Half-marathon plans scrapped due to spiralling costs

By Sam Cooper | 11/08/2017

Half-marathon plans scrapped due to spiralling costs
Keith Hopkins, organiser of the Silverwood Miners Half Marathon, which has been cancelled due to lack of funding. 171380-1

PLANS for a half-marathon to fund a mining disaster memorial have been scrapped due to spiralling costs.

Former pitmen from Silverwood Colliery hoped to run the event in October to raise the £22,000 needed for a sculpture in memory of nine men killed at the pit in 1966.

A number of runners had signed up but the race — earmarked for the course of a half-marathon held in the past — has been cancelled after organisers finding road managing costs could reach £6,000.

Race organiser Keith Hopkins said: “It’s very disappointing to have to cancel the event. 

“It’s all about remembering those guys who are no longer here and those who are here but have suffered ever since.

“I was twice veterans’ champion on the old course so it’s close to my heart but we have got to be realistic about these things.

“It soon became apparent that we couldn’t afford to run an event on this level.

“There are just so many obstacles put in the way and we simply can’t afford to do it.”

Subject to raising the £22,000 needed, the sculpture will be installed outside the Doncaster Road venue in memory of the nine miners who were killed in a paddy mail crash in February 1966.

Mr Hopkins said the group still hoped to hold an event next year but that it would probably be an off-road ace to try keep costs down.

Mr Hopkins said: “We did everything that we should have done. We had the course measured and we had the licence from UK Athletics.

“We had a meeting with Rotherham Borough Council’s events team and local police and they told us what needed doing.

“They mentioned road management fees could be a problem.”

One road management company told organisers the costs could be between £5,000 and £5,500 plus £450 to £500 licensing fee to Rotherham Borough Council.

“It became apparent when we would have a minimum of £5,500 to pay out as a charity that we had to hit it on the head,” said Mr Hopkins, who added that entry fees will be refunded to all athletes who had signed up.

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