Sheffield half-marathon: No refunds for would-be runners of 'shambolic' and 'farcical' cancelled road race as even Nick Clegg wades into row

The event was plunged into chaos after organisers said they were 'let down' by a company due to supply water for runners along the race route

The organisers of a 'shambolic' and 'farcical' half-marathon in Sheffield, that had to be cancelled due to a lack of water supplies, are today facing further criticism after refusing to refund entry fees.

The event, which was due to go ahead on Sunday morning, was plunged into chaos after organisers said they were "let down" by a company due to supply water for runners along the race route.

Many of the 4,100 runners were unaware that the race, which has been run annually for 33 years, had been cancelled and a large number of the disgruntled and angry front runners ran the route regardless.

According to some reports police barricades were initially erected to prevent runners completing the 13-mile course, before South Yorkshire Police decided it would be “a lesser risk” to let them proceed.

Margaret Lilley, chairwoman of Sheffield Marathon Ltd, said she understood that many people were "very upset" at the cancellation but that there would be no refunds of the £24-£26 entry fee.

Speaking to the BBC Mrs Lilley said: "The rules say there are no refunds and, as people will appreciate, the infrastructure we had to put in place we still have to pay for."

In a statement on the marathon website Margaret Lilley, wrote yesterday: “It is with huge disappointment and regret that we were forced to cancel the 2014 half marathon because of a problem with the delivery of water.

"We apologise to all the runners, their families and friends and anyone who has supported the event.”

"A full investigation is currently underway into the circumstances behind why the original water order was not delivered.

The requirements for an official race dictate that there is an appropriate amount of water available at every three mile interval. "

“We delayed the start while we made every attempt to source alternative supplies, but it became clear that we were never likely to get the sufficient amount appropriate to allow the race to continue safely.”

Last night, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is MP for the Sheffield Hallam constituency, waded into the row and  called for a "full explanation" of how the "farcical situation" at the Sheffield Half Marathon was allowed to happen.

Mr Clegg said the "extraordinary scenes" should not tarnish the city's reputation.

"I know thousands of people have trained long and hard for this event, with many running for some outstanding local charities and others coming from around the country to take part or watch.

"I can only imagine how disappointed they must have been when they learned that the race was cancelled as they were on the start line ready to set off.

"Everyone involved deserves a full explanation of how this farcical situation was allowed to happen. Sheffield is an outstanding city of sport. The extraordinary scenes today shouldn't tarnish that reputation.

"The fact that runners who had carried on regardless were still well supplied with water thanks to spectators, tells you everything you need to know about Sheffield people."

Yesterday comments from angry runners were posted under the announcement of the race cancellation on Facebook.

Mel Broadhurst commented: "Absolutely disgusting!!! My friends and I have trained for months some raised a lot of money for charity. Terrible lack of communication, won't be doing the Sheffield half again!!!! And I will get my money back!!!!!"

Adam Broadhead wrote: "That is absolutely shocking organisation. You guys have embarrassed the city."

Adam Stern said: "So disappointing for the runners but I also have to say hats off to the Sheffield communities for their efforts in supplying water unofficially to the runners! Proud to be from Sheffield for that, just a shame the organisation and communication of the race was so shambolic!!"

Today would-be participants in the race attacked the decision not to refund the entry fee.

One runner, Lucy from Beauchief, told local BBC radio that she was never officially informed the event had been cancelled. She described the decision not to give refunds as "pretty disgusting".

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Application Support - Enterprise Java, SQL, Oracle, SQL Server

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A well-established financial soft...

Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Desktop, Surrey)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Deskto...

Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Desktop, Surrey)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Deskto...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape