Anger over half marathon “cancellation”

Amanda Woodley running the Sheffield Half Marathon.
Amanda Woodley running the Sheffield Half Marathon.

Doncaster runners were left raging after an annual half marathon event was cancelled at the last minute due to insufficient water supplies.

Organisers at the centre of the Sheffield Half Marathon fiasco still cannot answer why water was not delivered on time as runners are calling for refunds.

Arksey runner Amanda Woodley, 44, of Carisbrook Court was one of 4,000 who completed the route and made it to the finishing line despite police trying to set up roadblocks in an effort to persuade runners to turn back.

Shop assistant Mrs Woodley had raised £800 for Doncaster cancer charity Firefly and was determined not to let her sponsors down.

She said: “We heard the race was delayed and then when we lined up again we were towards the back and we heard boos followed by cheers and people set off running it wasn’t until I was about a mile in that my husband called to say the race had been cancelled.

“I found a steward but they said they hadn’t heard anything about it being cancelled so I carried on.

“I know people who were told they couldn’t do the race by police and they are fuming about it, all the training you do and then that happens.

“There was plenty of water to go around, there was so much that people were refusing water.

“The organisation was laughable, I wouldn’t do it again. I’ve done smaller races in Doncaster before and the organisation was far better, they must have known way before the start of the race that there was a problem.”

South Yorkshire Newspapers reporter Lee Peace, 29, who works in Doncaster, also managed to complete the race. He said: “The organisation was very poor and it was very confusing at the start. They should arrange for the water to be delivered the night before. It was a good job spectators handed out water along the course, which was really nice to see. I hope they sort out the problems for next year’s race.” Supply firm Water Direct said the causes behind the cancellation of Sunday’s event remained ‘under investigation’.