Is there an American Ed Whitlock floating (or running) around? It seems so. A message from Neil Whitlock, son of the man himself, informed us that 70 year old Gene Dykes of Philadelphia posted an incredibly impressive 2:57:43 at last weekend’s Rotterdam Marathon.
Dykes is a few minutes off of Ed’s 70-74 record of 2:54:48, which he ran at the age of 73 at the 2004 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Ed also still holds the distinction of being the oldest man to break three hours, running a 2:58:40 at age 74, once again at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
At least for this blogger, news of Dykes’ performance in Amsterdam wasn’t visible this week. Perhaps anything short of a record just isn’t news these days, but it’s great to see that Ed’s declaration that his own accomplishments shouldn’t be unusual or singular appears to have some truth in it.
A quick and dirty Google search does tell us a few things about Dykes. An athlete profile indicates a blistering race schedule for a runner of any age. According to Athlinks, Dykes has already completed a 100 mile trail run in 2018 and recorded a 30:48 at the USATF Masters 8K Championships in March of this year.
In an interview from 2015, Dykes stated that he planned to run both the London and Philadelphia Marathon that year in addition to multiple ultras.
As mentioned, I was completely unaware of Gene Dykes. If you have any knowledge of the 70 year old wonder, let us know!