Just as Kielder marathon celebrated its third anniversary, a new controversy surrounding Rob Sloan, who gained notoriety for jumping on a bus during last year's race, has emerged. Sloan, 32, entered September's Great North Run under a pseudonym - presumably to avoid unwanted attention - and by doing so, has breached the event's rules.
The former Sunderland Harrier, who was forced to hand back his bronze medal at Kielder marathon, is pictured at several points during the race and is wearing a green jacket and sunglasses. Sloan is said to have taken the name of a friend, Ryan Percival, and finished the half marathon on 1:30:25. Apart from receiving a ban from all races organised by Steve Cram, Sloan was under no restrictions for any other event, meaning his action in assuming a pseudonym has actually resulted in an investigation by officials from the Great North Run.
In a fairly frank admission, Sloan said: "I don't want this mentioned as I don't want to be banned from the Great North Run as well. I don't know if it is against the rules to run under another name, but I ran under a friend's name, who is also a runner, but I don't want to get him into trouble."
After the marathon in Northumberland last year, Sloan initially refuted any wrongdoing before the evidence against him became overwhelming. The event resulted in a vast amount of media coverage, although he says his decision to enter the Great North Run wasn't based on an attraction to being in the spotlight: "I ran this year's Great North Run but I ran under a friend's name. I didn't want the press there asking questions, I didn't want to get the attention."
One of the organisers of the race, David Hart, said: "If it is true I am disappointed he has done that. He was not banned from running the race and could have entered the ballot like everyone else and run the race under his real name." Hart added that Sloan and his friend may be disqualified from entering future events.