Probe launched after ‘Marathon cleaners branded slow runners fat’
London Marathon chiefs investigate ‘horrific’ abuse of slower runners left in tears after street cleaners branded them ‘FAT’ and shouted ‘hurry up’
- Liz Ayres, a pace setter, confronted race director Hugh Brasher live on air today
- She directly accused Marathon officials of berating the runners at the back
- Comments reportedly included ‘if you didn’t eat as much, your t-shirt would fit’
- Mr Brasher apologised and vowed to launch a probe into the alleged abuse
London Marathon bosses have vowed to conduct a thorough investigation after street cleaners reportedly hurled ‘horrific’ insults at slower runners and even branded them ‘fat’.
Liz Ayres, a back-of-the-pack pace setter, confronted race director Hugh Brasher live on air today about the brutal treatment suffered by contestants, many of whom were left in tears.
In a stinging attack on event staff, she directly accused Marathon officials of berating the slower runners.
Hugh Brasher vowed to conduct a thorough investigation after street cleaners reportedly hurled ‘horrific’ insults at slower runners and even branded them ‘fat’
She told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: ‘We had some that were saying, “if you weren’t so fat you could run faster”.
We had, “it’s a race not a walk.” It was so horrible, it was like “if you didn’t eat as much, your t-shirt would fit.”
‘These were from people wearing the London Marathon blue jackets, officials these were.
‘Contractors were swearing at us constantly to f****** move out of the road and to get a f****** move on.’
Liz, whose job was to run at the tail end of the race to set a roughly seven-hour benchmark pace, said that she has been inundated with hundreds of messages from competitors of previous years who experienced the same comments.
Thousands partook in last Sunday’s London Marathon but those at the back of the race were allegedly taunted by race officials
Mr Brasher has now said that a full probe into her claims will now be launched and action will be subsequently taken.
He said: ‘We work hard to provide the best possible experience for every runner in the London Marathon and we were very sorry to hear about the experience of Elizabeth and a small number of other runners on Sunday.
‘Our vision is Inspiring Activity and we welcome participants of all ages and abilities to our events.
‘A senior member of our team called Elizabeth on Tuesday to find out more and we are now looking into this in detail as part of a full investigation.
‘We’ll be talking to the people involved to find out what happened and we’ll also be contacting the runners who were in the group being paced by Elizabeth.’
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