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Marathon winner was a man - so Brenda promoted to gold

PUBLISHED: 15:50 08 July 2010 | UPDATED: 14:06 02 August 2010

Brenda Kinch was thrilled when she came second in her age category in the London Marathon, which this year attracted up to 36,000 competitors. But she is astonished, and even more thrilled, to learn, two months later, that she has actually won the class - because the first-placed “woman” turned out to be a man.

Brenda Kinch was thrilled when she came second in her age category in the London Marathon, which this year attracted up to 36,000 competitors.

But she is astonished, and even more thrilled, to learn, two months later, that she has actually won the class - because the first-placed “woman” turned out to be a man.

The news, which came out of the blue, is the icing on the cake for Mrs Kinch, 65, from Lower Gresham near Cromer, who had already celebrated a personal best time of 3hrs 54mins 16secs in the race.

But when she came home recently she discovered she had done even better than she thought.

“I'd been out shopping and when I came home I found a parcel stuck in the letter box,” she said.

“It had the winner's plaque inside and there was a letter saying that they were pleased to inform me that I had come first in my 65-69 age category.

“They apologised for the length of time it had taken to carry out

the validation,” explained Mrs

Kinch, who has been running since 2002.

This year's London Marathon was her fifth, and over the years Mrs Kinch has collected sponsorship totalling between £4,500 and £5,000 for charities.

Intrigued to discover the inside story of her promotion, her husband Graham checked the 2010 results on the London Marathon website.

He found the name and running number of the original winning woman and compared them to linked photographs of the person wearing that bib number during the race.

Race organisers have now updated the website, but until the end of last week it named the category winner as British runner Patricia M Moss in a time of 3hr 52mins 36secs.

But the photos actually showed a tall, balding, middle-aged man running in a vest bearing the number allocated to Ms Moss.

London Marathon spokesman Nicola Okey confirmed that a man wearing the winning woman's bib number had been disqualified from the race but she declined to give further details because of data protection legislation.

The situation had come to light during the post-race checking process when video footage and photos of runners crossing the finish line were used to help ratify results, she said.

The individuals concerned had been written to and asked for their side of the story and it was only after this lengthy process had been completed that race officials had been able to contact Mrs Kinch.

Mrs Kinch, a member of the

North Norfolk Beach Runners, said: “I was delighted to be second but now to find out I was first is just amazing.”


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