Runners in Rage over Titanic Race

Anyone who has participated in the numerous Saturday morning 5k park runs that are organised across Britain and Ireland, or indeed taken part in races ranging in distance from 5k and 10k to marathon, will know that such events require careful and considerate planning and organisation to ensure that all goes smoothly for the assembled runners.

We are fortunate in Belfast to have a number of running clubs and park run venues, as well as a calendar of organised runs, which means that aspiring runners, from those simply seeking to get fit to those passionate about the sporting discipline, have plenty of opportunities to partake in organised events throughout the year.

It would appear, however, that yesterday’s Titanic Half Marathon and 10k event was not well organised, and the local running community is far from pleased.

According to this blog post from John Black, there were a number of worrying aspects to the entire event, including:

 

  • Delayed start by at least a half hour.

  • The start line was moved just before the beginning of the race. Alarm bells should go off as the distance was most likely incorrect which a few people have stated along with incorrect times.

  • Not enough water on the course.

  • Not enough marshals on the course

  • No first aid on the course.

  • Roads were not closed to traffic.

  • No mile markers.

  • No medals at the finish despite this being advertised although a plaque was given out instead.

 

At £27.50 per head to enter a half marathon with purportedly 800+ entrants, there is a clear financial incentive for the organisers, who appear to have deleted the event’s Facebook page a few days prior to the event taking place, which raised eyebrows as well.

Athletics NI, responding to fierce criticism of the event by participants and members of local running clubs, have explained their position on this Facebook page, where a number of participants outlined their grievances:

Having met with the race organisers prior to the event, Athletics Northern Ireland went through thorough discussions on the required policies of obtaining a race permit licence.

Athletics Northern Ireland clearly indicated important points such as adequate marshaling, water stations, portable toilets, registrations and following through with information such as prizes if this has been clearly stated prior to the race entry.

We advised the race organisers prior to the race of the benefits of accurate route measurements and therefore can confirm that the race was accurately measured. However, we have been informed that this changed slightly on the day, for reasons that surpass us.

It completely disheartens us that, what we were falsely lead to believe from the Titanic Half Marathon and 10K event organisers has not been fulfilled to the utmost highest standards to make this an enjoyable race for both runners and marshals/volunteers.

In light of this, representatives from Athletics Northern Ireland attended today’s event and assured us that this matter will be brought to the board of Athletics Northern Ireland pending further investigation.

We would like to take this moment to apologise for the unsatisfactory experience you have received, and would like to point out that, this event bares no relation to that of our highly prestigious and efficiently run TQ10K.

Thank you for your time.

Athletics Northern Ireland

On that Facebook page, the administrators of the Belfast Titanic Triathlon accuse Endurance Junkie, the organisation behind yesterday’s event, of “piggy-backing on to the hard work of ourselves and many other reputable event organisers by running copy cat races.”

On that note, North Belfast Harriers are pointing out that Endurance Junkie have organised a 5k/10k run on the Laganside Towpath on 30th August, one week prior to the annual Laganside 10k which is organised by the Harriers.

The story featured on BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme this morning (1hr 19mins in.)

 

  • barnshee

    Show me the accounting for the event (money in money out)

  • Brian O’Neill

    Well said Chris. As you say the real http://laganside10k.com/ race is run by http://www.northbelfastharriers.com/ who are a charity. The money from the race goes to support their youth work.
    Attempting to highjack the good name of a charity run is the lowest of the low. If you are a runner try to only support runs organised by established clubs.
    Disclosure: I do the website for the real Laganside 10k but I do it voluntary, I do not get paid.

  • don hull

    I took part in the 10k
    I can concur this event was totally disorganised with no care to the participants or their safety. Having reviewed what I paid £21.40 for I accept I was duped and have contacted trading standards.
    My advice is simple. Learn from the mistake of us that took part on Sunday and read the comments on social media about the organisers then make your own mind about taking part in their events.
    Don

  • don hull

    Good luck! They took the money and ran. Their address is Lowes industrial estate, Ballynahinch Rd, Carryduff. Anyone heading up there for a wee chat?

  • jamesy

    Total disgrace , get the money back to the participants, can’t see the medals ever arriving

  • Brian O’Neill

    The organiser is on the Nolan show now. He is blaming the runners. Seriously.

  • Mirrorballman

    He was one of the most arrogant gobshites I’ve ever heard on the radio. The company organising it is finished with PR like that.

  • Brian O’Neill

    The problem is they use a different brand for every race. Hard for people not in the know to tell the difference.

  • kalista63

    I wasn’t sure if they were the same company until I heard him going on about his beloved Allison. This is the same company that ripped people off a while back, calling themselves Belfast something.

    Your man said it was people from running clubs who were most ‘aggressive’ to him. Of course they were, they know how a race is supposed to be organised.

  • don hull

    Only person to blame is himself, he’s the one who sabotaged what could have been a good event by his incompetence and likely greed in cost cutting on the essentials. What an arrogant person, not even man enough to stand up, admit the truth and have the guts to refund participants
    Pity I missed the interview with big Stephen.
    Hopefully Athletics NI will be alert to them now and not grant any further race licences.

  • runner