Bigots are raging because a trans woman ran in London Marathon. She came 6160th

Trans marathon runner Glenique Frank

A trans woman who finished 6,160th in the London Marathon and was accused of “cheating real women out of a place” has defended her decision to run in the category that aligns with her gender. 

Undeterred by the ensuing backlash, Glenique Frank tells PinkNews she is using it to call for equality in sport – which she defines as creating a transgender category – while continuing to raise money for charity.

Frank said that although she hasn’t yet had gender reassignment surgery, she has been on her transitioning journey for three years and has known she was in the wrong body since she was six-years-old

On Sunday (23 April), Frank ran in the female race, finishing the 26.2-mile run in 4hrs 11mins 28secs, which placed her 6,160th among more than 20,000 other competitors.

But the 54-year-old runner’s achievement was met with instant criticism with Mara Yamauchi, the third-fastest British female marathon runner in history, claiming that World Athletics and UK Athletics rules had been broken. 

Misgendering Frank, she told Telegraph Sport: “World Athletics and UK Athletics have rules that post-puberty males competing in the female category is unfair. This male competed under UK Athletics’ transitional arrangements, but it is still wrong and unfair.”

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Yamauchi went on to claim that “nearly 14,000 women finished in a worse finish position”, because of Frank. 

UK Athletics declared on 31 March, acting on World Athletics’ lead, that trans women who have been through “male puberty” will be banned from female UK Athletics events.

But the rules included a caveat. Any athlete who had already entered in a category not aligned with their biological sex would still be allowed to take part in the race, so Frank could run in the female race in London. 

‘I feel bad when I run as I don’t have my hair on’

Glenique Frank tells PinkNews she agrees with Yamauchi and believes in same-sex sport, but stated that a transgender category should be created.

The trans woman ran in the female race as she didn’t identify with any other gender marker available on the London Marathon application form, which, this year for the first time included a non-binary category.

“I feel bad when I run as I don’t have my hair on and I get gender dysphoria. When I take my hair off, I just see ugly boy,” she says.

Scrutiny of Frank’s participation in the female category escalated after she was interviewed by the BBC on Tower Bridge. 

In the interview, Frank, who had the trans flagged draped over her shoulders, said she was driven by “girl power”, adding that this was her 17th marathon and announced that her son is having a baby, so will soon be “Granny G”.

Under an Instagram image of Frank after she finished the race, many people commented that her TV interview had inspired them.

Frank says she ran the marathon to raise money for good causes, adding that, in 17 years, she has raised more than £30,000 for UK charities.

A fundraiser set up by Frank aims to reach £2,100 in aid of Whizz-Kidz’s vital services for young wheelchair users. So far, more than £300 had been raised. 

On Facebook, Frank said she had previously entered marathons in New York and Tokyo as a man because her passport still states she’s male, leaving her with no other choice. 

She said her mental health is “stronger” following the backlash, and she’s determined to “fight for all humans and spread joy and happiness and the rainbow”.