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British ultrarunner disqualified from Manchester to Liverpool race after using car speaks out

British ultrarunner disqualified from Manchester to Liverpool race after using car speaks out

Joasia Zakrzewski finished third in the race but tracking data appeared to show she used a CAR for some of the event.

The ultrarunner disqualified from the Manchester to Liverpool race has spoken out after tracking data suggested she used a car for some of the event.

Joasia Zakrzewski, from Dumfries, Scotland took part in the 50-mile race on 7 April and finished third.

Her time clocked in at seven hours and 25 minutes but the tracking data, from popular running app Strava, uncovered that she reached "superhuman speed" of 35mph, which would make her quicker than the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt.

There was a massive irregularity in a 2.5 mile (4km) section of the route, which would later make total sense as it emerged that she had been in a car.

Wayne Drinkwater, director of the GB Ultras race, issued a statement confirming that the 47-year-old has been disqualified for "having taken vehicle transport during part of the route."

Zakrzewski has now addressed the matter, claiming she "become lost on the course" and "started to limp" after developing pain in her leg.

She then accepted a lift from a nearby friend on the side of the course with the intention of telling the marshals she was pulling out.

Image: Facebook/Joasia Zakrzewski
Image: Facebook/Joasia Zakrzewski

"When I got to the checkpoint I told them I was pulling out and that I had been in the car, and they said 'you will hate yourself if you stop'," she told BBC Scotland.

"I made sure I didn't overtake the runner in front when I saw her as I didn't want to interfere with her race.

"I made a massive error accepting the trophy and should have handed it back.

"I hold my hands up, I should have handed them back and not had pictures done but I was feeling unwell and spaced out and not thinking clearly."

GB Ultras announced that third place has been given to Mel Sykes, whom Joasia has since apologised to.

She continued: "I'm an idiot and want to apologise to Mel. It wasn't malicious, it was miscommunication.

"I would never purposefully cheat and this was not a target race, but I don't want to make excuses.

"Mel didn't get the glory at the finish and I'm really sorry she didn't get that."

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Joasia is a legitimate athlete and competed for Team Scotland in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as representing Great Britain in the IAU World 100km Championships.

Only last year, she ran 255 miles in 48 hours at the Taipei Ultramarathon in Taiwan, setting a world record in the process.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook / Joasia Zakrzewski / Stuart Cooper / Alamy

Topics: Athletics