Race organisers blasted after medal delay debacle

The Scottish Half Marathon in East Lothian.
The Scottish Half Marathon in East Lothian.
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Race organisers have been branded a “laughing stock” by runners still waiting for their medals a month after the event.

Thousands took part in East Lothian’s Scottish Half Marathon on Sunday, September 18 to raise money for charity.

Edinburgh Half Marathon runners medals held up in the post

Edinburgh Half Marathon runners medals held up in the post

Runners were told they would receive a medal as soon as they crossed the finish line.

But four weeks later many are still waiting for the memento of their achievement promised to them when they stumped up the £26 entry fee.

Ratho-based organisers GSi Events blamed Royal Mail for the delay – a claim strongly denied by the postal service – as runners took to social media to vent their frustrations.

Writing on the event’s Facebook page, they accused organisers of fobbing them off, vowed not to enter again and urged others to boycott it in future.

Responding to the claims from GSi that October was a “busy time” of year for the postal service, runner Marc Bromwich said: “It’s October pal, unless people are sending millions of happy Hallowe’en cards, that’s a poor attempt at fobbing folk off.”

Scott McDowall School added: “How does this affect mail process and delivery? Poor excuses. You really are damaging your reputation and event.

“There is so much negativity towards it that you will struggle to get the numbers you need to fund the event and pay for the medals.

“I paid my fee for an event in which I took part. Nearly four weeks later I still have no medal... but they have all the money I paid. Very poor.”

GSi Events, which is already advertising next year’s race, was approached repeatedly by the News for comment but has failed to respond.

Race director Neil Kilgour wrote to competitors the day before the race to advise them that the medals would not be available on the day due to a supply problem.

He then wrote again on October 7 to say the medals were “on the way”, and would start arriving on doorsteps over that weekend. When that did not happen, he issued a third update on Wednesday via the Facebook page.

He told runners he was aware that “the majority” had still not received their medals and that the matter “is now becoming increasingly frustrating”.

He added: “All medals have been with Royal Mail since Thursday, October 6. We’re currently trying to find out what has caused the delay in sending these out. We are being told that the delay may be due to the format of the item.

“The solid medal requires manual sortation from the Royal Mail rather than through a machine which we are being told, added to the busy time of year for holidays and local delivery office closures, seems to have resulted in a delay to the delivery of the items.”

But a Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “We do not have any delays in our network and refute the allegations that we have any issues that would have delayed the delivery of the medals.”