Gene Dykes, the 70-year-old from Philadelphia whose marathon world record attempt ended in disappointment when he realized the event he chose to contest it (the Jacksonville Marathon in Florida) was not USATF-sanctioned, has posted his chosen races for 2019 on his Facebook page–all 34 of them.
Dykes is as prolific a racer as 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi. Here’s what he has lined up for this year: 34 races, consisting of five marathons (including Boston, Big Sur, New York and Philadelphia), 13 ultras (10 of them on the trails, and including no fewer than four 100-milers and a 24-hour track race), and 16 shorter races.
What does not appear on the schedule is another stab at the record he thought he’d bagged in Jacksonville. Though Dykes told us in December that he was planning another attempt at Ed Whitlock’s M70 record at either the Houston Marathon or the Louisiana Marathon (both are January 20), he has now said that’s off, partly because he’s recovering from a fall at the Wild Azalea 50-miler in Louisiana last weekend. (He finished the race, but he can’t train until his knee heals.)
“It was perhaps wishful thinking that I could do one more strong race without a rest after a hard year of racing,” Dykes admitted. However, he adds he has every intention of trying again in 2020. “If my theory of using ultras as base building for marathons holds any water, I’ll be in terrific shape for another marathon attempt early next year,” he told us.