Ernst Van Dyk Finishes 2nd, One Second Behind Marcel Hug At The Boston Marathon
Wheelchair racer and Össur South Africa's national sales manager Ernst van Dyk finished second at the Boston Marathon on Monday, settling for the runner-up spot for the third year in a row at the prestigious 42.2km race in Massachusetts.
Van Dyk, a seven-time Paralympic legend, was locked in a dramatic battle against defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland. After dropping the rest of the field and charging through halfway in 36:08, Van Dyk and Hug battled all the way to the finish line, with Hug edging clear of the South African veteran to set a new world best of 1:18:03.
Van Dyk finished one second behind Hug, taking 23 seconds off his 13-year-old personal best to reach the podium for the 14th time at the annual race since earning the first of his record 10 victories in 2001.
“He’s incredibly strong, so I had to be very focussed to catch him, especially on the downhills,” Hug said of Van Dyk after the race. And despite having to settle for silver Van Dyk was a satisfied runner-up. ‘I’m pretty happy. We made history in the fastest marathon ever. It’s a personal best for me, bettering my previous mark of 1:18:27 which I did in 2004 which set the world’s best time back then.’
‘At the moment I’m still adjusting to a new phase of my life after I started working full-time for Össur South Africa after Rio 2016 and am still slowly finding my balance.’
While Hug’s time was the fastest ever set in a marathon race, performances could not be considered for official world records due to the point-to-point, downhill nature of the Boston course.