Mara Yamauchi, a two-time Olympian, has criticized rules that allowed a transgender runner to finish ahead of nearly 14,000 women in the female category of the London Marathon.
Glenique Frank, 54, spoke to the BBC mid-race, wearing a sports bra, and boasted about using “girl power” to complete the UK marathon.
Yamauchi tweeted that “Males in the [female] category is UNFAIR for females” along with a clip of Frank’s mid-race interview.
She added that “Nearly 14,000 actual females suffered a worse finish position [because] of” Frank.
Yamauchi noted that, despite being “ranked second in the world” as a woman, “at least 1300 men ran faster than me.”
In March, UK Athletics applied World Athletics’ rules on the exclusion of transgender women from elite female competitions to “exclude[d] from the female category in athletics” athletes who had gone through male puberty.
However, athletes who had already entered races were still allowed to compete in categories that were not their biological sex.
Frank competed under these transitional arrangements, but Yamauchi still called it “wrong and unfair.”
Cathy Devine, a former lecturer in sport and physical activity at the University of Cumbria, also accused the London Marathon of being “enabling.”
Frank has previously competed in male categories in marathons, including New York in November, where she ran wearing a bright-red bra and a long pink wig as a city tourist.
For the London Marathon, however, different passport rules applied because Frank is a British citizen and UK-based.
She chose to tick the female category because “I see myself as female” and came out as transgender three years ago.
Frank said it was “traumatic” to be publicly attacked while “trying to spread joy and happiness with the rainbow love” at the race. Still, “I get it,” Frank said of the criticism. “I feel sad that I’ve upset Mara because I respect her.”
Is Glenique Frank transgender, man or woman?
It is believed Glenique Frank is a woman but only decided to compete in the category of males.
Despite going viral after telling the BBC mid-race about her joy at running her 17th marathon, Frank has noted that she is not an elite runner.
She has raised the equivalent of $37,000 for charity in her races.
She said she was shocked at the blowback and promised to enter future races under “other” or “male.”