Great Eastern Run 2019 cancelled due to suspicious activity reported in good faith but misinterpreted say Peterborough police
The 'suspicious activity' that cancelled this morning's Great Eastern Run in Peterborough is now thought to have been harmless, police have said.
The race, which attracted more than 3,000 runners - and thousands more supporters - was called off on the start line at 11am.
Police had been called to reports of a man acting suspiciously at mile 11 of the course, but at 2.45pm today they issued a statement that said: "Following a comprehensive investigation it is believed that the witness was acting in good faith but has misinterpreted what was seen."
Many of runners the runners due to take part in the run through the streets of Peterborough were from the Stamford, Bourne, Deepings and Rutland area.
Running clubs such as Stamford Striders are regularly represented by about 50 club members, and in recent years they have had even more participants in the race than any of the Peterborough clubs.
For many people the event is the culmination of a lot of training and fundraising for good causes.
David Smith, 29, had been about to run his first ever half marathon when he lined up at the start of the Great Eastern Run 2019.
The Stamford Striders running club member said: "I was hoping for a finish time of two hours thirty minutes, which was the target time I'd given when I got my race entry.
"Seeing the race cancelled today was most gutting. After we were told the race was off, a Great Eastern Run official came up to us in the bag queue and told us that there had been a bomb threat."
The race had been due to start at 10.30am and more than 3,000 runners were lined up in the starting pens on Peterborough Embankment near the Key Theatre.
Following an announcement that the race was being delayed because of an incident on the route, it was then announced that the organisers had to cancel it.
Organisers have since announced that runners will be contacted with the option of receiving a refund, or deferring their place to next year.
Stamford Striders chairman Nick Wells sent a message of support on behalf of the club to the Great Eastern Run race director, organisers and volunteers.
In it, Nick said: "We know how much hard work goes into putting on a race of this standing, and how disappointed you will have been having to make the tough call to cancel.
"We just wanted to let you all know that we fully support your decision."
The letter was signed off 'You'll be back, and we'll be back too'.