Marathoner Admits Taking The Bus To Finish Third

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Oct. 12, 2011
  • Updated Oct. 12, 2011 at 10:38 AM UTC
Marathon cheater Rob Sloan (highlighted in blue) now admits he took the bus at mile 20 to the finish. Photo: BBC

Britain now has its own Rosie Ruiz.

Marathon cheater Rob Sloan (highlighted in blue) now admits he took the bus at mile 20 to the finish. Photo: BBC

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.’”

For More: Fox News

FILED UNDER: News TAGS: / / / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter