British ultrarunner who came third disqualified after tracking data gave away her 'secret'
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A British ultramarathon runner has been disqualified after tracking data revealed a shocking secret about her recent 50-mile race.
Dr Joasia Zakrzewski is a record-breaking athlete and had finished third overall in a high-profile race from Manchester to Liverpool earlier this month.
Celebrating her win, she uploaded a photo of her trophy and data from her running app on Twitter, which revealed how the Dumfries doctor got such a record time.
Despite Dr Zakrzewski having recently completed a 255-mile (410km) race in Taipei and competed for Scotland in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the gap in data immediately raised alarm bells for other athletes.
It led to an investigation, during which it was discovered that the 47-year-old had used a car for a section of the high-profile race – with one friend claiming Dr Zakrzewski had become ill.
Speaking to the BBC, the friend claimed she had been feeling unwell ahead of the race after arriving in the UK from Australia just hours earlier: "The race didn't go to plan. She said she was feeling sick and tired in the race and wanted to drop out."
Dr Zakrzewski has now been stripped of the third-place trophy, with UK Athletics now reviewing the event data as well.
In a damning interview with race director Wayne Drinkwater, he told Sky News that he’d been passed the data after being told that an athlete had an ‘unsporting, competitive advantage during a section of the event.’
Continuing, he told the broadcaster: "The issue has been investigated and, having reviewed the data from our race tracking system, GPX data, statements provided from our event team, other competitors and from the participant herself, we can confirm that a runner has now been disqualified from the event having taken vehicle transport during part of the route."
As a result of this, third place was later awarded to Mel Sykes – a podiatrist who had also undergone the gruelling race.
She has since tweeted about the incident, angrily stating that Zakrzewski would ‘have to be superwoman’ to get her 1.4min per mile run at the time.
The ultra-runner shared a screengrab of the data, writing: “The audacity of uploading the data, complete with trophy photo, makes this worse!!”
In another tweet, she said that the news was ‘great’ for her but ‘really bad’ for sportsmanship’.
Sharing a screengrab of the updated winning times and an image of herself mid-race, Skye’s told her followers: “Great news for me but really bad news for sportsmanship…The below happened because a fellow competitor cheated.
"She travelled in a car for around 2.5 miles of the M2L 50-mile event last week. After an investigation, she has now been DQ’d, and rightly so.”
LADbible has contacted Dr Zakrzewski for comment.