Runners, consider this a warning: This is bound to aggravate you.
A man who placed third in the U.K. Kielder Marathon has confessed to taking a bus to the finish line from the 20-mile mark, the Telegraph reports.
Rob Sloan, 31, completed 26.2 miles in 2:51:00, but suspicions surfaced, including those of the witnesses who reportedly saw him hide behind trees until the first- and second-place runners passed him. Sloan initially denied the accusation and claimed his medal. “I’m upset and angry that someone wants to cast these aspersions. It’s laughable, is what it is,” he said.
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When marathon organizers launched an investigation, Sloan quickly changed his tune. He said he had grown tired and admitted to taking the bus, which was made available for spectators watching “Britain’s most beautiful marathon.”
Officials said in a statement, “Rob Sloan of Sunderland Harriers had apparently made the decision to withdraw from the race at approximately 20 miles due to fatigue, and after returning to the Leaplish Park area he decided to run the closing section of the course and crossed the finish line in third place.”
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Sloan may face expulsion from his running club, Sunderland Harriers, and may be barred from competing in future marathons. “It’s not the kind of advertising we need,” club vice president Anne Lillie said. “We’ll be discussing Rob’s future when the executive committee meets next week.”
Organizer of the race and former world-record holder Steve Cram noted Sloan’s egregious deception. “He was the only runner in the whole of the race who ran the second half quicker than the first half,” he said.