Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 18:55 UK

Theft caused marathon to run dry

Edinburgh marathon
More than 13,000 runners took part in the race

The organisers of the Edinburgh Marathon have revealed that more than 6,800 bottles of water were stolen before the start of the race.

Sunday's event was marred by complaints from many runners that inadequate supplies of water had been provided along the route.

Race director Neil Kilgour said the theft had left two water stations without water for 40 minutes.

More than 4,000 Lucozade energy gels were also stolen.

Mr Kilgour said the thieves struck in the early hours of Sunday morning. The water had been left on three pallets along the route of the race.

He added that organisers quickly organised mobile teams of police and support vehicles in an attempt to deliver water to those who missed out when it became apparent that two of the nine stations had run dry.

'Unreservedly apologise'

Edinburgh Marathon Ltd has offered a £5,000 reward to anyone who gives police information that leads to a conviction over the theft.

Mr Kilgour said: "We are furious that someone would steal water and energy gels from marathon runners on a hot day but unfortunately that is the case.

"It did leave us with problems which we unreservedly apologise for but I believe we did everything we could to mitigate the problem."

One participant told BBC Scotland that "people were dropping like flies" due to the lack of water during the race as temperatures soared to 22C.

It is understood 10 people had to be taken to hospital after collapsing due to heat-related problems and 160 were treated by medical staff at the scene.

More than 13,000 competitors entered the marathon.



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