RUNNERS let down by the late cancellation of the Swindon Half Marathon are angry after being told they will only get a quarter of their race fee back. 

The annual event was cancelled at the beginning of September – just 11 days before it was due to take place. 

All entrants received an email from The Race Organiser – the company behind the event – saying that low turnout and high costs were responsible for the decision. 

But they were shocked to read a subsequent email which informed them they would only be getting 25 per cent of the race fee back.

Early bird entrants paid £39 or £37 – the latter if they are affiliated to a club.

This email read: “Unfortunately, with such high non-negotiable contractor fees to meet, it is now clear that we’re unable to offer full refunds without compromising the future of our business and all forthcoming events.

“With remaining funds and the number of runners requesting a refund, we’re able to make an equal offer of 25 per cent of the paid entry fee to all those making a refund request."

Anna Carriero, 44, transferred to the Swindon Half Marathon after another one run by The Race Organiser was cancelled. 

The Swindon woman said: “After several emails and me writing on a public forum they agreed I could transfer to Swindon and pay an extra £12, which I did.

"Nobody has replied to any of our emails, as many have been sent, nor have we received any money back but they are continuing to sell other races without refunding us.”
March Burch from Old Town was set to run his third Swindon Half.

“I just have to stress my disappointment not only in it being cancelled at such short notice, but the fact that the organisers chose to cancel it and only offer 25 per cent of our money back. 

“I just don’t see how this is legal. The Race Organiser is a large company hosting 150 events each year.”

Angelica Morrison from Gorse Hill says that the Swindon running community isn’t happy. 

“There is now bad feeling in the Swindon running community as The Race Organiser had declared the race was full but then had to cancel it because of ‘low-turnout’," said the 53-year-old.

“The general view is that people don’t want to do it next year. They don’t want to touch this company.”

The Race Organiser was approached for comment and directed the Adver to the email it had sent to entrants.

A spokesman said: “We’ve tried to be comprehensive in our direct communications to runners, so would rather continue to respond to enquiries personally rather than add further comment.”