Winner of Great Bristol Run half-marathon disqualified after investigation

Omer Ahmed had signed up to run the 10K race, but accidentally took part in - and won - the half marathon. Credit: ITV News West Country

The winner of the Great Bristol Run Half-Marathon has been disqualified - after running the wrong race by mistake.

Omer Ahmed put in "an impressive performance" at the Great Bristol Run on Sunday 19 September after he won the half-marathon.

But organisers of the event have now disqualified the runner after it emerged he was meant to run the 10km instead.

The two courses - held on the same day for the first time - overlapped and Mr Ahmed took the wrong route, running the half-marathon despite signing up for and intending to run 10km.

Omer Ahmed was thought to have won the men's half-marathon, while Chloe Richardson remains the first woman to finish the event.

'Objections from other athletes'

Organisers said they first learned of the mix-up following complaints from other runners.

"Omar Ahmed, who put in an impressive performance at the Great Bristol Run on Sunday, has unfortunately been disqualified as he was originally signed up to run the 10K distance and not the half marathon," organisers said.

"All results are subject to ratification by officials, and although Ahmed was initially declared winner of yesterday’s Great Bristol Run Half Marathon, after objections from other athletes and subsequent investigation, he has now been disqualified and the results reissued.

"Unfortunately, as he entered the 10k as an elite runner and not the half marathon, he was not officially part of the half marathon race.

This means a new winner of the half marathon has now been declared - Chris Thompson, of Aldershot, Farnham & District AC.

He ran the half marathon in a time of 1:07:53, finishing four minutes after Mr Ahmed.

Omer Ahmed crosses the line with an impressive time of 01:03:07, but he is no longer the winner of the half marathon.

Chris was followed by Jack Millar of Bristol and West AC, who came in just over two minutes later, while bronze place has now been awarded to Ben Robinson of Gloucester AC, who finished three seconds behind Jack.

Announcing the new podium positions, Paul Foster, who is 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.”