Female Great West Run winner accused of being transgender and called 'revolting'

-Credit: (Image: Submitted)
-Credit: (Image: Submitted)

A doctor was cruelly trolled and called "revolting" and "twisted" among a slew of disgusting names after a proud race win. The avid runner has now slammed those behind the awful name-calling.

Anna Harrold, a GP from Truro, took part in Exeter-based The Great West Run, coming in first place. The proud mother of four, however, was soon met with a barrage of hate including hurtful comments telling her she looked like a man.

Messages and comments seen by CornwallLive include "cheating bas***d" and "What a pathetic cheat that man is". Another wrote: "My husband read the results out to me and I said 'that's a woman with a penis'."

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Dr Harrold, who works at a practice in Falmouth, said she won in a "reasonable but by no means elite time" and could not believe the abuse that came pouring in on the race results page. "I was accused of being a trans man and called disgusting, revolting, twisted, vile, a disgrace, a cheat," the 43-year-old said.

"I am a mum of four, a GP and I run for fun. Being told I look just like a man and don’t conform to the ideals of being a female is upsetting enough but being called abusive names and threatened is awful. No need to do that to any individual, ever, no matter what you believe."

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Speaking to CornwallLive the keen runner, who has partaken in plenty of races previously, said: "It wasn't the reaction I was expecting after winning the run. I've run loads of races and I've never had anything at all like this happen."

"I think in things like the Olympics males probably should not be competing as females but it's not my job to police and I don't think it is up to individuals to make claims against people.

"There's so much trans abuse now and I don't think many trans people want to enter and win The Great West Run anyway. They'd probably have no interest in doing this. But no individual deserves to be called the sorts of names they were calling me. There were hundreds of comments."

She won the female half marathon with a time of 1:19:28. In second place was Ruby Orchard, with a time of 1:27:19, followed by Hollie Fitzgerald with 1:28:52. The Great West Run has since removed all comments and turned them off on its Facebook page for the post announcing the winners.

And despite the disheartening reaction, an overwhelming amount of love and support soon came pouring in for the doctor with people lauding the athlete as "an inspiration" and an "exceptional runner". Among the comments, people said: "That is awful. You are a beautiful, inspirational woman."

"So sorry you have had to experience this Anna," added another. "You clearly work damn hard to get the results you do, some people just can’t accept that and are looking for excuses. Just keep running and winning and don’t let them get to you."

One remarked: "Gosh this is shocking! So sorry you’ve received and had to read such hurtful comments. Sadly people are always jealous of those who are talented and you’ve always been an exceptional runner, putting years of dedication into your sport. Please ignore the nasty trolls."

"You're an incredible mum, athlete, doctor and person! Don’t listen to these vile people. So sorry you’ve had to endure this after an amazing run."

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