Kendall Schler was stripped of her GO! St. Louis Marathon victory Wednesday after race officials determined she never actually ran the race. The 26-year-old is thought to have entered the course sometime after the final checkpoint and ahead of the lead bicycle escort, crossing the finish line at the 2:50:30 mark.
Andrea Karl, a Washington University graduate student who finished the race in 2:54:28, was the real winner of the race.
Race officials initially looked into the suspicious finish when Schler was not wearing her race bib in the correct location and had not recorded any electronic times throughout the race. Schler claimed she removed the magnetic strips from her bib because she did not want to record her times, but tampering with official race bibs is a violation of race protocol, according to race president Nancy Lieberman, via WSDK News.
The surprising early finish and improper bib placement prompted race officials to look into the validity of Schler’s finish. According to Lieberman, she questioned Schler when race officials could not find any photographs or record of Schler running the race in either 2014 or 2015. Schler was unable to produce any evidence of her participation in the race.
Schler actually pulled the same stunt at last year’s marathon, but only managed to finish third.
By virtue of her first-place finish earlier this week and third-place finish in 2014, Schler, 26, received an automatic invitation to next week’s Boston Marathon. She since has been stripped of both podium finishes and her invitation to the Boston Marathon has been revoked.
In 1980, Rosie Ruiz crossed the Boston Marathon finish line first, but like Schler later was found to have entered the race near the finish line.
Check out video of Schler crossing the finish line below.
h/t to WCVB Channel 5
Photo via Twitter/@BostInno