London Marathon Win!
First, thank you to all for the very many congratulations.. it means so much to me :)
Here is the press release, and there are a few links with pictures video footage and interviews at the bottom.
Cassidy beats Paralympic and World Champions
Virgin London Marathon, 24th April 2010
Images copyright Mark Davidson email@example.com Please contact Mark for approval to use or obtaining high resolution photos
Canada’s Josh Cassidy has turned in the biggest performance of his life to take victory in his debut Virgin London Marathon, the first major championship victory of his career.
The 25 year old London Marathon Virgin started the race ranked no 15 on the elite list but surprised everyone by winning in 1:35:21 ahead of Switzerland Marcel Hug and Britons Beijing double gold medallist David Weir.
In one of the strongest London Marathon fields ever, Cassidy cut an impressive figure – part athlete and part Thor, God of Thunder complete with ripped body and blonde flowing locks. And he soon showed that his performance matches his image; he tucked into fourth place behind The South African marathon world champion Ersnt van Dyk but was able to pass him on the downhill as Ernst touched his brakes in the rain.
Minutes later, Cassidy could have been out all together; at 5km he was clipped by Marcel Hug, flipping him over onto one wheel at 27 kph. Miraculously, Josh was able to push himself back up damaging his glove and cutting his hand in the process. “My ‘wet’ pushing gloves were a problem as the course dried out and I couldn’t stay with Dave when he broke away, but I still gave everything I had by myself from about 7kms in, knowing that I was ahead of Ernst – 9 times Boston Marathon Champion and Beijing gold medallists such as Australian Kurt Fearnley.
“Wier’s choice of lighter tyres helped him open up a 4 minute lead on me (lighter tyres are much faster but more prone to punctures).”
It looked like ‘game over’ for Cassidy with his heavier more robust tyres but as the Canadian says, “it’s never over til it’s over”. Amazingly, Cassidy cut Wier’s lead to 30 seconds and then as he had forewarned with the London surfaces, disaster struck, Wier suffered a double puncture allowing both Cassidy and Marcel Hug to pass him on the Embankment. Said Cassidy, “I caught up to Dave in the last kilometre or so. He is a great athlete but he was slowing down, obviously with punctures.”
With half a mile to go, Cassidy was fighting off flashbacks to the Australia Oz 10k and the NYC Marathon, where he was overtaken by the pack in the home straight and devastatingly lost out on podium positions to the likes of Hug and van Dyk.
But the Canadian’s fitness held out; there was no way he was going to miss his moment of glory. Hug could not make up the ground and the whole of London must have heard Cassidy’s victory scream and he punched through the finish tape 45 seconds ahead of the Swiss racer.
Said Cassidy, “It was a tough race and very frustrating in the wet; very slippery but I was confident going in, knowing the training and preparation I had done.”
“Right now, I am just delighted to be able to establish myself as one of the top guys, and to quote Richard Branson, to be able to have ‘a nice long bath’!”.
“Having this win is really important against all these top competitors, because it should really help with getting some sponsors”
Josh had studied the course and watched videos of previous races. He had also spent the previous three weeks in London training with David Weir which Josh believes helped both athletes equally. He said,
“Dave hadn’t trained on heavy tyres so he stuck with the lighter ones but paid the price with double punctures.” The British racer has warned this week that the Canadian is someone to watch out for as a coming force.
Men’s Wheelchair Marathon:
1. Josh Cassidy (Can) 1 hr 35 mins 21secs
2. Marcel Hug ( Sui) 1:36:06
3. David Weir (GB) 1:37:01
4. Kota Hokinoue (Jpn) 1:40:59
5. Kurt Fearnley (Aus) 1:41:37
6. Ernst Van Dyk (RSA) 1:44:11