Race organisers respond to ultrarunner's excuse for 'cheating' after using car and finishing third
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Race organisers have denied claims that an ultrarunner who took a lift in a car part of the way had told them she was dropping out of the race.
She was caught out by data from running and cycling app Strava which she uploaded to Twitter along with a photo of her holding a trophy.
The data showed a 2.5 mile stretch of the race where she hadn't taken the race route, was travelling at an incredible pace of a mile every 1 minute 40 seconds without any steps being registered and somehow had a heart rate of 94bpm.
That raised plenty of suspicions and led Dr Zakrzewski to be disqualified from the race, with her third place going to Mel Sykes.
A friend of Dr Zakrzewski, who is a record-breaking athlete and competed for Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, said she had taken the lift because she was feeling unwell.
The ultrarunner herself admitted that it had been 'a massive error' in accepting the third place trophy and said she should have handed it back.
She said: "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.
"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. I've given so much to the running world so I am devastated this has happened."
The 47-year-old also said she'd taken the lift in the car after she'd 'become lost on the course' about halfway through the race and had 'started to limp'
She said she saw a friend and immediately 'accepted a lift in his car' so she could make it to the next checkpoint and tell race officials she was dropping out of the race.
Dr Zakrzewski said she decided to carry on running the course in a 'non-competitive way', saying she didn't overtake the runner in front of her to avoid disrupting her race.
However, race organisers have denied that the ultrarunner ever told officials she was dropping out or had taken a lift in a car, with race director Wayne Drinkwater issuing a statement.
He said: "To re-affirm, none of our event team in question, with written statements to confirm this, were aware that Joasia had vehicle transport at any time during the race until we received information after the race from another competitor.
"If we had been made aware during the race, disqualification from the race would have been immediate at that point."
LADbible has previously contacted Dr Zakrzewski for comment on the matter.