THE first Padiham Triathlon ended in farce after pranksters changed the direction of the route markers.
Competitors had already completed their swimming and cycling, and were on the final running leg when problems started.
One of the organisers, Alan Smith, was waiting at the finishing line and suspected something was wrong when no-one appeared.
He said: “Some idiot thought it would be a good idea to tamper with the route markers meaning the runners went left towards Rosegrove instead of right towards Hapton.
“Only seven people went the right way, but the result was that we couldn’t have a trophy presentation at the end.
“A lot of time and effort has been put into organising this triathlon from Burnley Borough, Volunteer Burnley and Padiham Sports Club which has been ruined by these idiots. It’s a prank gone wrong. We can only apologise to those that took part.
“It’s very disappointing but I’m sure the triathlon will go on to become a massive event in future.”
Competitors undertook a 13.5km. cycle and a 600m. swim before they were expected to complete the triathlon with a 7.5km. run.