A missed turn might have cost Marcel Hug $50,000 in the men’s wheelchair race.
Marcel Hug of Switzerland won his fifth Boston Marathon wheelchair event on Monday, but a missed turn may have been costly for him.
Hug left the field behind from the first push, and was never even remotely challenged. With more than a seven-minute lead, it seemed to matter little that he briefly missed a turn near the finish.
But the course record is 1 hour 18 minutes 4 seconds — which Hug himself set in 2017 — and he stood to pick up a $50,000 bonus had he broken it. Instead he crossed the line in 1:18:11. It looked quite possible that were it not for the wrong turn, the bonus would have been his.
Hug was supposed to turn right onto Boston’s Hereford Street, just before the final left turn onto Boylston Street. But he followed a lead car past Hereford before having to stop and backtrack.
“Just a stupid mistake for myself,” Hug said in an interview on WBZ-TV. “I was just focusing on the car, just pushing as hard as I can. And then the car went straight. I followed the car but I should go right. It’s my fault. I should know the course, I’ve done it several times. I’m really upset about myself.”
“I’m really happy about this race and my performance,” Hug added. “But I’m also upset because that should not happen.”
Hug reversed the results of this year’s Chicago Marathon, where he was defeated by Daniel Romanchuk of the United States. That Chicago race, incredibly, was just one day ago. Romanchuk finished second in Boston, 7:35 behind, with Ernst van Dyk of South Africa third.
Hug won four gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics, in the marathon and three track races. At 35, he also has three New York and three Berlin wins to his credit.
In the women’s wheelchair race, it was another blowout by a Swiss pusher.
Manuela Schar won her third Boston Marathon, pulling away from the gun and never looking back. She finished in 1:35:21. The five-time winner Tatyana McFadden was among those in her wake, in second place, 14:59 behind.
Schar also won Boston in 2017 and 2019 and won a gold medal in the 800 meters at the Paralympics in Tokyo.
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