Ever Had A Race Canceled Moments Before The Start?

When it comes to running half marathons or marathons, there is a fair amount of training time that goes into getting ready for race day. Especially for marathons, there is the period of the taper that helps to allow your body to build back up so that you are in top form for race day. Can you imagine going through all of that time and training to be standing at the starting line and – the race gets canceled?

You are standing at the start waiting for the all too familiar – “On your MARK! Get SET! GOOO!!!” Instead, it is heard that the race is delayed, and then canceled. That is what happened last year in Sheffield, UK before the start of their half marathon – with over 4,100 racers at the ready. Apparently, the organizers said their water supplier did not show up so they would have to cancel the race since they did not have adequate water for safety of the runners. Most of the runners went off anyway even though the official event was cancelled. I certainly know that I would have as well!

This year, the race is under new management and they have had an abundance of runners signing up for it. I think it is great that the running community is giving the new organizers a chance to show what they can do and I certainly hope the race goes off without a hitch. For many, this is their hometown race and something they want to be able to run in their own city.

Have you ever experienced anything quite like having the race cancel while you were at the starting line? What would you have done?

Source: The Star for more, here is the story from last year – BBC

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • A number of years ago after the race started part of the course was closed (a suspicious package) during the Army 10 mile race in Washington, DC. The runners were rerouted and wound up running 11 or 12 miles before reaching the finish line. Unfortunately the runners on the course were never informed of the change. At about mile 10 on my Garmin, I and a lot of other runners picked up the pace for what we thought was the last mile. I’ve never run that race again.

  • Last year there was an ironman race that was cancelled when the pros were already in the wate . I don’t remember the location but the issue was that there were some massive wildfires causing to much airborne particles and which made it dangerous for the athletes to breath. I did experience last September in DC for the Nations tri the suspension of the swim portion, the night before the race they had some heavy rain which caused a sewer overflow into the river (yikes)