Organisers of a marathon in England have come under fire after being forced to apologise for making the course too long for competitors.
Runners in the Brighton Marathon were forced to go the extra mile - and then some - after an embarrassing gaffe that some competitors say "ruined the race".
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The event returned to the coastal city in southern England for the first time in 18 months due to a Covid-enforced break.
However, instead of running over the regulation 42.195 kilometres, competitors unwittingly ran 568 extra metres because of a mistake from organisers, who were quick to apologise for the shocking blunder after the race.
“We would like to apologise to our marathon participants that the course today has measured 568m too long.
“We are wholly disappointed that this has affected our runners & hope that it hasn’t marred the experience, at what has been a fantastic comeback event after 18 months.”
Many of the replies to the post made light of the situation, with some suggesting they had just finished their first ultramarathon – a catch-all term for races longer than marathon distance.
Neil McClements won the race after crossing the finish line in 2:33:44, just ahead of second-placed runner Ollie Garrod in 2:34:01.
However, Garrod was leading the race until the final 200m when he was overtaken by the eventual winner, adding even more controversy to the race.
“The runner who led all the way was caught with 200m to go. So basically, he was winning at the traditional marathon finish point,” tweeted one user.
Crazy end to the Brighton Marathon with Ollie Garrod after leading from the start getting overtaken with the finish line in sight. pic.twitter.com/YKuybA8YpK
— James Baker (@James_Baker_Run) September 12, 2021
Event director Tom Naylor explained that "a basic human error" was to blame for the length of the course.
“Despite the marathon route being measured correctly in the lead-up to race start, a basic human error in laying out a cone line meant that the final marathon course overran by 568m on the day,” Naylor said.
“We offer our sincerest apologies for this mistake, which was only spotted once participants were on the course, and when an amendment was not possible.”
Uproar over length of course
Naylor went on to say that the course length would be adjusted to give competitors a more accurate representation of their times.
However, the controversy left participants livid on social media, with some claiming the stuff-up siginficantly impacted how they ran the race.
I’m pretty peed off TBH. When I hit 10 mile board at 10. 5 it got in my head that I’d made an error. 3-4 mins is a lot of your going for some PBs. Ruined the race for me.☹️
— Nicholas Wade (@Nickster1971) September 12, 2021
On the one hand I feel bad for the guy but the winner obviously still had the legs to finish hard. The race isn't over until the tape. Maybe he would have started his sprint earlier if the course were okay and still won. 🤷🏻♂️To take an hour off his pb too. All credit to him.
— VeganTrailRunr Ⓥ (@VeganTrailRunr) September 13, 2021
I thought that too at 10. Picked up the pace when I shouldn't have...
— Joe FitzGerald (@joefitzgerald88) September 12, 2021
Same. I tried to play catch up because I thought I was behind which cocked my pace up.
— MySugarevolution (@MySEvolution) September 12, 2021
Still can’t over the Brighton Marathon being HALF A KILOMETRE too long - If you’d just missed your target time how disappointed must you feel. Genuinely interested, how does something like that happen?
— Adrian Bradley (@adebradley) September 13, 2021
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