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Van Dyk’s up beat after some busy racing Down Under

By Mark Etheridge

Multiple Paralympian Ernst van Dyk is back from Down Under having gained valuable insight into what he needs to do before being in peak form to race the Boston Marathon in April.

On Thursday last week, he raced no less than three wheelchair track races of the Summer Down Under series at Homebush, Sydney, winning the 1500-metre B-Event, reaching the final of the 800m and then taking fourth spot in the 5000m.

Then there was a day of recovery before the Oz Day 10km, an event that he’s won on two occasions, back in 2001 and 2003.

On this occasion Van Dyk took fourth spot in the closely fought race. “The race went fine although the course around the Rocks down in the harbour is a very technical course with tight turns and narrow roads,” Van Dyk told Road to Rio 2016.

“It was quite nerve-racking for me to be back in a tight race on a course like this with so many competitors around me.”
Van Dyk was always up against it, due to not being seeded for the high quality event.

“There was a slight split in the group right off the start and because I started in the back (not ranked) I got caught in traffic.”

But the fighter than he is, Van Dyk pulled the chase back to the leaders within the first 2.5km.

“Then we were a group of around 15 racers. There was another surge at the front at around 5km and three guys got away.
This time I did not have enough in the tank to close the gap again and raced with the chase pack

“We ended the race in 22min 15sec with Kurt Fearnley winning in 21.43, Josh Cassidy second in 22:45, along with Kota Hokinoue from Japan and myself in fourth just 30 seconds back which was a decent result for me.”

Now its Europe that beckons for Paarl-based Van Dyk.

“I know I have to race once more before Boston and I’m looking at racing the Lisbon half marathon on 24 March at this stage.”


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