ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A runner who claimed to have been the first woman to cross the finish line of last weekend's GO! St. Louis Marathon has been disqualified. Race officials cannot prove that Kendall Schler, of Columbia, MO, ever ran any section of the race. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that race officials determined she sneaked onto the course after the last checkpoint.
Andrea Karl, a Washington University student, has been declared the real women's winner, with a time of 2:54:48. She will be honored at Busch Stadium on Sunday before the Cardinals game.
"I felt pretty assured I had won but that wasn`t the most important thing to me,' says Andrea Karl, the real race winner. 'I was just really excited about my time."
The woman who crossed the finishing line first at the GO! St. Louis Marathon was Kendall Schler. But race officials have vacated her victory.
"To be honest breaking the tape and winning wasn`t the thing I was most excited about," says Karl. "So I guess it wasn`t a huge blow or anything."
It`s believed Schler ran onto the race course after the last checkpoint.
"When she crossed we were somewhat suspect," says Nancy Lieberman, Go St. Louis President. "We couldn`t see the bib which is really important and actually part of the rules of competition is that you wear your bib squarely on your front of your shirt."
Fair and square might not have been what Schler had in mind. GO! St. Louis has a staff of seven but relies on their 2800 volunteers and virtual time keepers to keep runners honest. But race officials say Schler never ran the entire 26.2 miles.
"This code will register the mat which sends an electronic signal to a timing company," says Lieberman.
When the Washington University student isn`t working on her doctorate she`s busy winning the Rock N` Roll Marathon last year, and now officially the GO! St. Louis Marathon.
"I could not believe my first marathon to come out with a win was not something I`d ever be able to say in my life," says Karl.
She`s not commenting on the controversy, instead Karl will take the high road and the one marked by officials.