Dez O'Connor, could be banned from future events if he continues to push his daughter around in races

Dez O'Connor, 35, from Plymouth, Devon, (UK)  likes to run in charity races and for the last three years has been taking his daughter Elsie, three, with him in a specially designed pushchair.

But he has now been left seething by a letter from the organizers of a charity 10K run, Britain's Ocean City Running Series, raising safety concerns.

In the letter, they said that although no action would be taken for his previous races, he would be banned if he tried to compete with the pram again.

The letter said Dez was in breach of rules and a safety hazard to other runners and Elsie.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition supporting Dez and calling for the ban to be reversed.

Dez, a firefighter and scaffolder, said: 'They said it was against the rules of UK Athletics, but we spoke to them and they said there was no rule and it was down to organizer discretion.

'I asked what the risk was but they wouldn't tell me, they wouldn't let me look at the risk assessment. I asked if we could put in control measures but they just ignored me.

'They said it was against the rules and that's all they would say on the matter.'

Because of the letter, Dez decided not to run in the Plymouth 10K over the weekend but took part in a training run the day before.

He added: 'I have run the half marathon with Elsie three times. After I did the last half I got an email saying if I ran with the pram again I would be banned.

'If they're worried about space I'll start from the back, I've been doing this for years and most people are very receptive.'

posted Tuesday October 8th
by Danial Hussain