Feminist activists have criticized a transgender runner who still holds the Parkrun women’s record despite serving time in prison for the attempted murder of a British athletics official.
Lauren Jeska was jailed in 2017 when a dispute with a UK athletics official over her eligibility to compete as a female athlete when born male turned violent.
Oxford-educated Jeska was jailed for 18 years in 2017 for the repeated stabbing of UK Athletics chief of staff Ralph Knibbs, then 42, in 2017.
Mr Knibbs suffered life-threatening injuries when Jeska took two knives to his office at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium and stabbed him repeatedly after being told her titles would be null and void due to testosterone levels.
But it has been revealed on the Parkrun website that Jeska holds the women’s record for the Aberystwyth Parkrun, with a time of 17 minutes 38 seconds, sparking anger among feminist activists who are demanding that she be stripped of the title.
Lauren Jeska, a female former champion fell runner who was born male, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the attempted murder of a track and field official
UK Athletics official Ralph Knibbs (pictured) suffered life-threatening injuries and described the attack in court as a ‘traumatic, life-changing experience’
Heather Binning, founder of the Women’s Rights Network, explained The Telegraph she was ‘lost for words’ that Jeska still holds the record.
She said, “I can’t argue with the fact that a man steals women’s records in the first place, and sets these records that won’t be broken—these records are frozen, women won’t beat them.”
Ms Binning added that it was “stunned” that Jeska was in prison for the attempted murder of a British athletics official who questioned her fitness as a female runner.
She studied mathematics at Oxford University and then completed a master’s degree in Gender, Sexuality and Queer Theory at the University of Leeds.
Jeska (pictured) was convicted in 2017 of attempting to stab a British athletics official to death
Jeska was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2017 for the attempted murder of Ralph Knibbs
She won a string of titles for her achievements in the sport – including the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Women’s English Running Champion and the 2012 British Champion.
It is believed she had told a handful of people about her gender reassignment, including those from the UK Athletics Board.
But in 2015, she was told she would not be able to compete and her race results would be nullified because she failed to provide blood samples to prove her testosterone levels had dropped significantly enough to continue running as a woman.
The week before the attack, Mr. Knibbs had gone to meet Jeska at her home to discuss the “long-term” issue with the sports board.
On March 22, 2016, Jeska calmly reported to Mr. Knibbs’ office, before arming herself with two large kitchen knives she had hidden in a backpack and raining blows on his head and neck.
Despite being stabbed in the throat, with a blow cutting both his carotid artery and jugular vein, Mr Knibbs managed to grab both of Jeska’s wrists as shocked colleagues rushed to his aid.
Two other men – Tim Begley and Kevan Taylor – were also injured when Jeska resisted, before half a dozen workers managed to pin her to the ground until police arrived.
Jeska, from Machynlleth, Powys, admitted to trying to kill former Bristol RFC center Mr Knibbs and was jailed for 18 years, in what the judge described as a ‘cool, calculated attack’ that was ‘entirely unprovoked ‘ used to be.
Parkrun is a global running community that organizes 5K races every Saturday for all abilities, encouraging people to run, walk or watch the event.
Parkrun was contacted for comment.