A POLICE officer was robbed of a marathon medal by a cheating rival who hopped on a bus.
It emerged earlier this week that Steve Cairns should have received the bronze medal at Sunday’s race in Northumberland.
He was pipped to third place in the Salomon Kielder marathon by Rob Sloan, who later admitted he had caught a bus to complete the last six miles of the race.
Today it emerged that Mr Sloan had crossed about the worst person imaginable as Mr Cairns is a serving officer with Lothian and Borders Police.
The constable, who is based in Peebles in the Scottish Borders, quickly worked out that he had been robbed and duly reported the matter to the race organisers.
Cairns wrote on the Marathon Talk website: “I was third the whole way, but somehow I crossed the line and was given fourth. I asked the third-place runner where he passed me.
‘He said ’15 miles’ I said ‘No you didn’t as I had a five minute gap at that point. He said he did and walked off.
“I informed the organisers who had been told Sloan had been seen getting on and off a bus, and had been dropped off near the finish. I will get my prize, but he has stolen my glory and my moment on the podium.”
Sloan was seen catching a free ride at about the 20-mile mark of the marathon before jumping off just before the finish, hiding behind a tree, and rejoining the race in front of PC Cairns.
Race organisers have confirmed Cairns’ account of events and he has been since awarded with the bronze medal.
A former Northern Ireland steeplechaser, Cairns finished the marathon in 2:55:25 and said although it wasn’t his personal best, Kielder was a “lovely marathon.”
The officer was also the winner of this years’ Peebles Beltane 10km race and is a member of the world-famous Hunters Bog Trotters.
PC Cairns joined the force 14 years ago and has won dozens of running titles after taking up the sport seriously 17 years ago.
The constable also won the British Inter Counties 3,000 steeplechase, the British Police marathon and has even represented the British Police in the European championships at cross-country.