"Suspicious" running club road markings spark emergency alert

Feet running marathon
Schools in the area were closed as officer's investigate the road markings (Image credit: skynesher)

Emergency services descended on a residential street in Glasgow, Scotland on Monday when a "suspicious" white powder was found on the sidewalk – it turned out to be road markings for a local running club.

The afternoon discovery prompted a large response from police, fire and rescue and even a hazardous materials unit. Several streets were cordoned off during the investigation, and a local elementary school was closed early. However, after inspecting the substance, safety officials realized it was a simple household product found in everyone's pantry.

"There is and was no risk to the children as this was a flour-based product that had been put down for a running route," states an email from school officials to parents who had rushed over to pick up their children early.

Running clubs frequently use flour to create temporary road markings on their intended routes because it's economical, easy to spot even when you're running in the dark, and it's biodegradable. However, given that this isn't the first such instance of flour markings prompting an emergency response, it may be wiser to alert the police when using flour markings, or try biodegradable chalk instead.

According to the BBC, no local running clubs have claimed responsibility for the markings.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.