GLENROTHES Road Running Festival organisers have issued an apology to participants in Sunday’s 4K event, after dozens of runners were sent the wrong way, reports MIKE DELANEY.
What was described as a “marshalling problem” led to some participants having to cover almost twice the intended distance.
Secretary Aileen Penny said: “Thankfully the rest of the event passed without issue.
“Fortunately, the complaints have turned out to be few and far between, with many seeing the funny side, but as organisers we have always prided ourselves in ensuring that we host a well-run festival and sadly, on this occasion, the 4K turned out to be longer than those who had entered had anticipated.
“By the time the mistake could be pointed out and the leaders turned around, I think they must have thought they were practising to take part in next month’s Olympic marathon.
“Rest assured, however, that next year we will be back on the right track and we would apologise again to anyone who found themselves re-routed by mistake.”
But some participants were left angered by what had happened.
Among them was Brian Corr, who explained: “I was running with my two nieces. Emma McIntosh (10) and Sarah McIntosh (8), both taking part for the first time.
“The 2K race went off without a hitch, following the route right out of the Fife Institute car park.
“Next the 10K started off with the runners exiting left from the car park.
“Next up was the 4K race, mainly made up of primary school children.
“We were also sent left out of the car park - all the adults taking part in the 4K seemed to know that we had been directed the wrong way from the route mapped out on the website.
“We thought that we had just been re-routed. At first we thought we must be running along Viewfield Road to turn up on to Detroit Road at the police headquarters, to return us on to Boblingen Way at the Territorial Army Centre for our return.
“But we just kept on going. By now we were passing 10K runners on their return who were now having to run outside the cones area.
“The 4K continued to the end of Viewfield, turning right onto Golf Course Road, the thought now being we would turn right again onto Caskieberran Drive, but no.
“Onwards, up Golf Course road until just past the Golf Course Clubhouse - the front runners of the 4K had been turned around at the 10K turn at Leslie Viaduct.
“Confusion and congestion was now abundant with returning 10K runners mixed with 4K runners in a small coned off lane.
“We then were directed on to Caskieberran Road ,onto Detroit Road and along Boblingen Way for our return to the Institute, which was badly congested with twice the amount of kids at the same point.
“My niece Emma was most upset as she was in sight of the leaders, counting her position as 14 when turned around.
“The 4K leaders probably ran 7-8k. Sarah and myself ran 6k.
“Many parents also had left the start making their way to vantage points near Warout Stadium armed with cameras only to find out later they had been sent the wrong way.”