Kielder Half

Runners Ruin Race For Others

Actions of unregistered runners in Kielder Half Marathon tainted the top three results in the male race...

The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon weekend was a fantastic two-day celebration of running, returning to pre-pandemic levels of participation, with around 3,500 individuals signing up for the junior runs, gravel duathlon, 10K, half marathon and full marathon.

Despite this success, the actions of a small number of people 'tarnished the experiences of others'. In particular, there were two incidents of athletes taking part in the half marathon who were not the runners who registered for the event. In both cases, the individuals who ran were at the front of the race.

In the first case, a male runner turned up wearing a female runner’s number. He had contacted event organisers ahead of the race to ask if he could run using that number and was told in an email that this was not allowed. Nevertheless, he turned up and was warned immediately by a volunteer official that this was not permitted and that they should not run. Despite having been informed twice by this point that what he was doing was against the rules, he started the race and proceeded to lead it. Later, a member of the events team was able to persuade him to step off the course before the end of the race.

The second case was even more serious. An athlete crossed the line first in the half marathon, appearing to claim the race victory. Organisers have since established that he was wearing someone else’s number and was not registered for the event. Not only was this a serious breach of the rules, but it also deprived the actual winner of their moment of glory, while the runner who should have been presented with the third place prize on the day was not. Both missed out on celebrating their achievements in front of family, friends and other spectators.

Organisers comment: "The individual who claimed the win did not turn up for the presentation, we presume because he knew that his dishonesty would be exposed.

"Like all responsible race organisers, Events of the North has clear terms and conditions for all entrants, including policies relating to the transfer of numbers or deferrals. These rules are in place for very good reasons and are in line with those set down by athletics’ governing bodies.
"We condemn the actions of both of the above runners, and those who were complicit in them. They did not ruin the Kielder Marathon weekend, but they did taint it, particularly for those other runners who were directly affected by what they did. Following discussions with officials and race adjudicators, we will be taking appropriate action."

Image: Events Of The North/Will Painter​​​​​​​

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