Ernst on course to chase down record 10th Boston win | SASCOC - SASCOC

Ernst on course to chase down record 10th Boston win

Paralympic silver medallist Ernst van Dyk is ready to roll as he chases a record 10th win at the Boston Marathon on Monday, writes Mark Etheridge.

The Paarl-based wheelchair racer’s last race in preparation for the US classic, saw him end fourth in a half-marathon in Lisbon, Portugal.

He took some valuable lessons out of that race and says he’s “as ready as I can be”.

“Since getting back from Lisbon I’ve been working hard on some specific areas of my training where I felt I was lacking in Portugal.”

That includes some tinkering with his wheelchair. “I’ve done some tweaking on my racing chair and I believe the chair is now the fastest it has ever been. Especially on the downhills,” he told Road to Rio 2016.

“I was also able to refine it to the point where my chair is now 9.5kg compared to 10.5 last year. This will matter on the climbs in the latter part of the race.”

Boston welcomes its biggest ever field this year and the depth of talent is excellent. “There has been a collaboration between Boston and the London Marathon with a points system and some serious prize money for doing well in both races a mere six days apart.

“The only person not in Boston is David Weir ÔÇô the rest are all there. I’m hoping it will count in my favour,” says Van Dyek. “The bigger the chase pack the less cohesion there will be to work together to reel me in. Too many egos at play.

“I expect it will be down to me and Josh Cassidy (last year’s winner) getting away on the downhills and then we’ll have to see if it will all-out war between the two of us or whether we’ll work together to build a good solid lead and leave the battle for the last part of the race.

“Josh is a better climber than I am so I need to be smart.”

Before the race Van Dyk will be kept busy during his final tapering of training by making a few race-related speeches and appearances.