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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
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Farcical scenes in Sheffield as half marathon is cancelled due to lack of water

Police in the English city have set up roadblocks to prevent some 5,000 rogue runners from completing a rogue race.

Runners are held at the starting line.
Runners are held at the starting line.
Image: @Northern GasMan

FARCE ENSUED IN Sheffield this morning as a half marathon was cancelled minutes before the starters’ gun was set to blast. The Sheffield Half Marathon was called off minutes before the off due to ‘insufficient water supplies’.

More than 6,000 runners were lined up for the start of the annual event when organisers opted to pull the plug. The decision caused much consternation before many people decided to set off. It has been reported by BBC Radio Sheffield that some 5,000 people chose to run, regardless of the water supplies. Local police them attempted to set up road blocks to dissuade the runners from completing the 13.1 mile course.

BBC reporter Jenny Cook commented, “There was not a great deal of communication with the runners but it was then decided that the race would be cancelled. This information filtered through and the runners, well, they decided to run anyway. The roadblocks were in place; the police were very concerned about people’s safety but approximately 5,000 people left the start line for an unofficial Sheffield Half Marathon.”

As of 10:50am, many runners are still making their way through the course in the city and are being cheered on by members of the public. Joe Wooding, in Sheffield, took this picture of one man who has taken it upon himself to hydrate as many ‘unofficial’ participants as possible.

WATER Source: Joe Wooding

Organisers released the following statement via Twitter: “It is with huge disappointment and regret that we have been forced to cancel this year’s race due to a problem with the delivery of water. We would like to express our sincerest apologies to everyone in the race who was affected. We will update you [about] future plans as soon as possible.”

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Patrick McCarry

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