Police urge runners to ditch plans for unofficial Falkirk Half Marathon

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Police have urged runners not to turn up to try to do an unofficial half marathon around Falkirk this weekend.

It follows the event being cancelled 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 this Sunday, November 19 with up to 1500 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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, on 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.

The start of last year's inaugural Falkirk Half Marathon. Pic: Michael GillenThe start of last year's inaugural Falkirk Half Marathon. Pic: Michael Gillen
The start of last year's inaugural Falkirk Half Marathon. Pic: Michael Gillen

Speaking to the Falkirk Herald, Mr Newton said he had tonsillitis and head of operations Lucy Driscoll had been rushed to hospital on Tuesday 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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"But we look forward to hosting the event at a date early in 2024.”

Last year's runners heading past Callendar House. Pic: Michael GillenLast year's runners heading past Callendar House. Pic: Michael Gillen
Last year's runners heading past Callendar House. Pic: Michael Gillen

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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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 runners did not want to wait to take part in the 2024 event.

Some runners have said that they plan to turn up and run the 13-plus miles, but today Police Scotland urged them not to, reminding people that the planned road closures will no longer be in place.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The Falkirk Half Marathon event scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 19 has been cancelled by the event organisers.

“The public are urged not to attend, and officers will not be facilitating any running event in the area. There are no road closures in place and the public should conduct themselves responsibly.

“Public safety remains our primary focus.”

However, one of those who was due to compete has set up a virtual event and is encouraging runners to take part.

Gordon McKay had put in months of training and was planning to run to raise funds for Blood Cancer UK.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “For those like myself who were due to run the Falkirk Half Marathon this weekend, it is such disappointing news to find out with less than four days to go that the event has been postponed.

"I'm sure we've all trained so hard for this and were as ready as we could be.

"For those that still want to run virtually this weekend, I've created this events page so we can still record our run and share in each other's success.”

Related topics: