Percy Pud 10K Road Race Closing Statement

On behalf of the Percy Pud Race Committee and Steel City Striders Running Club. Please find below our final and closing statement regarding the 2023 Percy Pud 10k race.

Summary Of Events
As all interested parties will be aware, on the 3rd December due to adverse weather conditions the Percy Pud race team took the difficult decision to postpone the race. We communicated via the entry system communication methods and via social media and the local press and radio.
Following a series of communications with our suppliers, the local council, First aid providers and local highways team we were given the go ahead to reschedule the race to the following weekend (10th December).
This is only the second time in 30 years of organising the race that we have had to postpone. At this stage we re opened the transfer window in order that those who were unable to race on the revised date would have the opportunity to transfer the place to another runner.
It should be noted that in the terms and conditions of the race that we do not offer refunds or deferrals.
On the 9th December our team of volunteers left the race HQ site late afternoon ready to run the race the following morning, however the weather conditions once again deteriorated and late that evening the team were contacted to be informed that the high winds had damaged the marquees and that the race route was effected by fallen trees, debris and flooding.
Once again, the race team took the very difficult decision to cancel the race as it was not only deemed unsafe to run the race on the route but the marquees we use to hold our prize giving and to support the distribution of puddings post race were damaged beyond repair.
On this occasion we cancelled the race late evening prior to the race and communicated via the entry system communication methods, social media and local press and radio.

After careful consideration it was decided that we could not attempt to reschedule the race again and at this stage CANCEL the 2023 event for the following reasons:
• A further extension to our hire of required facilities would be cost prohibitive;
• The hired marquees were unusable;
• We had very little confidence that we would obtain permission for road closures for a third weekend and felt the inconvenience to the local residents would effect the good will we have with them and potentially jeopardise that for future events;
• As we got closer to Christmas our volunteers would find it difficult to give up their free time for a third weekend (we require over 100 volunteers to run the race safely).

Distribution of Hats & Puddings
As a gesture to our runners who, like the organising team were extremely disappointed to not be able to run the race it was decided that we would organise to distribute hats and puddings to those who had a race number as well as to our loyal and supportive volunteers.
Distribution points were communicated via social media and our race team and other volunteers in addition to our sponsors at Up and Running were available to distribute puddings and hats from Monday 11th December to Friday 15th December at various locations around Sheffield and until the 1st January at Up & Running in Sheffield City Centre.
As is our usual procedure any remaining puddings and hats are in the process of being donated to charities and local food banks.

What happens now
• We are now in the process of clearing the Race HQ site and closing down the race organisation for 2023.
• We will not attempt to reschedule the race. The race is officially cancelled. We believe attempting to hold it twice shows our commitment to the running community and to the local charities we support but we must also protect and support our race team who have worked tirelessly to try to make the event happen. They must be allowed now to rest, reflect and move on.
• As per our terms and conditions we will not be offering refunds or deferrals. We are unable to consider any exceptions to this.
• We will be making our usual charitable donations, details of which will be published on the Steel City Striders website early in the new year.
• We will, as with all years, hold a review as a team and will consider in the unlikely event that this should happen again, if there are any things we could or should do differently.
• We intend to come back in 2024 and run this extremely popular event again and we hope we will continue to have the support of the local community and running community alike to make it even more successful.

A Public Thank You
I and the entire Steel City Striders committee would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Richard Dunk, Race Director, Alan Barnett and the rest of the Percy Pud organising team who have gone over above to attempt to hold the race this year. They have been on site in dreadful weather conditions, have spent hours managing the administration requirement of rescheduling and cancelling, all whilst also managing communications. (and please do remember the team is made up entirely of volunteers some of whom also have full time jobs).
I would also like to thank our teams of volunteers who have come out in challenging conditions to support us with set up and packing away on two separate occasions. Without our volunteers the event in usual conditions cannot take place and this year particularly we could not have managed the challenges we faced without them.

A Plea to all
I would like to now make a request to the running community and local community, the vast majority of whom have been incredibly supportive of Richard, Alan and the team.
Please allow our race team now to rest. The physical and emotional strain that has been placed on this team has been incredible. Whilst social media has many advantages, it also, as we are all only too aware can have many  disadvantages and I would ask now that the continued debate and questioning directed toward the race team should end.
I trust this statement now outlines our position as an organising team and a club, and clarifies things.
Thank you for your ongoing support.

Helen Smith
Chairperson, Steel City Striders