This Sunday’s marathon in Utrecht ended in chaos after some 1,800 runners were sent the wrong way, doing twice the distance they expected or finishing in a residential street Dutch media reported.
Matthijs Klaasse, who was running the quarter marathon, told broadcaster NOS that he though he had 500 metres to go. ‘I did not see a finish at all,’ he said. ‘There were no supporters. I was in the middle of a residential district.’
WoW, wat is dit bizar! Halve Marathon Utrecht komt langs ons huis, maar dit is niet de route! Gevolg: fietsers, automobilisten en bussen in de knel. Op het kruispunt loopt het verkeer vast. Wat ging hier mis? pic.twitter.com/kSCsoyM1Zj
— Miriam (@boekmama) May 12, 2019
The problem was in the signposting, which was made up of yellow boards for the full marathon, green for the half and blue for the quarter, broadcaster NOS said. However, there were very few blue boards, leading to hundreds of runners going wrong.
This meant the quarter marathon, which should have been an ‘urban course through the centre’ ended up as a mystery tour, NOS said.
The organisers said that the results of the quarter marathon will not be published. ‘This should not have happened, and we will talk to everyone who took part,’ a spokesman told broadcaster NOS.
— Iulia Toea (@iuliatoea) May 12, 2019