Leading British ultrarunner disqualified from race after ‘using a car’
top British ultramarathon runner has been disqualified from a race after using a car for part of it.
Joasia Zakrzewski, from Dumfries, Scotland, finished third in the 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool 50-mile race – but GPS data appeared to show her using a car for 2.5 miles of it.
The 47-year-old GP is reported to have been tracked covering a mile of the race in just one minute 40 seconds.
Wayne Drinkwater, the director of the GB Ultras race, said that he had received information that a runner had gained an “unsporting, competitive advantage” during the race.
The matter has since been referred to the sport’s regulating body, Athletics UK.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Drinkwater said: “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.”
He said a report of the disqualification had been submitted to the Trail Running Association, which provides the licence for the event.
Adrian Stott, a running friend of Ms Zakrzewski, said she had arrived the night before the race after travelling for 48 hours from Australia.
“The race didn’t go to plan. She said she was feeling sick and tired on the race and wanted to drop out,” he told the broadcaster.
“She has cooperated fully with the race organisers’ investigations, giving them a full account of what happened.
“She genuinely feels sorry for any upset caused.”
Third place in the race, which was held on 7 April, has since been awarded to Mel Sykes.
Ms Zakrzewski is a leading ultramarathon runner, having won the Taipei Ultramarathon in Taiwan in February outright – setting a world record across 255 miles.
She has previously represented Team Scotland in the marathon at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
She has set a number of records including the Scottish 24-hour record, the British 200k and the Scottish 100 miles record.