A half-marathon in Peterborough has been called off following reports of a “man acting suspiciously” near the running route.
The Great Eastern Run was due to take place on Sunday, but was cancelled 30 minutes after its original start time “in the interests of safety”, event organisers said.
Officers from Cambridgeshire Police said they were called at 9.50am to reports of a man acting suspiciously on Alexandra Road, close to the event’s route in Peterborough.
Around 4,000 people were expected to take part in the race, and pictures showed scores of disappointed runners standing near the start line after the cancellation.
Police said information was passed to the race director who then decided to cancel the event.
The Great Eastern Run’s Twitter account said: “In the interest of safety for our participants we took the decision to cancel the half marathon half an hour after its original start time because of police information that a man was acting suspiciously close to the route.”
Organisers said runners will be contacted next week to “confirm the process for the full refund of entry fees”.
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Thousands of people were expected to take part in the race, which was organised by Peterborough City Council and was due to start at 10.30am.
Those who were unable to take part can also defer their entry for the 2020 event, organisers said.
The event organisers said in a Twitter post: They said: "We will contact runners next week to confirm the process for the full refund of entry fees, which will include the option to defer this year's entry for our 2020 PGER.
"We are disappointed, as we are sure you are. Thank you for your understanding."
The Great Eastern Run first began in 1982 and sees thousands of runners take part each year. The race is often attended by top athletes from across the UK and around the world.