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Scottish ultra-marathon runner disqualified for using car during race

Scottish ultra-marathon runner Joasia Zakrzewski was disqualified from the 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool 50-mile race after using a car during the event.

Zakrzewski finished third in the race but utilized the car to travel 2.5 miles and gain a competitive advantage. Race officials investigated the situation and determined the violation via GPX mapping data. The results found that Zakrzewski covered a mile in the race in one minute and 40 seconds.

Mel Skyes, who also competed in the race, was awarded third place.

‘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,’ GB Ultras race director Wayne Drinkwater told BBC News.

Drinkwater also mentioned UK Athletics is looking into the situation. The Trail Running Association will review the findings as it provides a license for the event.

BBC News reported that Zakrzewski felt sick during the race. Adrian Stott, a close friend of Zakrzewski, told the news affiliate that she has cooperated with the investigation.

‘The race didn’t go to plan. She said she was feeling sick and tired on the race and wanted to drop out,’ Stott said. “She has cooperated fully with the race organizers’ investigations, giving them a full account of what happened. She genuinely feels sorry for any upset caused.’

Zakrzewski has put together a decorated career. She set a world record at the Taipei Ultramarathon in Taiwan and won three medals at the IAU World 100km Championships. She took home a silver medal in 2011 and a bronze in 2014 and 2015.

Scottish Athletics chairman David Ovens expressed disappointment in the race results. He remains hopeful that Zakrzewski can learn from her mistake.

‘I hope she can put this behind her and that there is an innocent explanation, and she can resume her successful career,’ Ovens said.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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