Marathon runners forced to go the extra mile after organisers mess up the measurements

Brighton Marathon organisers issued an apology to runners on Sunday after it emerged the course was 568 metres longer than it should have been.

The error was revealed around two hours after the race, which saw 12,000 participants run along the city’s seafront in a marathon event described as the second-largest in the UK.

Organisers Brighton Marathon Weekend said it hoped the incident hadn’t "marred the experience" for entrants amid speculation their official times may have to be adjusted.

In 2019, the organisers of the Belfast City Marathon told runners their finish times would be amended after a "human error" resulted in an extra 460 metres being added to the 26.2 mile course.

On Sunday, Brighton Marathon Weekend tweeted: "We would like to apologise to our marathon participants that the course today has measured 568m too long."

"We are wholly disappointed that this has affected our runners and hope that it hasn’t marred the experience, at what has been a fantastic comeback."

In a dramatic finish to the Brighton men’s marathon Neil McClements catches Ollie Garrod in the last 200 metres to take almost a hour off his PB with a time just over 2:30 pic.twitter.com/WLz7fiiFbl

— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) September 12, 2021

The disclosure also appeared to throw doubt on the men’s event after winner Neil McClements overtook the then leader Olly Garrod around 200 metres short of the finish line.

Mr McClements was officially declared the winner with a time of 2 hours 33 minutes and 44 seconds, with Mr Garrod crossing the line in second place.

Mr Garrod, a 28-year-old accountant, admitted he was "frustrated" by the error, but added he understood the pressures involved in measuring the course.

He told The Telegraph: "Basically a cone up near Rottingdean was put too far up the hill and we kind of all knew as we went round – I looked at my watch and thought ‘hang on, these mile-markers are suddenly half a mile out’ and wondered how that happened at such a short distance.

"I bonked massively at mile 17, I had a huge lead at that point, of about four minutes. I did lead the race through the marathon finish so if it was on distance [I would have won]…

"I organise some races myself and I know the pressures that volunteers are under, sometimes it is a case of a volunteer putting the cone in the wrong place.

"It is frustrating when it is a race as big as Brighton, which is an established course and hasn’t changed really in the best part of 10 years.

"So it is frustrating from that angle but I feel more frustrated for the people who were close to a sub three or that kind of thing or a milestone time for them.”

The Telegraph approached the organisers for comment.

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