Colour Dash cancelled: 'Organisers of race fiasco are giving rest of us a bad name'
The owner of a Northern Ireland company specialising in duathlons has hit out at the people behind recent highly-criticised events, claiming they've been giving other organisers a bad name.
Richard Bradley was speaking after local company Endurance Junkie once again hit the headlines - this time over a fun run that was planned for August 16.
It has now emerged, however, that the so-called 'Colour Dash', which was due to take place at Crawfordsburn Country Park this Sunday, has been cancelled for safety reasons.
The park's owner - the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, which is part of the Department of the Environment (DoE) - said it pulled the plug as neither a risk assessment nor public liability insurance was provided by Endurance Junkie, the event organiser.
Less than a month ago, Endurance Junkie sparked fury among Northern Ireland's running community over the company's Titanic Half Marathon and 10K at the Harbour Estate on July 12, which they branded a "complete shambles".
After the event many participants took to social media to complain about the organisation of the Belfast race, with concerns at a delayed start time, route marking, lack of marshals, an early finish and roads staying open to traffic. There were also complaints of a lack of water, insufficient toilet facilities and minimal first-aid.
Mr Bradley - who personally handed bottles of water to runners in the race after the organiser ran out of supplies - said he was concerned it was the second time in six months a race organised by Endurance Junkie in the Titanic area had been criticised for its organisation.
"They are giving all event organisers a bad name," said Mr Bradley, who runs NI Duathlon.
"If you are going to organise something like that you have to do it right. They messed up an event in January. They are purely for commercial gain. I've no problem with race organisers making money, as long as they do it well."
Mr Bradley urged runners to do their research before signing up for events in the future.
"The important thing for people is to be aware of which races they are organising, so they can make an informed choice," he said. "Do due diligence and make sure you know who is running the event you intend to enter."
After last month's event, race organiser William Anderson defended safety measures and apologised for water running out.
And, following complaints that Endurance Junkie's social media pages had been taken down, he said it was to avoid abuse.
Yesterday, after would-be Colour Dash participants contacted the BBC Nolan Show to express fears they may have lost money after registering for the now cancelled event, the Facebook page also disappeared. Mr Anderson did not respond to calls or emails yesterday from the Belfast Telegraph.
People who signed up to and paid for the Colour Dash were also unable to contact the company, as was the DoE, which said that two other events organised by Endurance Junkie - the Doggie Dash on August 16 and Run for your Life on October 31 - will not be going ahead.