IT was a bitter-sweet experience for Dudley Kingswinford Running Club members who took part in the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday.

As the rain lashed down in the city centre, 11,000 runners were deflated to learn, just minutes before the start, that the 13.1 mile half marathon distance would be cut short by a mile due to the wet weather.

However, hours after the race finished, organisers admitted the run was reduced by two miles because of police concerns about a suspect car along the planned route. The vehicle was subsequently declared safe.

The drama detracted from what should have been a memorable day for first-time half marathon runners Karen Flint, Leanne Fogarty, Sandeep Kaur and Lizzie Vesty.

Susan Barley, Adam Crowle, Farrah Hunter-Coley, Andrea Marshall, Ray Selwood and Helen Voke also ran in the blue and white DK Hoops in Birmingham. Adam flew past the 11-mile finish line in one hour hour and 23 minutes but was cruelly robbed of a half marathon personal best time due to the shortened distance.

However, Ray Selwood was determined to run the full 13 miles so, in true Forrest Gump fashion, just kept going and going at the finish line to complete another couple of miles. Ray's unofficial half marathon time was one hour 54 minutes and 28 seconds.

He said: “After a lot of hard work and effort training, I was determined that nobody was going to stop me. I’m so happy with the distance I ran but gutted this will always be an unofficial time.”

Elsewhere, on Sunday, three DK athletes ran a much less eventful half marathon in Manchester. Leading the way for the Hoops was Stuart King who crossed the finish line in one hour 46 minutes and 50 seconds while Russell Fox and Kathryn Purslow finished in one hour 53 minutes and two hours 23 minutes respectively.