Carol Marsh, 58, who claims she was thrown out of the London Marathon by ‘over officious’ marshals when her race number slipped off
An ex-police inspector was thrown out of the London Marathon with just 400 metres to go after her race number slipped off her t-shirt.
Carol Marsh, 58, was approaching Buckingham Palace when ‘over officious’ marshals stepped out in front of her.
The former Met acting chief inspector, who previously represented England in the world famous race, told them her tracking chip was still attached to her shoe.
But she claims the female marshal and a male colleague pushed her through a gate into the thousands of spectators, leaving her shocked and distressed.
‘I was with other people running around me and then all of a sudden a female race official stepped out in my path and asked “where’s your race number?”‘ she said.
‘I didn’t even know it was missing and I looked down and said “I’ve no idea, perhaps it’s fallen and I’m sorry”.
‘She said “it’s impossible for this to come off your vest, you are a liar and you are disqualified”. I couldn’t believe it, I was so shocked.
‘She pulled me to the side and said “you are going to leave now”.
‘Then she went to a male colleague and they opened the metal gate and pushed me into the crowd.
‘I was really shocked and upset. I’m angry now but I was really exhausted, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve no idea what motivated her to challenge me, I really genuinely don’t.’
She added: ‘They were very over officious.’
Ms Marsh, from Bexleyheath in east London, took up running when she retired from the Met three years ago after a 32-year career.
Ms Marsh (circled in red) at the start line before the race began. She has submitted a complaint to the marathon organisers and demanded an explanation
An experienced club runner at Cambridge Harriers, she has completed three marathons and run for England in her age category.
She won her place in the London Marathon after representing England in the 55-60 age category at the European Masters Marathon Championship in Poland last year.
Ms Marsh’s number can be seen attached to her top before the race got underway
In her complaint to the marathon’s organisers, she said she was ‘gutted’ and can’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to finish the race.
She has demanded an estimated finishing time, which she claims she was denied when she was ejected from the race.
‘I would say you have got to think of the public’s welfare and investigate things properly and neither of those aspects have been covered,’ she wrote in her complaint.
She claims nobody helped her as she struggled to find her belongings, adding: ‘I was physically distressed and I had no water.’
Ms Marsh said the officials abused their power.
‘It was blunt, it was brutal, it was rude. It’s a shame the official felt she had the power to do that to someone,’ she said.
Ms Marsh and her running club have contacted the marathon’s organisers for an explanation and have been told the complaint is being dealt with.
A spokeswoman from the London Marathon said she was unable to comment on the matter until Ms Marsh had received a response to her complaint.
According to the marathon conditions of entry, participants can be disqualified and excluded from future races if they are caught swapping or selling their entry numbers.
Runners are also told in ‘Before Race Day final instructions’: ‘Do not tamper with your number in any way – please note that duplicate numbers cannot be issued under any circumstances.’