Runners refunded as Sheffield half marathon water firm pays up

Confusion at the start line of the Sheffield Half Marathon.
Confusion at the start line of the Sheffield Half Marathon.

Runners have started to receive refunds from the botched Sheffield Half Marathon, as the fiasco took another new twist.

Former organisers of the event, which was cancelled at the last minute in April due to a lack of water, said yesterday that supplier Water Direct Limited would be making a ‘contribution’ which would be distributed to the race charities.

In the days after the race Water Direct said it was not paid by Sheffield Marathon Ltd to supply water for race day – but the race organisers claimed they were never told to pay it in advance.

Neither party has ever clarified exactly what happened.

The former organising committee has not confirmed how much the handout will be and said it would not comment further as the announcement ‘concluded all matters’.

The Star understands that refunds for runners who applied for them are being processed this week.

Michael Shuker, of Upperthorpe, was one of many who started the race without knowing it had been cancelled.

He received his refund of £29 and is in training to run next year’s event – for which a new organiser is being sought.

He said: “The point I’ve made all along is that yes, the water didn’t turn up but there were no proper checks to make sure everything was going to be in place.

“It wouldn’t have been on to have cancelled the race and then not given people a refund – it is a matter of principle.

“It all seems to be sorted now so let’s hope next year’s event will be trouble-free and it goes ahead.”

The organising committee statement said: “Following the cancellation of the Sheffield Half Marathon on April 6, Stourbridge Water Direct Limited and The Sheffield Marathon Limited have reached an agreement in conclusion of all matters arising, under which a contribution will be made to The Sheffield Marathon Limited for distribution to each of the nominated charities.”