Runners go rogue as water shortage stops Sheffield half-marathon

Apr 6, 2014

Athletes run cancelled race anyway – and local shops provide impromptu water stations

THERE WERE farcical scenes on the streets of Sheffield this morning after athletes tried to run the city’s half-marathon despite a last-minute cancellation.

More than 6,000 runners assembled on the starting line of the 13.1 mile race in Attercliffe Common this morning only to be told that the event had been cancelled because there was not enough water for athletes.

Most of the runners decided to run anyway, according to the Yorkshire Post. Police officers along the route initially tried to set up roadblocks to stop the rogue runners, according to BBC Radio Sheffield, but eventually decided to let them get on with it, leaving road closures in place to keep the route free of cars. Shops and cafes reportedly set up impromptu water stations to assist runners.

A spectator told the Yorkshire Post: “This year the event set off from near the arena rather than Don Valley. They announced early on that there would be a half hour delay. Then they said the race would get underway shortly before updating again saying the race was cancelled.

“However all of the runners just went for it anyway.”

It later emerged that there would not have been enough water for the runners. The organisers tweeted: "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.”

The farce sparked much mirth on Twitter, with one user, @Victoria1867, joking: “Just £2 a month could provide this humble city with water.” Another user, @CraigBurgess, tweeted: “They need to cancel marathons more often at the last minute to turn them into an impromptu cops and robbers.”

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