Did a transgender woman win first place in the female category of the London Marathon?

Glenique Frank has since insisted she will give back her medal if necessary.
Glenique Frank has since insisted she will give back her medal if necessary. Copyright James Manning/PA Wire
Copyright James Manning/PA Wire
By Sophia Khatsenkova
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A transgender woman who finished who ran in the mass event of the London Marathon and is being accused of “cheating real women out of a place."


Social media users -- and certain conservative media outlets -- have been claiming a transgender woman won first place in the female category of the London Marathon this year. 

But that’s false and here’s why.

The London Marathon is divided into different categories. There’s the elite or professional runners with prize money at stake. 

Then there’s the mass event, open to anyone. This year, the London Marathon decided to open up the mass event to people who identify as non-binary, in addition to men and women. 

The elite races in the London Marathon are subject to World Athletics rules. These rules exclude transgender women from professional female competitions as of March 2023.

However the amateur event is not subject to the World Athletics rules and offers open entry.

That’s how Glenique Frank managed to enter the mass event legally identifying as a woman and participated in the 50 to 54 year-old category. 

The only award issued for the mass event is a participation medal. 

6,171st out of 24,000 women

Euronews searched Glenique Frank’s marathon profile and found she placed 583rd out of 2,235 runners in her age category. 

Frank came 6,171st out of more than 24,000 women in total. If all participants of the mass event are taken into account, Frank finished 21,617 out of 48,694 --  nowhere near the first place some social media users are claiming.

If we compare the results of Glenique Frank with the winner of the mass event, Diana Bogantes, finished the London Marathon in just two hours and 36 minutes. It took Glenique Frank four hours and 11 minutes to complete the race.

Similarly compared to the women's 50-54 year category, the winner Jacqueline Rockliffe, finished the race in two hours and 51 minutes, meaning it took Glenique Frank one hour and 20 minutes longer than her competitor. 

But Frank’s achievement was met with instant criticism from professional female athletes such as Amelia Strickler, a British shot putter and a two-time gold medalist in the British Athletics Championships.

"Frank has displaced 14,000 women by entering the female category. Women deserve fair sport at all levels (even if it’s for charity)," Strickler tweeted.

Mara Yamauchi, the third-fastest British female marathon runner in history also hit out at Glenique Frank accusing her of breaking the marathon rules. 

Yamauchi claimed that “nearly 14,000 women finished in a worse finish position”, because of Frank.

In an interview with the New York Post, Frank said “If they want me to give my medal back, I’ll say, ‘OK, fine. No problem.”

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


According to a Facebook post, Glenique Frank has previously entered marathons in New York and Tokyo as a male. 

Frank emphasised the London marathon was the first of 17 planned races for which she was able to pick her own name and gender.

However, she promised she would not run another race as a female until she’s undergone surgery.

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