London Marathon investigating an imposter, who appears to have taken a runner’s lost number two miles from the finish line

The London Marathon imposter, a homeless builder nicknamed 'Jogging Tramp', has pled guilty to fraud after picking up runner Jake Halliday's number at the London Marathon 2018.

38-year-old Stanley Skupien reportedly dropped a suitcase full of his possessions and jumped the barrier near Tower Bridge, around the 12-mile mark. Along the route, he spotted Halliday's number and picked it up, so he could claim a medal when he crossed the line. Skupien, who sleeps rough at Heathrow Airport, crossed the line in tears and kissed his medal in the official race photographs. He claims he deserves the medal and finished the race, "for all the homeless people". 

He told the press:"I saw the number face-up in the middle of the road. I knew if I had one I would get a medal - my heart leapt. It was a dream come true. I had no thoughts of the person whose number it was.

"I felt on top of the world, finishing the race for all the homeless people, proving that you can achieve anything without money. After all, I ran nearly the full distance, didn't I?"

Scotland Yard said Skupian was charged on 18 May and appeared at Uxbridge magistrates court. The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed on Friday 15th June that Skupian has pled guilty to one count of fraud by false representation at the hearing, following his actions at the London Marathon.

Skupian also admitted to three further charges of theft at Heathrow airport and has been remanded in custody. 

A London Marathon spokeswoman said they would not comment until the end of the legal process.

Image: Doug Seeburg/ The Sun/ News Licensing

In a shocking turn of events a few weeks after the marathon, The Sun reported on a attack on Skupien, who had his leg broken by some youths in Houslow: "They recognised me as the man from the marathon and came after me in a swarm, breaking my ankle and hurting me elsewhere. They maybe wanted to make sure I do not run again." He claims the incident has pushed him to recover in time to run the full marathon next year as a "real competitor". 

Photo: Marathon Foto

Halliday was running under number 35179, with friends Chris Chisholm and Andrew Keiller. The trio were raising money for blood cancer research charity Bloodwise, in support of Andrew’s girlfriend Emma, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2016.

On the trio’s Virgin Money Giving page they wrote: “Bloodwise is a wonderful charity that funds research into life saving blood cancer treatments, as well as providing support to patients and their loved ones. Their incredible work has saved Emma and thousands of others.” Together, they have so far raised £48,566 for the charity.  

Halliday’s official London Marathon tracking times show that he had crossed the 40K mark in 3 hours and 31 minutes, yet his chip never crossed the finish line. The exhausted runner was said to be taken off the course around 15 minutes from the finish line, as it is against the race rules to run without an official number.

Photo: Marathon Foto

Photo: Marathon Foto 

Peter Mowbray, 51, from Blackpool wrote a Facebook post about the scandal, after hearing rumours at the finish line that a runner had been removed from the course without a number. On the post, Mowbray wrote: “I couldn’t believe this so we went on the Virgin London Marathon website and you can clearly see Jake’s number and you can see the pictures of Jake are completely different to the guy with his number at the end.

“Running a marathon takes over your life, you think about training, nutrition, avoiding injury, a huge amount dedication, and that’s before you think about raising money for your charity.

For this man to take all the glory and credit for someone else’s hard work and endeavour really makes me question human life at the moment, it really does.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the London Marathon has suffered such cheating allegations. A representative from the Virgin Money London Marathon events team has told Runner’s World this issue is currently under investigation.