Runners’ anger as half marathon organisers refuse to explain water fiasco

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ORGANISERS of the Sheffield Half Marathon face further anger from runners after refusing to explain why no water was delivered before the race was abandoned.

The event descended into farce on April 6 as runners decided to complete the course despite it being cancelled due a lack of water.

Sheffield Marathon Ltd, which runs the event, yesterday said for the first time it would consider entry fee refunds.

But chairman Robert Jackson said it could not give a full picture of what happened as it remained in “confidential settlement discussions” over the cancellation.

He said it did want to offer refunds to those who wanted them.

He added: “It was, however, important to make it clear that if monies were returned, it would be to the detriment of our chosen charities. That is the unfortunate reality we find ourselves in.”

He said the £200,000 cost of running the half marathon still needed to be met. Four in five runners had completed the race.

In the days after the race, provider Water Direct said organisers had placed an order but did not make the full payment which would have triggered the delivery, strongly denying that it had let the event down.

Runners sent letters explaining they could apply for refunds yesterday used social media to criticise the way the fiasco had been handled. One wrote: “It’s not even that we the runners wanted the entry fee back to begin with, all we have asked for is an honest, transparent, public analysis.”

Another posted a message saying: “I thought there was to be an investigation to find out why the water was not delivered - the reason does not seem to be in the letter we received - do you have one?”