26 year-old Kendall Schler of Columbia, Missouri, has been stripped of her winner’s title in the GO! St. Louis Marathon.
Officials became suspicious when Schler failed to register several early checkpoint times. Nor could any of the race-start officials remember her toeing the line for the starter’s gun. Neither did the race cyclist (who rides with the lead runners) ever remember seeing her.
Schler had finished third in last year’s St. Louis Marathon, but had her place and time voided for doing exactly the same thing!
Nancy Lieberman, president of GO! St. Louis, said in the St. Louis Post Dispatch: “It’s a difficult situation for everybody, including the people who run a fair race and don’t get the recognition they should receive. I said to her (Schler), ‘It looks like you perpetrated a fraud.’ I have nothing legitimate that says she officially started and ran 26.2 miles in 2014 or 2015.”
Schler stood to win $1500 and an immediate entry into the prestigious Boston Marathon (being raced Monday) for a first place.
Organisers have found she removed the timing strip form her official competitor’s bib and crept quietly onto the course mid-race.
When confronted, Schler admitted to removing her race timing chip in both the 2014 and 2015 events.
She has since been banned from the GO! St. Louis event.
Ms Schler could not be contacted for a response.
The official winner was Andrea Karl, a doctoral candidate at Washington University. Karl ran the full course in 2 hours, 54 minutes, 28 seconds. But she crossed the finish line almost unnoticed and was told another woman had finished before her.