The organisers of the Brighton Half Marathon have been forced to apologise to runners after discovering that their course was too short for the last three years.
British Athletics launched an investigation into the event after participants complained that their personal tracking devices registered distances short of the standard 13.1 miles.
The course was subsequently found to be 0.09 miles, or 146 metres, short of the full length of a half marathon.
“We can’t apologise enough for this mistake. I know it’s hugely disappointing to everyone who trained so hard,” said Simon Dowe, CEO of the Sussex Beacon, the charity which organises the event.
“I also know that for some, the news will be devastating as it affects race times, personal bests and records. Our thoughts are very much with the runners.
“I’m so sorry that their remarkable achievements and the money raised for good causes may be overshadowed by this error,” he added.
A statement on the event’s official website said organisers were “devastated” and apologised “unreservedly” to all runners.
The course was changed in 2013, when both the start and finish lines were altered, causing a turn close to the four-mile mark to also be changed.
The discrepancy in distance followed when the start and finish lines were reverted in 2015 and the turn was not readjusted.
Martin Harrigan, the race director, said: “We are a team of runners ourselves so we fully understand the impact of this news.
“We are really upset that this mistake has happened and we take full responsibility for this situation. We remain committed to making the 2018 Brighton Half Marathon a great event.”