A leading Olympian has said it was “wrong and unfair” for Glenique Frank, a biological male identifying as a woman, to have been allowed to compete in the female category of the London Marathon, after the runner gave a live BBC interview on Tower Bridge declaring “girl power” and “I’m going to be a granny”.
Frank ran in the New York Marathon last November as a man called Glen, but was given dispensation to line up in Sunday’s mass race in London, giving a name of Glenique and finishing in a time of 4hr 11min 28sec. Competing in the 50-to-54 age bracket, Frank achieved a placing of 6,160th among a women’s field of 20,123. In the men’s category, the same time would only have been good enough for 15,386th.
“Nearly 14,000 women finished in a worse finish position because of him,” said Mara Yamauchi, who finished sixth in the marathon at the Beijing Olympics, and who is Britain’s third fastest female in history over the distance.
“This is what the London Marathon is enabling,” argued Cathy Devine, a former lecturer in sport and physical activity at the University of Cumbria. “Zero categories that exclude male performance advantage. Goddess forbid that female runners should have their own category celebrating what women runners can do.”
Read more: Trans athlete who ran as a female in London Marathon labelled ‘wrong and unfair’