“To be honest, being the fastest person to ever complete a marathon hasn’t set in yet.”
Canadian Josh Cassidy won the Boston Marathon men’s wheelchair race in a course-record time of 1:18:25 on Monday (16 April).
Cassidy’s race was two seconds quicker than Ernst Van Dyk’s previous-best mark in Boston in 2004.
“To be honest, being the fastest person to ever complete a marathon hasn’t set in yet,” Cassidy told the Toronto Star following the race. “But I visualized winning the Boston Marathon, trying to go as fast as I could.”
The 27-year-old Toronto native, who led from the third mile on, trumped Australian marathon man and race favourite Kurt Fearnley, who finished second in a time of 1:21:39.
Fearnley is both the defending world and Paralympic champion in the Marathon event.
“It's always disappointing to finish second but I couldn't have done much more out there today,” Fearnley told the Australian Paralympic Committee.
“The first half of the course doesn't set up well for me with all of the downhills. Josh got more out of them than I could and I couldn't catch him in the second half.”
Cassidy was born with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer commonly found in the spine and abdomen, and he is a double-leg amputee.
He competed in the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m T54 events for Canada at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games but failed to medal. In 2010, he won the London Marathon and is now headed back to the British capital for the 2012 edition of the event on Sunday (22 April).
That will be two Marathons for Cassidy in six days.
Cassidy’s aim is to compete in the 800m, 1,500m and Marathon T54 events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
In the women’s wheelchair competition in Boston, American Shirley Reilly edged Japan’s Wakako Tsuchida in a sprint to the finish, completing the course in a time of 1:37:36, just one second ahead of the Japanese trailblazer.