Britain now has its own Rosie Ruiz.
At the Kielder Marathon in England, Rob Sloan appeared to do the impossible: finishing third in the race even though he was miles behind the leaders. His secret was revealed by the Sunderland Echo newspaper on Tuesday. It turns out the 31-year-old former Army mechanic hitched a ride at about the 20-mile mark of the race. Just before the finish, he got out of the car, hid behind a tree, and then rejoined the race.
Sloan initially dismissed allegations from his fellow competitors, but eventually owned up to his mistake.
Race organizers had this to say about the episode: “Last night we confirmed that the athlete who was disqualified on Sunday, after initially placing third, has admitted that he failed to complete the whole course of 26.2 miles.”
The real third-place finisher, Steven Cairns, of Peebles, Scotland was shocked when told he had finished fourth.
“I approached a race marshal and said, ‘Fourth? Who was third?’ He pointed to this guy Rob Sloan who was being interviewed by ITV local news,” recalled Cairns. “I listened to the interview. He was saying how good a race he had run and how he couldn’t have given any more. When the interview was over I asked him if he had finished third and he said ‘yes.’”
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