Devon

Anger as Plymouth charity pram runner told he faces ban

Dez and Elsie Image copyright Becky O'Connor-Morrish
Image caption Dez and Elsie at a previous edition

Organisers of a 10km race have told a runner that he will be banned from competing if he pushes his daughter in a pram.

Firefighter Dez O'Connor, 35, from Plymouth, was told he would not be allowed to enter any more races if he took Elsie on the next one on Sunday.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling on the pair to be allowed to take part.

The organisers say they have a legal responsibility to "protect children".

Mr O'Connor has pushed Elsie in the race around Plymouth for the past three years, but got an email warning him: "We insist that you do not use the buggy again."

He was told by that if he did use the pram, organisers Event West "would not allow [him] to run again in any future events".

'Plenty of room'

Mr O'Connor said he he had never had any accidents with the pram and he understood only one runner had complained.

"It's really disappointing," he said, "I was expecting to raise thousands of pounds for the charity.

"It's a home event and if they change their mind it would be fantastic, but I'm not holding my breath."

He said feedback from everyone "has always been very positive".

"We are always very loud and positive and tell people we are coming through," said Mr O'Connor.

"There's plenty of room for everyone."

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