Jo Zakrzewski is a successful and record-holding British ultra-marathon runner. She’s also unsporting, according to a officials who handed her a yearlong ban for taking a ride in a car on the way to winning third place in the 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race. Quoth Jo: “I’m an idiot.”
The 47-year-old, who finished 14th in the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon and set a new world 48-hour distance record of 255.668 miles in February, had also denied deliberately cheating. Instead, she said that arriving from Australia the night before had left her unable to think straight, and had led to her wrongly accepting a trophy at the end of the race.
Zakrzewski claimed she’d told race stewards she was out of competition, but none of the stewards could confirm this and she accepted the trophy, thereby denying it to another runner. She only admitted getting a lift when later challenged, having had ample opportunity—a week—to correct the record and hand back the silverware.
“Finally, she posted about the race on social media, and this did not disclose that she had completed the race on a non-competitive basis.”
I like the implication that everyone knew and were waiting for her to come clean, but then she Facebooked Her Victory or whatever and that was game over. The tut. The cooly-whispered “bloody hell.” The sternly-emailed “inform the quartermaster that measures will be taken by the disciplinary panel.”