Falkirk Half Marathon: Virtual runners raise charity cash after race postponed
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It followed police urging people not to attend as there would be no marshalling or road closures in place after the race was put on hold.
The event was postponed only days before around 1500 people were due to take part leaving many disappointed, including one woman who was travelling over 300 miles to compete.
The Falkirk event was due to take place on November 19 with the athletes of all abilities heading out on the course from the Falkirk Stadium, past Callendar House and heading to the Falkirk Wheel and back past the Helix Park and Kelpies.
However, last Wednesday race organiser Adam Newton of Welsh-based Run Afan sent an email to competitors saying the event was being postponed due to ill health.
Speaking to the Falkirk Herald, Mr Newton said he had tonsillitis and head of operations Lucy Driscoll had been rushed to hospital the day before with appendicitis.
He said: “We are bitterly disappointed that we have had to postpone at the last minute but it would be impossible for the event to go ahead without either of us there. We do have people on the ground in Falkirk who help us but events such as this always need our input.
"We understand that people will be gutted – as are we. This was probably the last big half marathon of the year in Scotland and we fully understand that people have been training hard, as well as a lot of clubs attending and people hoping to meet up.
"But we look forward to hosting the event at a date early in 2024.”
The event had originally been organised by Tough Runner UK Ltd who organised the inaugural half marathon last year in Falkirk.
However, in September this business, based in Swansea, was wound up.
The event organisation was then taken on by Run Afan Forest Ltd which also has Mr Newton as a director.
It posted on social media: “Run Afan Forest has taken over all races from Tough Runner UK and all events will proceed as normal. All entries will be honoured with no changes.”
Entry for the Falkirk Half Marathon had been £25 for early entries and then became £39.
The Falkirk Herald has been contacted by some runners who said they had been told there would be no refunds if they did not want to wait to take part in the 2024 event.
However, one of those who was due to compete has set up a virtual event and encouraged runners to take part.
Gordon McKay had put in months of training and was planning to run to raise funds for Blood Cancer UK.
He said: “For those like myself who were due to run the Falkirk Half Marathon at weekend, it is such disappointing news to find out with less than four days to go that the event has been postponed."
Gordon said 87 runners took part virtually, covering 1140 miles and raising over £1000 for good causes.
He added: “There were some great stories shared and lovely to see so many make the best out of this situation.”