The winner of the Bristol Half has been disqualified after accidentally running the wrong race

·2-min read
Photo credit: Ralf Pollack / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ralf Pollack / EyeEm - Getty Images

Bristol Half Marathon winner, Omar Ahmed has been disqualified after accidentally running the wrong race.

The HOKA-sponsored athlete, who trains with Birchfield Harriers, had originally signed up to run the Bristol 10K – which took place alongside the Bristol Half – in the Great Bristol Run – on Sunday 19 September.

Ahmed accidentally took the half marathon route when the course diverged for the two races, crossing the line in 63 minutes.

‘At the beginning, I thought I was doing a 10K,’ he told BristolLive. ‘Then I asked someone when I reached the sixth mile, ‘is this a 10k’ and they said ‘no, it’s a half-marathon.’’

Ahmed, who had entered the 10K as an elite athlete, was initially declared the winner of the Bristol Half but has now been disqualified by event organisers – The Great Run Company – following investigations.

Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company, said: ‘Rules are rules and in this case they say we have to disqualify Omar.

‘We salute his performance, and he has been invited to take part in next week's Great Manchester Run as an elite athlete.

‘Of course, we also look forward to welcoming him back to Bristol for 2022's Great Bristol Run.’

This is the first time both races have been held on the same day; the Bristol 10k is usually held in spring and the half marathon in the summer, but both races were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both races started together and participants were staggered in waves, according to their predicted finishing time. Ahmed began in the first wave of 10k and half marathon runners.

Chris Thompson, who is a member of Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletics Club, is the revised winner of the Bristol Half, finishing in a time of 67 minutes.

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