Participants at Bournemouth Bay Run on Sunday (12 April) ran an extra two miles due to a marshal leaving his/her post. Organisers reported that around 300 of the 1,200 competitors were sent on the 3km detour.
Going The Extra Miles (By Mistake)
Organisers Bournemouth Council said it was investigating claims about what had happened but stated reports the marshal had taken a toilet break were incorrect.
The problem began when the front-runners approached the turnaround point and instead of following a hairpin bend, carried on running until some of the 300 realised they were no longer on the course and doubled back.
One participant, Hayley James from Poole, said: "To have a race of that scale with only one marshal on a point is inexcusable. We saw loads of people walking at the end, some were in tears, I felt so sorry for them - I felt like crying at the 10km mark."
Another, Kirsty Weston, from Wimborne, added: "I was really quite shocked [by the route error], it's inexcusable... you just expect more. The whole thing was shambolic."
Jon Weaver, head of resort marketing and events at the council commented: "Unfortunately there was some confusion with marshalling arrangements at one point, but it was a critical point. We apologise unreservedly to those front runners.
“We apologise unreservedly to all the runners who were affected and as a gesture of good will we have written to those who contacted us and were affected in yesterday’s 10k event and have offered the option of a refund on their entry fee."