A leading British ultramarathon runner has been disqualified after finishing third place in a race between Manchester and Liverpool earlier this month.
And it’s all because she was found to have travelled for part of the route by car.
Dr Joasia Zakrzewski is one of the most successful names on the ultrarunning scene at the moment, and is known for frequently running hundreds of miles each year, and smashing personal bests and claiming countless national records along the way.
The 47-year-old – who works as a GP in Dumries – has raced for Scotland and Great Britain in various championships, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but her most recent success was finishing third place at the 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool 50-mile race earlier this month, and that came just weeks after winning a 48-hour race in Taipei in Taiwan across 255 miles.
At the time, her placement in the Manchester to Liverpool race saw Joasia quite-rightly receive praise from peers and members of the athletics community nationwide.
But unfortunately, the success wasn’t all that is seemed, as data uploaded to popular running and cycling tracking app, Strava, was later discovered and revealed that she had used a car for a 2.5 mile stretch of the race.
Despite a friend of Joasia’s telling the BBC that she feeling unwell after arriving into the UK from Australia only hours before the race, and has been “cooperating fully with the race organisers’ investigations” and has taken the time to apologise for what she did, this didn’t seem to be enough, as the athlete has been stripped of the result.
The case has now also been referred to UK Athletics, GB Ultras has confirmed.
GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool race director Wayne Drinkwater said in a statement that he was given information that a runner had an “unsporting, competitive advantage during a section of the event”.
He continued: “The issue has been investigated and, having reviewed the data from our race tracking system, GPX data, statements provided from our event team, other competitors and from the participant herself, we can confirm that a runner has now been disqualified from the event having taken vehicle transport during part of the route.”
After confirming that Joasia has been stripped of her title, GB Ultras announced that third place has now been handed to runner Mel Sykes.
Mel Sykes took to Twitter to share her views on the situation, commenting: “The sad thing in all this is that it completely takes the p*** out of the race organisers, fellow competitors and fair sport.
“How can someone who knows they have cheated cross a finish line, collect a medal/trophy and have their photos taken?”
The search team hope to find the footprint of the town including its sea wall, harbour and foundations.
This will allow them to map it all out and create a 3D map which divers could then use to explore the site.
Scientists say they now have all the data needed and will be analysing the area under the sea in the coming weeks.
After all this, they should be able to confirm whether the findings are infact the lost Yorkshire town of Ravenser Odd.
Hit Christmas market stall opens permanently at Piccadilly Gardens
Crunch Korean Gansig has become a must-try foodie stall at the Manchester Christma Markets, now it’s pulled up at Picadilly Gardens permanently.
The hit Korean hot dog stall has wowed visitors over the past few years with its cheese, potato and meat-filled creations.
Deep-fried in a crispy waffle coating and then lightly rolled in sugar, these sausages on a stick come drizzled in sweet ketchup and mustard.
Incredibly moreish if we do say so ourselves, since first making their appearance at the 2021 Manchester Christmas Markets they’ve consistently been ranked one of the event’s best food traders.
Now, thanks to a new permanent stall popping up where it all began for the team, Manc foodies can enjoy their hot meaty and cheesy Korean goodies all year long.
Popular flavour choices include all-cheese, all-sausage and half-and-half versions, with a vegetarian-friendly cheese-filled version wrapped in a potato waffle coating, and halal-friendly options that are made using separate batter and fryers.
This really is a hot dog stand that caters to everyone. With owners having previously said they would work on a vegan hot dog once they got their own permanent stand, we don’t expect the plant-powered gang will be left waiting too much longer.
Sharing the news to Instagram, the Crunch Korean Gansig team wrote: “Hey guys, we’ve got exciting news to share! We are launching a new market stall in the Piccadilly garden street food market from tomorrow.
“After two years of successful Christmas trading, we are ready to take on a new challenge, and love to serve our hotdogs to you guys again!
“So come on down to the market and say hi, we love to see you there! See you soon!”
Fans of the Korean hot dog stall have responded to the news with enthusiasm, flooding into the comments to share their excitement.
One person wrote: “So excited we will have to go!!”
Another person said: “Nooooo stop!!! I’m so happy I could cry”