Anorak News | Rob Sloan Is No Cheat: Sunderland Marathon Runner Just Picked Wrong Sport

Rob Sloan Is No Cheat: Sunderland Marathon Runner Just Picked Wrong Sport

by | 13th, October 2011

TO some, Rob Sloan embodies the spirit of clear thinking, common sense and innovation. Sloan ran a commendable 20 and a half miles of the Kielder Marathon. The course, however, was 26.2 miles. Sloan made up the shortfall by taking a bus. He breasted the finishing line in third place, at an impressive time of 2:51:00. The bronze medallion was his.

Others accused Sloan of cheating. Witnesses claimed to have seen the Sunderland Harrier get off the bus and then hide behind a tree before joining the race in a modest third place.

Sloan, a former Army mechanic from Downhill, Sunderland, compounded his efforts by telling news reporters that the race had been “absolutely, unbelievably tough”.

When cheating was alleged he added:

“I’m upset and angry that someone wants to cast these aspersions. It’s laughable, is what it is.”

He later confessed all, recalling hitching a ride on one of the 12 buses provided to move spectators around the course, which has been labelled “Britain’s most beautiful marathon”, a title akin to being “Britain’s Most Child Friendly Crocodile”.

The event’s organisers are displeased:

“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. Rob Sloan of Sunderland Harriers had apparently made the decision to withdraw from the race at approximately 20 miles due to fatigue and after returning to the Leaplish Park area he decided to run the closing section of the course and crossed the finish line in third place. This was rightly questioned by several witnesses including the rightful third place finisher, Steven Cairns of Peebles, Scotland, who has been awarded the prize.”

Harsh stuff, indeed. Surely the organisers must take their share of the flak for tempting the runners with buses.

Anorak suggests that the Olympic Movement creates a new range of sports where cheating – aka thinking outside the box – is actively encouraged. The Argentinians would win the football and the Americans the sprints, but we’d beat the world in rugby, long distance running and banking…

Posted: 13th, October 2011 | In: Key Posts, Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink