Days after a pregnant woman in Chicago finished a full marathon before giving birth, a London man was stripped of a third-place finish in a marathon after it was discovered he caught a bus for the final five miles of the race.
Rob Sloan, a 31-year-old former army mechanic, stopped running 20 miles into the race and then jumped on a bus to ride out the final few miles. When he disembarked, he ran through a forest, joined the race route and crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 51 minutes, good for third place at the Kielder Marathon.
Though he initially denied cheating, Sloan was forced to admit his guilt following an investigation by race organizers, one of whom called Sloan's inactions "as bad as drug-taking."
Cheating is cheating and I'm inclined to agree that hopping on a bus for the five miles is as bad as taking any illicit substance. More concerning is that Sloan cutting off the last quarter of his race by jumping on a vehicle only improved his personal best by 21 minutes and that third place was the best he could manage. If you're going to cheat, make it count.
The worst part of the whole thing? Sloan took a goody bag for his efforts. Steven Cairns, the runner who came in fourth place thanks to Sloan's maneuver, wrote on Facebook:
"I was third the whole way but somehow I crossed the line and was given fourth! I started to doubt myself as he was adamant he had gone past me. I could understand him taking the goody bag and the T-shirt but to do the press interview claiming he was third?"
Somewhere, Rosie Ruiz shakes her head in disgust.
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