Runners fear Sheffield race may be a scam as organisers go AWOL

Endcliffe Park, where the She Runs The Night race was due to take place on October 27
Endcliffe Park, where the She Runs The Night race was due to take place on October 27
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Runners who signed up for a race in Sheffield fear it may have been a scam as the organisers appear to have gone AWOL.

She Runs The Night was advertised as a women's only race which was due to take place in Endcliffe Park on the evening of October 27.

But Sheffield Council says although it did receive an enquiry from organisers in February, the booking form was never received.

Similar 'phantom' events which never happened in Edinburgh and Birmingham have reportedly left charity runners out of pocket, and the matter has been referred to police.

Tonya Kennedy told The Star she was one of a dozen friends who signed up together earlier this year, paying around £20 a ticket to take part.

She only became suspicious after she tried to contact organisers about a week ago to switch from the 10km to 5km distance.

Her emails bounced back, there was no response to her voicemails and she discovered the website and Facebook page for the event were no longer working.

"I think it's really disappointing for all the people who were looking forward to it," said the 44-year-old charity worker.

"If I hadn't tried to get in touch I would never have found out it's not happening. It does sound like it may be a scam.

"My worry is that lots of women will turn up in the dark on October 27 with no event happening."

Tonya said her friend had bought tickets through the website Bookitbee, which declared via Twitter the event is 'currently under investigation'.

She added that her friend is reporting the event to ActionFraud, which investigates suspected fraud.

A spokeswoman for Sheffield Council said it was contacted by people last weekend who were concerned they were unable to contact the organisers having paid to take part.

"The event had not been booked with us and we told those concerned that, if they had concerns, they should contact the police. We have also made police aware of this," she added.

A twitter account for @sherunsthenight remains live but last tweeted on March 23.

The run in Sheffield was advertised as an 'empowering' event for women, with 'music, glitz and glamour'.

An event by the same name in Edinburgh never went ahead, despite tickets reportedly being on sale for six months and a William Anderson having invited charities in the city to enter runners.

When a Mr Anderson was contacted by the BBC, he reportedly said 'some businesses are a success. Others fail' before hanging up when asked if he had deliberately misled people.

It is not yet known how many runners had signed up for the race in Sheffield, or whether any charities have been affected.

The Star has attempted to contact the organisers but has received no response.