A FAMILY fun run turned into an exhausting epic after organisers sent dozens of runners the wrong way.
Children as young as eight ended up on an 8Km slog after signing up for a run of just 4Km.
Officials blamed the blunder at Sunday’s race in Glenrothes, Fife, on a “marshalling problem”.
It meant runners covered around 4km before they were stopped, turned around, and had to run back to the start.
The race, which cost runners £3 to enter, was part of the Glenrothes Running Festival.
Local Brian Corr, was one of those – together with his young daughter and niece – who ended up running twice the distance.
Brian said most of the runners were primary school children but the adults taking part realised they had been sent left out of the car park where they started rather than right.
“We thought that we had just been re-routed, but we just kept on going,” he said.
“My niece Emma was most upset as she was in sight of the leaders, counting her position as 14 when turned around.
“Many parents also had left the start making their way to vantage armed with cameras only to find out later they had been sent the wrong way.”
Secretary of the festival, Aileen Penny, admitted some participants had demanded an apology since the mistake.
She added: “Thankfully the rest of the event passed without issue.
“Fortunately, the complaints have turned out to be few and far between, with many seeing the funny side, but as organisers we have always prided ourselves in ensuring that we host a well-run festival and sadly, on this occasion, the 4K turned out to be longer than those who had entered had anticipated.
“By the time the mistake could be pointed out and the leaders turned around, I think they must have thought they were practising to take part in next month’s Olympic marathon.
“Rest assured, however, that next year we will be back on the right track and we would apologise again to anyone who found themselves re-routed by mistake.”