No silverware for half marathon runners after Storm Ali disrupts shipment of medals

Patrick Sawer

Hundreds of runners racing, crawling or stumbling across the finish line of the Oxford half marathon on Sunday will not to be garlanded with the traditional participant’s medal, it has emerged.

Much to the disappointment of those taking part organisers have been forced to scrap the usual habit of distributing medals for the simple reason there are none to give out.

Supplies of the medal have been disrupted by the after effect of Storm Ali, with a shipment ordered by the race organisers, Virgin Sport, unable to clear customs in time.

Virgin Sport has written to all those taking part in the event to warn them no medals will be available today but will be sent out by post at a later date.

Jessica Fry, Virgin Sport’s general manager, wrote to those taking part: “We’ve just learned that the shipment of our medals won’t clear customs in time for Sunday’s Oxford Half Marathon, following delays caused by the recent Storm Ali.

“Sadly, this means that we won’t be able to award you a medal at the finish line. You will receive a finisher shirt and goody bag, and we’ll mail finishers a well-deserved medal as soon as we can.”

Ms Fry added: “At Virgin Sport we strive to deliver the best possible experience and we’ve tried everything we can to get your medal to the finish line. We want to apologise and thank you for your understanding. We hope you have an amazing run and enjoy the festival finish we have in store for you.”

Emily Jamieson, 29, a lawyer:, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I’m really disappointed. Having the medal placed around my neck is always the best moment of a race. Getting the medal through the post just won’t be the same.”

Others expressed their disappointment on social media.

Helen Huggins, from Kidlington, Oxfordshire, said: “What! No bling at the Oxford Half marathon tomorrow. They are being posted out as they couldn’t get them here in time! “

Mike Clarke, from Kingston Bagpuize, said: “what an absolute joke. People train for months just wanting a medal round their neck at the finish of Oxford Half which now won’t happen. For the entry fee you should have had a Plan B.”