Organisers have spoken of their frustration after a Wrexham half marathon was severely disrupted as signs marking out the route were deliberately moved.
The Village Bakery Wrexham Half Marathon is an annual event which saw almost 500 participants take part this year.
However, up to 40 participants are thought to have run only 11.3 miles as opposed to the 13.1 mile official route after people the organisers described as “malicious individuals” sabotaged the route signs on two occasions.
Race organiser Peter Norman set out on the morning of the race on Sunday driving the lead car to check all the signs were in position.
However, to his surprise he found one sign pointing the wrong way and had to correct it.
The extent of the disruption became evident though when further around the course he caught up with runners who he knew should be behind him.
It is believed that someone altered the signs for a second time after Peter corrected them, causing 40 runners to take the shorter route.
Of the top 15 finishers posted online by Wrexham Athletics Club only three ran the full route meaning that the results have had to be reviewed.
It is the second time over the past year that a racing event has been disrupted by sabotage, in October the open road Etape Cymru cycle event was disrupted after hundreds of cyclists took a wrong turn as a result of road markers being moved.
In a statement Wrexham Athletics Club said: “Wrexham AC appreciate that all of you, like us, are very annoyed and frustrated by these actions as we know how hard you all train and how important an accurate time is to you.
“Some of you have travelled many mile to be with us and this we really appreciate and we can understand that you will be particularly frustrated.
“The results published are the finishing line record in order of finishers. We have indicated for some of the early finishers those we believe were misguided and those who completed the full distance.
“After that we have no way of verifying who went which way. Hopefully you will have an idea from your recorded time if you were significantly quicker than expected. One runner who knows he went the wrong way reported that his Garmin logged the short route as 11.3 miles hopefully this will give you a measure of your performance on the day.
“Peter Norman will try and work out the age group prize winners and will send these out in the post as soon as he is able. If you believe you are a prize winner then please call Peter, likewise if on the results you appear to be a prize winner and you know you did the short course then again please contact Peter so that the rightful winner may receive the award.
“Once again we apologise and hope that the actions of one malicious individual did not completely ruin your day.”
To read the statement and list of runners in full go to http://www.thepowerof10.info/resultsfiles/2012/58149_6123_19022012191424_Village%20Bakery%20Wrexham%20Half%20Marathon.pdf