Scottish runner Joasia Zakrzewski has been disqualified from the GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race for the most unexpected of reasons – using a car during the race! Yes, you heard that right, a CAR!
Top ultrarunner disqualified for using a car in race https://t.co/2qMdIWWiaQ
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 19, 2023
The 47-year-old from Dumfries, who finished third in the race, was found to have travelled 2.5 miles in a car after race tracking system data revealed that she covered a mile in just one minute and 40 seconds. It’s no wonder that race director Wayne Drinkwater was left “very disappointed” upon discovering this.
Having reviewed data from various sources, including statements from event officials, competitors, and even Zakrzewski herself, it has been confirmed that she did indeed use a vehicle during part of the race. The Trail Running Association and UK Athletics have been informed and will investigate the matter further.
This is certainly not the kind of news that one would expect from a runner of Zakrzewski’s caliber, who finished 14th in the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon in Scotland and holds records in the UK over 100 and 200 miles. The third-place finisher Mel Sykes has now been awarded the rightful place on the podium.
According to a friend of Zakrzewski, Adrian Stott, she is “genuinely sorry” and was feeling unwell before and during the race. She had reportedly wanted to drop out of the race altogether. While she may have cooperated fully with the investigation and provided a full account of what happened, it is clear that the consequences of her actions will have far-reaching repercussions for her career.