Hundreds of competitors could be out of pocket after the managers of a popular Corby obstacle race called in liquidators.
The Suffering Race Series was due to hold one of the ‘toughest 10km races ever’ at Rockingham Speedway on September 23.
But financial difficulties mean they’ve had to cancel it and a race at Rockingham Castle in June 2018 because they can’t fund the race’s ‘quality and safety’, and have appointed administrators.
A statement on their website reads: “It is with a heavy heart that we are having to close The Suffering Race Series.
“After many difficult conversations over the last few days, the outcome has sadly led us to the same end.
“Simply put, we are unable to fund the standard of race, in terms of quality and safety, both you and we expect from The Suffering Team.
“This does mean that both the race on September 23 2017 at Rockingham Motor Speedway and the 23/24 June 2018 race at Rockingham Castle can not take place.
“We have had to bring in a liquidation firm to deal with the closure, a process new to us and challenging in itself.
“As you can imagine this is not an easy time for us, however we know that many of you will want to know what course of action you can take, which, of course, we fully understand.”
Those who had paid to enter are now unsure whether they will be refunded their entrance fees, which are understood to be about £40.
The statement added that there are no funds to refund anyone at this time, and urged people to contact their credit card providers if they bought it with it, travel insurance if they have it, or fill in a refund form on their website.
The statement said: “An administrator has been appointed and we will give out the details once all the paperwork has been signed.
“We are going to work with them as best we can to see if there is anyway to find some funds for some element of refund, however we have already been told it is unlikely.
“Each time you contact the liquidation company they will charge us a fee, which increases this likelihood.
“We appreciate this is frustrating but we will keep you informed of all matters.
“It pains us that the reason to close such an epic event is money.
“We have been personally funding any shortfall of the races for the past four years.
“We did it because we believed in the brand, we believed in OCR and we believed in The Suffering Race Series.
“In the end, the deficit was too much, to take on anymore would risk losing homes, etc.
“If the market was stronger we would have taken the risk but numbers are down across the board on all races and with an increasing number of start-up races in the country there aren’t enough runners to go around.”
Hundreds of racers have taken to the event’s Facebook page, with many saying they are ‘gutted’ at the cancellation.
Kev Bunn said: “Absolutely gutted, so sorry to hear!
“You guys were my favourite OCR by far; best value, super tough and you drive away at the end of the day feeling sore but very proud you completed a suffering race.
“Two days after a suffering I always ended up booking the next one to come back for more pain.”
Chris Stuckey said: “Very sorry to hear this, taken part several times and always thought this was a well run event, great fun with a good atmosphere.
“Hats off to the team, I know organising these events is not easy.”
Others expressed concerns that they would not be refunded.
Any runners who had signed up to the Corby event will be able to run for free at the Mini Military Mud Run in Rugby, Warwickshire, on September 23/24.
It is an 11km course with plenty of mud, water and obstacles and entrants just need to turn up with their order email, booking number and some ID.
The waves entrants can enter are: 9.15am, 9.30am, 9.45am and 9.55am (all on Saturday and Sunday).