Runners investigated over fake ultra-marathon claim

A cheat ran a race for his friend and then blew his own cover in a Facebook post.

Neil Kennedy (left) and Paddy Patterson (right)
Neil Kennedy (left) and Paddy Patterson (right)

Neil Kennedy stood in for friend Paddy Patterson in the a 33-mile ultra-marathon in Aberdeenshire last Saturday. The pair are now both being investigated by Scottish Athletics after Mr Kennedy bragged about his exploit on social media.

Mr Kennedy, 45, from Glasgow, posted a picture of himself with a plaque for finishing third in his age group, and joked about how he had faked an Irish accent to sound like his friend.

His message, on a popular Facebook running group, was spotted by race organisers and has since been deleted.

Neil Kennedy. Picture: Cascade News

It prompted veteran Dod Reid, race director of the D33 Ultra event, to report both men to the sport’s governing body, Scottish Athletics.

Mr Reid also shared a screenshot of Mr Kennedy’s post with the words: “I will see to it that you are both banned from any future Scottish Athletics events. You have stolen a place from the rightful winner and put runners’ safety at risk. You are both no longer welcome within the Scottish ultra scene. I will make sure the rightful winner receives his prize. You will be removed from the D33 results.”

The men, both veteran runners, could now be suspended from entering licensed competitions as well as being blacklisted by organisers of ultra races – any race over the standard 26.2-mile marathon.

Runners are banned from swapping numbers without the permission of race organisers, mainly on health and safety grounds.

Mr Kennedy finished the 33-mile run last Saturday (16 March) in four hours, 29 minutes and 17 seconds, despite poor weather conditions. He was then photographed as he was handed a plaque by race director Mr Reid. He even joked about how Mr Patterson would have to defend his title next year.

He wrote: “Sorry Paddy Patterson! Three weeks ago you asked me to do the D33 ultra in your place. You couldn’t do it. I said OK’. So I signed in as Paddy with my good Irish accent (I am Scottish, Paddy is obviously Irish).

“Did the run. Got my medal then the main organiser followed me into the marquee and gave me this plaque and said well done Paddy, you came in third vet’. Sorry Paddy, if you do it next year you need to defend your title!”

Both Mr Kennedy and Mr Patterson, who lives in Edinburgh, declined to comment.