Athletes taking part in one of the region's largest running events were angry after race organisers ran out of medals.

The planning blunder meant some runners in the Worthing 10k finished the route through the town without anything to show for it.

Event bosses blamed the mishap, which left runners like cancer survivor Rob Plant without any metal, on greedy contestants taking more than what they deserve.

But fun-runner Rob said the badly-planned event was a "joke, and there was a lot of fed up people".

The Argus: Last year's raceLast year's race (Image: Newsquest)

After a near one-and-a-half hour trek around the streets of Worthing, Rob said he felt short changed when he crossed the finish line on the promenade - only to be handed a medal for the children's junior mile race.

He said: "The volunteer giving them out said they had run out of medals, so I took it and stuck it on one of the kids nearby.

"However I got a bit angry about it as if there ain't a bit of bling at the end of the race then I won't run it."

The Argus: Rob Plant at the Worthing 10kRob Plant at the Worthing 10k (Image: Rob Plant)

The 54-year-old engineer had been training for Sunday's run for six months - and he's been running for almost six years after doing a couch to 5k programme at Seaford Striders running club.

"I've never seen anything like it before", he said.

Rob claimed the racers were left to fight over the remaining medals on the floor "like a pack of wolves" on what is his "favourite run of the year".

The Argus: The 2018 Worthing 10kThe 2018 Worthing 10k

Event bosses apologised to the empty-handed runners, promising to send out medals free of charge.

They said there were around 35 runners who did not receive a medal.

A spokesman for the event said: "It is always a difficult balance when placing the order two months prior to the event, trying to avoid too much wastage.

"In many years of organising running events this has never happened to us. In fact, we usually end up throwing away unopened boxes.

"Unfortunately, we have heard that people took two medals however none of our volunteers gave out two in one instance.

"We will of course ensure those runners that went without a medal are fully looked after and will definitely honour a free entry to next years race to those who didn't get a medal."