Transgender athlete in London Marathon offers to give back medal

Transgender athlete who ran in female category at London Marathon offers to give back finisher’s medal after beating nearly 14,000 women

  • Glenique Frank, 54, said she hasn’t cheated any other athletes out of a prize
  •  She said: ‘If they want me to give my medal back, I’ll say, “OK, fine. No problem”‘

A transgender woman who finished the London Marathon ahead of nearly 14,000 runners in the female category has offered to give back her finishing medal.

Glenique Frank, 54, from Northamptonshire, hit back at claims it was ‘wrong and unfair’ for her to compete in the female category of Sunday’s mass race in London, crossing the line with a time of 4hr 11min 28sec.

She told the New York Post: ‘If they want me to give my medal back, I’ll say, “OK, fine. No problem,”‘ after the furore broke out on Sunday evening.

‘If they really think I’ve stolen the place [of a female runner], I don’t mind giving the medal back, because I’ll run again next year for charity.

‘But I don’t want to apologize, because I didn’t do anything wrong,’ Frank stated firmly — saying she was only sorry for ‘upsetting’ her critics, who she maintained were mostly ‘haters.’

Glenique Frank, 54, from Northamptonshire, said she was ‘not intending to mislead the public’ when she took part in Sunday’s mass race in London

‘They’re angry because they’re saying that one of 14,000 women behind me could have had my place. Really? I did [the race in] 4 hours 11 minutes. There’s lots of women that beat me,’ noted Frank, who came in 6,159th place in the female category.

‘I get it … I’m not a woman, I don’t have a womb,’ said Frank, who plans to pay around $20,000 to have ‘top and bottom surgery’ next year.

‘But I didn’t compete as an elite, so I didn’t steal any money.’

The elite races in the London Marathon are subject to World Athletics rules, which exclude transgender women from elite female competition if they have gone through male puberty.

However the mass event, which saw 48,500 runners from all over the UK and world run through the capital, is not subject to World Athletics rules and is ‘for everyone’.

Speaking to MailOnline yesterday, Frank defended her decision to run in the marathon, saying she has ‘served my country because of all the money I’ve raised’ for the charity Whizz-Kidz.

She said: ‘How can they say that I’ve cheated, who have I cheated? I did it in four hours and 11 minutes. 

‘I’m going to apologise, I should have entered under the male category but I wasn’t taking any advantage over another female. I’ve just entered as a general public [participant] and I’m raising money for charity.’

Transgender athlete Glenique Frank was intervieed by the BBC while crossing Tower Bridge

Yamauchi, Britain’s third fastest female marathon runner ever, said that ‘nearly 14,000 actual females suffered a worse finish position’ because of Frank

Glenique ran the New York marathon last November in the male category but says this was because she has not changed her passport or had surgery yet

Glenique, who has previously competed in the Tokyo Marathon, even offered to give back her medal

Frank said she ran in the Tokyo and New York marathons as Glen Frank ‘because my passport is male and I haven’t had surgery’.

She continued: ‘I apologise for entering under the female category because I haven’t had surgery yet.

‘I wasn’t intending to mislead the public, but I apologise for entering under the female category.

‘At the end of the day, I’m not winning the race or prize money so I haven’t cheated any other athletes out of their prize.

Saying she would not run another race as a female until she had surgery, she said: ‘When Glen becomes Glenique and gets female genitalia she will enter as a female.’

Hugh Brasher, event director of the TCS London Marathon: ‘The elite races, the Championship races and Good For Age categories at the TCS London Marathon are held under World Athletics rules, which exclude transgender women from elite female competition if they have gone through male puberty.

On March 31, UK Athletics announced it would be banning transgender athletes at its licensed events but it appears Frank benefitted from a loophole

Olympian Mara Yamauchi has claimed it was ‘wrong and unfair’ to allow Frank to compete in the female category

‘The mass event of the TCS London Marathon is a unique celebration of inclusivity and humanity.

READ MORE: Olympian condemns loophole that allowed a transgender runner compete as a woman in the London Marathon despite a ban by UK Athletics and five months after doing New York as a man

‘It is, in the words of co-founder Chris Brasher, ‘a great personal victory over doubt and fear, body and mind’. 

‘The mass event is an event for everyone and an event where the vast majority of those taking part are raising money for charity, with an incredible £1.15 billion raised for good causes since the first edition in 1981.

‘It is an event that champions inclusivity. It is an incredible challenge. While we do list the place an individual has come, there are no prizes for this.

‘We are committed to making the TCS London Marathon the most diverse, equitable and inclusive marathon in the world.’

Frank secured a 6,160th place in the women’s race which had 20,123 competitors.

It is her 17th consecutive London marathon and she has set out to complete all six major world marathons including Chicago, Tokyo and Berlin.

She told the BBC as she crossed Tower Bridge: ‘I’ve just done Tokyo, I did New York last year. Next year, I’ll do No 6 a week before London.

‘So a week’s rest but…girl power. I’ve also run in the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, where I’m from. Shout out to my beautiful son, who’s having a baby, so I’m going to be a granny….Granny G!’

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