VIDEO: Great Eastern Run 2019 race director Jon Marsden speaks about decision to cancel the race after suspicious activity needed Peterborough police investigation
Great Eastern Run race director Jon Marsden has talked about the decision to cancel today's half marathon in Peterborough following 'suspicious activity' that sparked fears for runners' safety.
In a short video posted on Peterborough City Council's YouTube channel, Jon apologised to those hoping to run the 13-mile race and spoke of the dilemma organisers faced due to an issue that happened about 20 minutes before the start.
Police were investigating reports of a man behaving oddly at mile 11, and those investigations continued past the official race start time of 10.30am.
In taking the difficult decision to cancel the event at 11am, Jon said organisers had to consider runners 'starting to suffer from hypothermia' while waiting on the Embankment in Peterborough, and of the course only having road closures in place until 2pm.
Jon also acknowledged the disappointment faced by the thousands who had come along, and the wealth of 'understanding' feedback from those who felt the right decision had been made under the circumstances.
"Health, safety and welfare of participants in any event, particularly an event of this nature, is paramount for us," he added.
Responding to the video, runner Tracy Challis commented: "Thank you for ensuring our safety this morning.
"Yes we were wet and yes we got cold but we were kept safe in what could have been an unthinkable situation and I am very grateful to all involved for making what must have been a very difficult decision."