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Charities back race runners

Confusion at the start line of the Sheffield half marathon

Confusion at the start line of the Sheffield half marathon

Charities caught in the middle of the refund row over the botched Sheffield half marathon have praised runners for helping them raise tens of thousands in sponsorship.

Ten charities are due to miss out on money after organisers said this week they would only pay refunds for the event from money normally set aside for charitable donations.

Around 80 per cent of the runners completed the course in April despite the cancellation, which occurred after a mix-up over water supplies.

It is not clear how much – if anything – organisers will give to this year’s charities. Last year, more than £100,000 was handed over.

But charity officials today said they would still benefit from the event thanks to sponsorship collected by generous runners.

Bluebell Wood Hospice said it expects to make £20,000, Breast Cancer Care £10,000, with between £4,000 and £5,000 being donated to Support Dogs.

None of the charities contacted by The Star criticised the race organisers for their decision to pay for potential refunds out of money that would have otherwise gone to them.

Helen Mower, head of fundraising at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “The runners work extremely hard at raising significant sponsorship for us, approximately £20,000 a year, making it our biggest source of income from the event.

“This money will not be affected by any decision that people make in claiming back their entry fee.

“As one of the nominated charities for the Sheffield Half Marathon we understand and respect the choice of each individual when claiming their entry fee back.”

Julia Conlan-Greaves, a fundraiser for South Yorkshire MS Therapy Centre, said: “We have always found the half marathon committee to be fair, just and hard-working as are our volunteers and supporters.

“This year’s event was unprecedented, we hope that this usually successful event can overcome any difficulties and go from strength to strength.”

 

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