An event billed as Northumberland’s first 10k obstacle race will not even get out of the starting blocks after organisers called it for the second time.
The Norse Challenge was postponed amid accusations of poor planning when heavy rain hit Druridge Bay Country Park on July 28.
Organisers promised to re-schedule the event for September 7, but now they have cancelled the challenge entirely – leading to further anger from competitors.
The race drew interest from extreme runners across the country and would have involved hundreds of people wading in the North Sea, climbing towering hay bales and hurling themselves down a 150ft mud slide.
But with runners still queuing in downpours at 11am on the day of the original event, 90 minutes after the first wave of runners should have started, organisers cancelled it citing bad weather and safety concerns.
The late cancellation led to a large number of complaints online from competitors, who said there were huge traffic problems and the organisation was poor.
Now, less than two weeks before the re-scheduled event, it has again been axed, but this time with no explanation.
A brief message on the Norse Challenge 2013 website reads: “It is with great regret we inform you The Norse Challenge 2013 is cancelled. We are refunding everyone.
“We estimate around 400 refunds are still to be processed. We are working through them as quickly as possible.”
With the Norse Challenge Facebook and Twitter accounts no longer operating, people registered for the event say they are struggling to get further information.
Using it as a way to raise money for charities, many now face the prospect of having to pay back the hundreds of pounds they have already raised.
Writing on social media site Twitter, competitor Ben Davidson said: “I see @norsechallenge is officially cancelled. What a joke!! #shambles” adding: “It’s a shame, like. There was plenty of interest.”
Fellow competitor Phil Murdy said: “Comes as no surprise to me after the first debacle,” while Rob Martin added: “Cancelled for second time. No real apology for all the hard work, training and charity raising.”
Another competitor wrote: “Absolute joke, we raised over £1k in sponsors, need to refund all that too.”
After the July Norse Challenge was cancelled, Northumberland-based Steve Cowell, who organised the day with fellow extreme runner Keith Turner, said: “We are as disappointed as all the competitors that have come up to support us, paid their entry fee and travelled vast distances.”
He was unavailable for comment yesterday.