ROB SLOAN, a recent recruit to Sunderland Harriers, was controversially disqualified after finishing third in yesterday’s Salomon Kielder Marathon.
Just a day after pulling off the biggest win of his athletics career with his emphatic victory in the Kielder 10k on Saturday, the 31-year-old ex-army mechanic was accused of having not completed the whole marathon course.
He said: “I categorically deny this accusation. I ran the whole race. I have been in touch with the organisers saying I have proof that I ran the complete course. I was wearing my Garmin and that covers every stride I ran.”
The Downhill athlete passed halfway in about 1.26 and clocked 2.51.01 for the full distance, improving his time of last year by about 21 minutes.
“I’m a much better runner than I was last year. I have improved my training and my recent results have shown that,” he added.
The marathon winner was Cumbrian Ricky Lightfoot in 2.35.17 and the women’s winner was Morpeth Harrier Jane Mooney in 3.06.45.
On Saturday, Sloan clocked 38min 10sec for the tough 10k course.
He won the race by over two minutes when beating a field of 300 in the inaugural event.
“I knew I stood a chance of winning when I glanced across the start line and didn’t recognise anyone of note,’’ he said modestly.
“I went to the front from the start and wasn’t troubled throughout the race. But I was mindful of doing the marathon the next day, so I didn’t push it too hard. It was a really testing course with plenty of steep hills to negotiate.’’
Sloan is a real tough of the track, training up to 120 miles each week and thinking nothing of doubling up with the 10k and marathon on consecutive days.
“If I hadn’t raced the 10k I would have done a ten miles training run instead,’’ he added.
Second man home was Mark Elsdon of Roxburghshire who clocked 40.22.
Sunderland’s Tony Boyes was 22nd (45.48), Dan Makaveli 31st (46.20), Anthony Nield 32nd (46.31) and Seaham’s Anthony Deighton 52nd (48.57).
It was a double celebration for Sunderland as Heather Steel from Roker, was first woman in 39th (47.39).
The 27-year-old admitted she had not really prepared for the race and was completely surprised by her win.
“I work at Northumbria University and sometimes train with Claremont Road Runners in Newcastle. But I have not done any specific training for this race. I couldn’t believe it when I was told I had won.’’
In the run-bike-run marathon, Sunderland’s gentoo team, the defending champions, finished second this time after being four minutes in the lead after the 11k run. It was Sunderland Harrier Brian Bewick who established this gap before handing over to John Turner for the 16k bike race. But he was up against some top cyclists and before the changeover he was passed by two teams and was four minutes down on the leaders.
Sunderland Harrier Steven Gordon was next off for the 6k run and moved into second place and just failed to catch the leaders before the finish.