Marathon dream is over as Leigh Park mum is told she is ‘too slow’

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FOLLOWING a battle with breast cancer Anne Pharo set herself the challenge of running the Frankfurt Marathon.

She travelled to Germany only to have her dreams dashed – when organisers forced her to stop running because she was ‘too slow’.

PHARO       (EB)      MRW     5/11/2014 '''Anne Pharo (41) at her Havant home ''Anne has been battling the diagnosis of Breast Cancer but to be positive she wanted to compete in the Frankfurt Marathon 2014 with a friend as company 'After just 7Km the duo were asked to stop running, as they were 'not fast enough' and on reaching 13 Km were forced to pack up and try to find their way back to the Start/Finish area ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143120-4680) PPP-140511-221103003

PHARO (EB) MRW 5/11/2014 '''Anne Pharo (41) at her Havant home ''Anne has been battling the diagnosis of Breast Cancer but to be positive she wanted to compete in the Frankfurt Marathon 2014 with a friend as company 'After just 7Km the duo were asked to stop running, as they were 'not fast enough' and on reaching 13 Km were forced to pack up and try to find their way back to the Start/Finish area ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143120-4680) PPP-140511-221103003

The 41-year-old, of Sunnyside Walk, Leigh Park, was left hurt and humiliated by the episode – which she said was tantamount to bullying.

Anne, who works in e-banking, said: ‘I completed the London Marathon in 2012 in 5hrs 19mins and, perhaps I was a bit slow, but I raised over £2,000 for Breakthrough Breastcancer.

‘When my friend suggested last year that we do Frankfurt I thought I’d go for it. It was a tough year. In January this year I was told my cancer had returned in my other breast.

‘I had surgery and reconstruction but unfortunately the reconstruction did not work and I got a serious infection and had to have a second surgery to remove the implant.

marathon Anne Pharo inset pic 1''Anne Pharo who was stopped from running the Frankfurt marathon because she was too slow. 'From: Pharo Anne <Anne.Pharo@gemalto.com>

marathon Anne Pharo inset pic 1''Anne Pharo who was stopped from running the Frankfurt marathon because she was too slow. 'From: Pharo Anne <Anne.Pharo@gemalto.com>

‘In June I broke my foot but I kept going with training. So, to be told to stop running because I was too slow was devastating.’

Anne said that had she continued at the pace she was running she would have finished in six-and-a-half hours.

‘From four miles the organisers and police in vans, cars and on motorbikes were behind us, ushering us to “run faster or give up”,’ she added.

‘But I was pacing myself so that I could finish the race.

‘At eight miles they said we were not allowed to continue because they needed to clean the streets. This was just bullying.

‘They didn’t offer us an alternative route on the pavement and, once we stopped, they drove off and left us there.

‘We had no idea where we were and I was devastated.’

Single mum Anne said she has read the race rules and there is no cut-off point.

But athletics expert Colin Goater, race director for the Great South Run, said a cut-off time was normal for marathons.

‘There are various reasons for it,’ said Mr Goater.

‘Road closure orders only last a certain period of time.

‘The administrators will be concerned about traffic problems.

‘And there is the insurance to think about. If a collision occurred it would be a difficult situation.’

The News contacted the organisers of the Frankfurt Marathon but they did not respond.