well that’s effectively what happened yesterday when previously let-down runners received a letter from the event organisers.

Immediately there were people who lambasted this latest kick in the proverbials as a callous guilt trip, and who could disagree?

I am all for supporting charities – just this week The Star launched its bid to support Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s ‘Make It Better Day’ – but I doubt even the charities themselves want ill-gotten gains.

The charities affected include Sheffield Children’s Hospital, St Luke’s and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

The letter states: “Despite cancellation on the day, we trust you will appreciate the full event infrastructure was still provided. Those costs still had to be met.

“Once these costs are taken from the entry fee income, any residue is donated to the 10 benefitting charities to further the good causes they support. Therefore, any refunds will inevitably have to come directly out of money that would otherwise go to charity.”


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by James Mitchinson