A transgender athlete accused of exploiting a loophole by running the London Marathon in the women’s race has defended her decision to take part.
Glenique Frank, 54, from Northamptonshire, said she was not cheating but apologized for competing in the women’s category of the Sunday mass race in London, with a time of 4 hours 11 minutes 28 seconds.
During Frank’s grueling 26.2-mile run in the 50-54 age group, the personal trainer said she was “almost in tears” at all the support she received from women on the course.
But she was the subject of criticism from Olympian Mara Yamauchi who lashed out at organizers for letting Frank take advantage of a “loophole” at the London Marathon that allowed transgender athletes who had already signed up to keep their places.
The Olympian claimed it was “wrong and unfair” to allow her to compete in the female category and that other female runners had “had a worse finishing position” because of Frank.
Photos show that Frank previously walked in some charity events while dressed as Batman, since transitioning she started running as Batgirl.
Glenique Frank, 54, from Northamptonshire, said she had ‘no intention of misleading the public’ when she took part in Sunday’s mass race in London
Transgender athlete Glenique Frank was interviewed by the BBC while crossing Tower Bridge
Glenique, who previously competed as a man, has run 17 consecutive London Marathons and raised over £30,000 for charity
Yamauchi, Britain’s third-fastest ever female marathon runner, said ‘nearly 14,000 real women had a worse finishing position’ because of Frank
On 31 March, UK Athetlics announced it would ban transgender athletes from its licensed events, stating that it was ‘fair for athletes who have gone through male puberty to be excluded from the female category in athletics’.
Can transgender athletes still compete in the London Marathon?
UK Athetlics banned transgender athletes from licensed events in March.
Although he had registered before the ban was announced, this year Frank was admitted to the women’s category.
Transgender athletes are still allowed to compete, but they must enter as their biological sex.
The London Marathon offered a non-binary gender category for the first time in 2023.
However, any athlete already entered in a category that was not their biological sex was still allowed to compete, something some people claim Frank took advantage of.
Criticizing the decision to allow Frank to participate, Yamauchi wrote on Twitter, “Nearly 14,000 women ended up in a poorer final position because of him.”
But speaking to MailOnline, Frank defended her decision to compete in the marathon, saying she “served my country because of all the money I raised” for charity. Whiz Kidz.
She said, ‘How can they say I cheated, who did I cheat? I did it in four hours and 11 minutes.
“I’m going to apologize, I should have entered in the male category, but I didn’t take advantage of another female. I just signed up as a general audience (participant) and I’m raising money for charity.’
Frank said she ran the Tokyo and New York marathons as Glen Frank “because I have a male passport and I don’t have surgery.”
She continued, “I’m sorry I entered in the female category because I haven’t had surgery yet.
Glenique ran the New York Marathon in the men’s category last November, but says it was because she hadn’t yet changed her passport or had surgery
Glenique imagined she had completed the Tokyo Marathon
Olympian Mara Yamauchi has claimed it was ‘wrong and unfair’ to allow Frank to compete in the women’s category
“It was not my intention to mislead the public, but I apologize for falling into the female category.
“In the end, I don’t win the race or the prize money, so I didn’t take other athletes’ prizes.
She said she would not run another race as a woman until she had surgery, saying, “If Glen becomes Glenique and gets female genitals, she will compete as a woman.
‘Until then I (as a bitch) will no longer participate in competitions involving prize money.’
Frank achieved a 6,160th place in the women’s race with 20,123 participants.
It is her 17th consecutive London marathon and she plans to complete all six major world marathons, including Chicago, Tokyo and Berlin.
She told the BBC as she crossed Tower Bridge: ‘I just did Tokyo, I did New York last year. Next year I’m doing No. 6 a week before London.
‘So a week of rest… girl power. I’ve also competed 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 grandma….Grandma G!”
But the interview drew criticism, and after the marathon, Yamauchi, who finished sixth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics marathon, told the Telegraph: ‘World Athletics and UK Athletics have rules that men after puberty competing in the women’s category are unfair.
“This man competed under UK Athletics transitional arrangements but it is still wrong and unfair.”
Cathy Devine, a former lecturer in sport and physical activity at the University of Cumbria, said: ‘Zero categories excluding male performance benefits. Goddess forbid female runners have their own category celebrating what female runners can do.”
On March 31, UK Athletics announced it would ban transgender athletes from its licensed events, but it appears Frank took advantage of a loophole
Yamauchi added that “some people say if men are on the podium it matters, but not if they finish lower.”
“What this is effectively saying is that women and girls who aren’t great at sports don’t deserve fairness, which I think is appalling,” she said.
Frank now plans to compete in both the Berlin and Chicago Marathons this year before running in Boston and London in April 2024.
She added, “I’m here to spread joy and happiness, and I’m raising money.
“I’m just the best version of myself because you don’t know what I’ve been through for 30 years. I have no regrets.’