A Scottish runner who was disqualified from an ultra marathon after travelling part of the route in a car has apologised and admitted she made a “massive error”.
Joasia Zakrzewski finished third in the 50-mile race that was held between Manchester and Liverpool two weeks ago.
But authorities later rescinded her medal after it was revealed she used a vehicle for around 2.5 miles of the journey.
The 47-year-old has insisted that the move was not malicious but admitted she should not have accepted the third place medal or posed with a trophy alongside the first and second placed competitors.
The third place medal has now been awarded to Mel Sykes.
Speaking to the BBC Radio Scotland, Zakrzewski, a GP from Dumfries, revealed she got lost during the run and accepted a lift from a friend to the next checkpoint after suffering pain and feeling unwell.
She explained: “When I got to the checkpoint I told them I was pulling out and that I had been in the car, and they said ‘you will hate yourself if you stop’.
“I agreed to carry on in a non-competitive way.
“I made sure I didn’t overtake the runner in front when I saw her as I didn’t want to interfere with her race.
“I made a massive error accepting the trophy and should have handed it back.
“I was tired and jetlagged and felt sick.
“I hold my hands up, I should have handed them back and not had pictures done but I was feeling unwell and spaced out and not thinking clearly.
“I’m an idiot and want to apologise to Mel. It wasn’t malicious, it was miscommunication.
“I would never purposefully cheat and this was not a target race, but I don’t want to make excuses.
“Mel didn’t get the glory at the finish and I’m really sorry she didn’t get that.”