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Third consecutive NYC Half victory for Van Dyk

Van Dyk

By Mark Etheridge

Ernst van Dyk has hurtled to a hat-trick of United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon titles in New York.

The seven-time Paralympian clocked a time of 47min 28sec for the 21.1 kilometres after taking the lead once he’d warmed up properly in the icy conditions.

American Daniel Romanchuk was second, half a second back, and Kota Hokinoue was third in 47:31 after a battle through the hills of Central Park.

Van Dyk jetted back into South Africa only on Tuesday morning, before heading over to Europe on more business ventures.

And he expressed satisfaction with his day’s work. ‘It was a good comeback after a disappointing Tokyo Marathon a few weeks back, and also a good confidence-builder heading into Boston and London Marathons in April.

‘Kota and Josh George both finished in front of me in Tokyo and this time I was able to leave them behind.’

And while his home town of Paarl baked in the current heatwave, New York was bitterly cold at the other end of the temperature scale. ‘A snow storm blew through on Tuesday and more snow came on Saturday, so it was the most snow that this African has ever seen.’

A slow start was thus understandable given the conditions.

‘I was literally freezing on the start line,’ said Van Dyk. ‘After I’d warmed up [again] I got going and slowly took control of the race. Halfway through the race I knew it was going to come down to a three-man sprint and I conserved a little bit of energy.

‘When we made the final right turn, I put in some good acceleration to jump to the front and with just 100m to the line it was going to be tough for anyone to pass me at that stage… so I’m happy with my third straight victory here.’

Next up will be an important one for Van Dyk as he goes in search of an 11th win in the prestigious Boston Marathon.

Then he heads back across the Atlantic for the London Marathon, which once again doubles up as an IPC World Cup event.

Picture of Van Dyk crossing the finish line courtesy of NYRR


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