Kate did send an email to Marathon Investigation immediately following publication of the article. In the email she maintained that the article I published was “defamatory and ethically irresponsible”.
Additionally, she stated that she did not see where I attempted to contact her. I replied to her immediately asking what specifically was inaccurate and showing evidence that I did attempt to reach out as was previously stated.
Statement to The Telegraph
Kate did address some of the issues raised in The Telegraph.
She admits to manually creating the route for The London Marathon.
But she then ran quicker than expected and wanted to upload it to her Strava account: “This is when I made the mistake of trying to create a route manually based on my time.” she said. “Soon after I realised this was foolish and removed it from my feed.
“I also feel it is important to admit that part of this was about my ego. Even in the amateur running world there is pressure to maintain form and times… My own desire to be seen to be doing well at a time when I was feeling weak and below par, resulted in a momentary lapse of judgment which I very much regret.”
Regarding The London Landmarks Half Marathon, she stops short of saying she intentionally cut the course.
Addressing the half marathon anomaly, she said she had “very unfortunately and embarrassingly had wet myself and wanted therefore to step off the course to try and sort myself out” which is “something that happens to many runners”.
“When I rejoined the race, it is possible that I did so at the wrong point on the course, though that was not my intention,” she added, insisting that “I made some stupid mistakes in how I recorded my times on my personal Strava record” but that she “was in no way trying to deceive the organisers of either event about my times”.
The photos irrefutably show that her Garmin was not dead. If Kate ran the full course, her watch would have reflected that fact, and she would have no reason not to upload the correct run to Strava. The only reason, given that her watch was not dead, to upload another runner’s data would be because her data showed that she ran less than the race distance.
Kate still appears in official results of The London Landmarks Half Marathon.
Lastly, if she was off the course for any period of the time, her pace would calculate to be substantially faster. If she were off the course for 5 minutes, her moving pace between 10k and 20k calculates to 3:20 per km or 6:19 per mile. If she were off the course for 10 minutes her pace enters elite territory at 2:55 per km or 4:42 per mile had she run the entire course.
It is likely that she did have an issue and stepped off the course. If that portion of her statement is accurate, then she skipped a significant portion of the course. If she did this unintentionally, she would have had to have known very shortly after entering the course and seeing markers on the course.
It is rare that someone fully admits to wrongdoing after an article is published. I think Kate made progress, but that she only partially came clean.
Admittedly this case is only of real public interest because of Kate’s status as a journalist Runner’s World. Given her position, she is being held to a higher standard.
I’ve seen plenty of instances of runner’s exaggerating their results or cheating because of social media and runners wanting to present themselves in a better light.
I can appreciate that Kate may have felt those pressures more than some given her position. I am not offering this up as an excuse for Kate, but as an acknowledgment of her likely motivation.
Ironically, in searching for her email today, I found this from 2016 while Kate was with The Guardian. She sent me questions via email, and I responded.
This question jumped out.
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